Sunday, May 16, 2010

Brand Consistency

It’s 10:00pm, do you know where your Brand is ?

I’ve recently spent a lot of time studying Brands, and in particular, Brands in Asia, as they are somewhat behind the big Brands of North America as it relates to market penetration.

Regardless, it’s the exercise that got me thinking, and thinking in particular about the need for consistency with your Brand.

Most people within your company, if asked the question; “what is our Brand?” would respond with an answer that surrounds your logo, what they, and many other people, see as the outward image of your Brand. Most people do not think about your Brand stands for.

What image or words spring to mind when your company name is mentioned?

Disneyland, granted, this is an easy one. You may think of Mickey Mouse or some other character, but I’ll bet you also remember the phrase; “the happiest place in the world.” This translates into everything that Disneyland does.

They get Branding and especially that everything that they do MUST represent that same Brand image.

Back to your company. Ask yourself what your Brand stands for. Maybe you have very compelling Vision, Mission and Core Value statements that lay out beautifully what your Brand stands for. Now ask yourself, do I reflect the Brand, do my employees reflect the Brand?

Those answers may be easier to grapple with but now think about whether you and/or your company consistently reflect the Brand? That means asking some more difficult and farther reaching questions, but none less important.

Does your office reflect the Brand? If your offices are not within a Hotel specifically, but you represent the parent company, do your offices reflect the Brand? Does the arrival experience at your offices reflect the same commitment to service that you would find at one of your Hotels? And if you are big enough to have your own building, does that building reflect your Brand?

Colours, fabrics, warmth, etc., ALL reflect your Brand. Let’s face it, there’s a reason people say that first impressions are paramount. You may only get one shot at that client, will the first impression that he or she forms about you and your company be consistent with your Brand when he or she enters your offices?

You better hope so, because just as much as it can be said that people will notice the consistent application of your Brand, it is even more apparent to them when your Brand is inconsistent, and that can make prospective clients very wary of what experience you are really selling.

More and more companies are waking up to the power of their Brand, or the potential power of their Brand, good and bad, and are in some cases assigning someone whose sole responsibility is to evaluate and monitor the Brand, in all its forms, and to protect it from the negative impact of inconsistent application.

Can you afford to leave your Brand unprotected?

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