What’s Your Brand
Part 2 of 52
By Matt Plapp
Next I was visiting a locally owned retail store with a large showroom. I walked it looking to buy a specific item. I was not greeted within 50 feet of the door. In fact, I was never greeted. I had to ask a guy I guessed was an employee for help. The reason I “Guessed” is because his hair was a wreck, his shirt was un-tucked and was old and not really recognizable with their company colors or logo. I did get it right though, but since he was carrying a scan gun it was somewhat a give-away. Next I asked where this product was, to which he pointed about 10 rows down and said down in aisle 15. I wanted to smack him. YOU DON’T POINT. You walk me to the item, see what I’m buying, find an item to up-sell me to and then take me to my next item. Needless to say I got lost, got frustrated and asked 2 more people. I ended up not buying anything due to this flawed process. Again, this BRAND was out of whack.
This example comes to me from a friend in Florida who owned a car dealership in the 80‘s and 90‘s. He used this example from his dealership in a marketing training I went to in 2003. He was in the showroom watching the salesman close a deal. Everything seemed ready to go as planned, everyone was smiling, shaking hands and getting ready to sign the paperwork. As he watched from across the room he noticed the wife get up to go somewhere. Within minutes she came back, whispered in her husbands ear and off they went. The owner thought something was up. He asked the salesman what happened and he had no idea. So he hurried out to the parking lot and caught them as they got into their car. He introduced himself as the owner and said he could not help but notice something went wrong, “Can I ask what happened”. The young lady told him that when she went to the restroom it was horrible, it was dirty, old and to her a slap in the face. She said that she did not think the dealership deserved her business if they did not respect their female customers enough to spend a few dollars on a nice clean restroom. WOW, this dealership owner was floored. He was widely successful, had been in the business for 20+ years and did not know what just hit him. He apologized and wished them luck on their car shopping experience. He had never been in the ladies room at his store, so he took a stroll. Once in there, he was disappointed “How could I miss something this obvious, how could I have not trained my staff to look for these type of issues” he told me. “We had a multi-million dollar facility and a $10 ladies room”. That night he called the customer and acknowledged her concerns and agreed. He let her know it would be remodeled the next few days and thanked her for telling him about it.
So to recap we just talked about the following items:
1. Employee appearance
2. Pointing instead of showing a customer
3. Restroom appearance
I know, right now your wondering what any of these items have to do with your marketing. They have everything to do with your marketing of your business. These are all an extension of your brand. Your brand is how your company/product is perceived by your customers. In these situations, these were real life examples of how each of these businesses failed to meet the expectations on their customers, and they failed to build their brand properly.
When I ask my customers about their brand I usually get a response targeted to their advertising. When in fact, I’m looking for a statement that defines their company and how the public relates to it. Uniforms, phone-answering, sales training, clean restrooms, trained employees, consistent company colors, clearly marked showrooms, and more importantly a staff that understands exactly what your brand is and how they are to carry that out in their job EVERY DAY.