An awesome logo is a thing of beauty and yes, it can be the trigger that reminds you of a great company.
It can just as easily be the trigger that reminds you of a terrible in-person or telephone customer service experience, of being ignored when you needed help, of waiting far longer than you should have for help, of getting the wrong answer or even the wrong product to meet your need or of any number of poor customer experiences.
No matter how cool, awesome or amazing the logo, how intriguing the ad copy or how compelling the offer, there is no direct correlation between good design and strong brands, really, at all.
The recipe for a strong brand is simple, there are only two ingredients: Reputation and consistency.
And there are no substitutes for these ingredients. To build a strong brand, you must earn the reputation of consistently exceeding customer expectations. Here’s what I mean:
Let’s suppose that my friend, Kathy, visits your business for the first time and she had a great experience. In some way, you exceeded her expectations in a way that was important to her.
She tells me about her visit to your business and I mentally file that information away. If I ever need that product or service, I’ll keep your business in mind or perhaps I’ll call Kathy and ask her for the name of your business.
Let’s further suppose that Kathy returns to your business three more times over the next few months. Each time, you provide her with a truly extraordinary experience – remember, that means that her customer experience exceeded her expectations in some way meaningful to her and is different and better than the competition. Each time, she tells me about your business again and encourages me to experience your business for myself.
Now you are building reputation.
Because of what my friend Kathy has told me, I now probably have a personal desire to visit your business. And even if I don’t visit your business myself, if others among my friends, co-workers or family have a need for what your business provides, I am probably referring your business to them based on the testimony of my friend. Even without experiencing your business personally, because of the consistency of experience my friend has had with your business, I trust you.
How will you exceed your customer’s expectations today – and tomorrow – and the tomorrow after that?
It won’t be done with your logo or any other aspect of design, it won’t be done by discounting and it won’t be done with any one-hit advertising wonder. To build a strong brand, the experience that your business provides must be more than your customer expects, in a way that matters to the customer and which is different and better than that of the competition.
On your own, or with your leadership team, make a list of the things that you believe characterize the customer’s experience at your business. For each of these characteristics, answer the following questions:
- Does this exceed customer expectation or is this what they expect to be true when they visit our business (or any other)?
- Does this even matter to our customers?
- Is this different or better than all of our competitors?
You might find that it’s difficult to come up with anything about your customer experience that meets all three of these measures. In fact, I’d be surprised if you had many characteristics that survived all three comparisons. But don’t give up!
If it were easy, everyone would do it. Those businesses that find ways to do so will succeed in building a strong brand – no matter what their logo looks like. Those that don’t, wont!
Elizabeth Kraus | www.12monthsofmarketing.net
[ Subscribe ] to my e-mail newsletter.
Elizabeth Kraus is the author of the newly released 365 Days of Marketing and Make Over Your Marketing: 12 Months of Marketing for Salon and Spa, available on amazon.com or 12monthsofmarketing.com.
Dispel all of the little white marketing lies that might be holding your business back – check out the 2012 Small Business Marketing Calendar: Little White Marketing Lies on amazon.com. With hundreds of marketing ideas laid out for 2012, you’ll get into a marketing groove and build a bigger role for your business in the lives of your clients.