To be sustainable and resilient as an individual or an organization, customers need to know what you stand for. In short—what is your brand?
Branding Lesson #1: Your name sets up an expectation. Live up to it or suffer.
There is a promise established in what we advertise and name things. Southwest Airlines had thought to create a baggage claim delivery time slogan. Then they realized that due to the configuration in a few of their terminals, to quote such a time was almost impossible. They dropped the campaign even though it would have been true in MOST of their sites.
Branding Lesson #2: Your business sets up an expectation. If you don't deliver for yourself - how can you deliver for the customer?
If you own a paint store and your store is in sorry need of paint, what does that say? If the waiters in a restaurant cannot tell you about food on the menu because they never get to eat it, what does that say? Look at your business with critical eyes. Would you do business with you?
Branding Lesson #3: The past never counts. The present creates the brand.
It is the actual in-the-moment experience that creates a brand in a customer's eyes. Brand is a living entity that is re-earned, renewed or revoked with every interaction. Advertising only creates awareness.
Branding Lesson #4: Employees are your brand in action.
I am convinced the very best, most unique, most competitive maker of a "brand" is the well-trained, empowered employee who can disregard systems and procedures to continue a human interaction. As more organizations substitute technology for people, the company that answers its own phone and get humans connected in short order will win the day.
Branding Lesson #5: Facts tell. Emotion sells.
People won’t talk about the details of your product or service. They will talk about how they FEEL about the product. For example: the red color and all the on-board gadgets might make the buyer feel high tech, classy, noticed. The Jet Blue agent left me feeling like a valued customer. Same plane as American flies. But a PLAIN difference in results.