Ever since the conversation started on legalizing recreational marijuana here in California, I have been considering adding cannabis to our short list of target markets. This is a market that’s headed toward serious growth and a rapid shift in thinking about how to brand and market is needed to compete for a new kind of customer.
If your client asked one of your employees what the meaning is behind your logo, could they answer the question? How about if someone asked what the brand purpose is? For that matter, can you as the owner of your business answer these questions? Before you run off and start quizzing employees, let me share a quick story that might help.
I was at a restaurant the other day – I was waiting for my husband to get out of surgery so I was by myself with a bit of time to kill. I also forgot my glasses, so diving into my cell phone screen and ending up with blurry vision wasn’t really appealing. The result: wandering thoughts. Typically these thoughts spur from a reflex scan of my current surroundings for anything visual I feel compelled to critique (or eaves dropping). This time it was deciphering the restaurant logo.
just for reference
The logo looked like a typical mid-century style graphic seen in cafés at the time. I was trying to decide how I felt about this graphic that basically appeared to be a knock-off. I was wondering if it was intentional and if so, what other meaning did it then have? I was starting to conclude the symbol must be a clock (it might help you to know this was a breakfast-only eatery that closed mid afternoon). I was thinking they were trying to say “breakfast all day”. Except, the part I couldn’t justify was the fact that they close around 3 pm.
Lo and Behold!
On a whim, I thought I would ask the waiter nearby if he happened to know the meaning behind the logo symbol. He seemed friendly enough to indulge a weird lady sitting by herself lost in thought. To my surprise, not only was he fine with answering the question, it seemed like he was thrilled I asked. As if he had been waiting his whole career for someone to test him on this very topic. His eyes lit up and he said: “It’s a compass! Each point on the compass represents one of our core values.” He then went on to explain the north facing point was their guiding value and he told me all about how every employee is carefully trained on the company philosophy and brand purpose and so on. I was, to say the least, surprised.
In turn, I mentioned I was in the business of helping brands discover their purpose and craft brand visuals and messaging to support it (shameless plug!). I told him I was thrilled he could answer my question because it’s so important for a company to first take the time to define their purpose and secondly to follow through on it at every level – including employee education.
I should mention that while I was there I had a few things go wrong. My soup was delivered cold (which they corrected) and they accidentally charged me twice for it (also corrected). The funny thing is, I walked out feeling like I had great customer service. The entire time I was there, everyone who passed my table either checked on my satisfaction, offered me something or apologized. I felt like the whole restaurant was looking out for me.
Here’s where I hit you over the head with my point… Your brand goes beyond that one graphic called a logo – it’s your customers’ experience. From the minute they call, walk in the door or click, to the day they die. Invest in the success of your brand by making sure there is a clear purpose behind everything you do and that it’s communicated clearly and consistently – always!
Later when I had my glasses, I checked out their website and right there under philosophy it says: “It only takes a moment to make a difference.” I thought, ain’t that the truth!
Wondering what restaurant it was? Snooze Eatery. Okay, now you can go!
Have a Pawsitively Tail Waggin’ Good Day!
P.S. Ruff Haus Design is a results focused brand consulting company located in San Diego, CA. Let us help unleash your brand image, connect with your customers and gain their loyalty.
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