Living your brand

Let’s go to the mall! I want to share an experience I had while shopping.

You walk in one store and they ignore you. You’re left to your own devices as you try to navigate the different product offerings and decide what, if anything, is best for you. Meanwhile the staff continues their conversations amongst themselves while giving a half-hearted “Let me know if you need help.” You walk out of the store, empty-handed and annoyed.

You walk into a second store and they greet you and ask if you need help. You state that you’re looking for a certain product and they give you a tour of the store. A smiling associate invites you to sit down while another associate brings several options to you to explore. You walk out of the store with two new items you had no intention of buying and a membership to the rewards club.

One store is a big-box shoe store. The other is a locally-owned luxury accessories brand. Can you match the store with the shopping experience?

You’re wrong.

I’m assuming you guessed the luxury brand gave me better customer service than the big box store – because why wouldn’t they, right? They are selling high-end products and you expect high-end products to come with high-end customer service. That was not the case on this fateful day. The luxury brand employed a group of people who had no connection to the brand. They were there because it was helping them, not me, look good. The big box store employed a group of people who lived the brand. They were runners and walkers and fitness enthusiasts who knew exactly what I needed when I said I was training for my first 5K.

This shopping experience is a great example of how branding is so much more than your logo. It’s about the experience your customers have the moment they come in contact with you, whether on the phone, on your social media, or in your store. How your employees feel about your product is how your customers feel about your product. They are your brand ambassadors, so make sure they understand that role and responsibility. You can achieve this by hiring people who are your target customer, giving them product knowledge, and providing them with the right tools and environment to sell your brand. When you communicate the importance of your brand to your employees, you’ll see how it positively impacts your bottom line.

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