Minding Your Own Brand: Do you have a big BUT?

My family and I went to a new restaurant for lunch. The food was great, the decor was very nice, the wait staff was friendly, BUT it took forever to get our order. They were extremely under staffed for the number of tables they were trying to serve. This simple problem made a potentially extraordinary experience less than ordinary. To make matters, worse the staff did nothing special to alleviate the pain of our unusually long wait and therefore they lost a possible opportunity to gain an advocate. Now if someone asks what I think of this restaurant, I will be hesitant to give a glowing review and if I do suggest this place, there will be a big BUT.

A person’s perception of a brand is determined by everything that company says and does.  Consequently even the most insignificant glitch can create a big BUT in a potential advocate’s mind. Therefore, it is necessary for small businesses to eliminate their BUT’s by reviewing all areas of their business.

In doing this, you must remember that eliminating BUT’s does not require perfection. No matter how hard you try, you won’t always be perfect. Things don’t always go as planned and people will make mistakes. Therefore, you must create an organizational culture which strives for extraordinary experiences not perfection. Within this culture your team will be able to handle any situation that arises in a way that is appropriate and extraordinary.

If an experience falls short of customer expectations, your team must be able to make up for it in an extraordinary way. If they only react in the expected way, customers will feel slighted and it will make a bad situation worse. Mistakes can be the best opportunity to create a memorable experience and missteps are often the best time to provide an experience which recruits an advocate.

Only if your team understands expectations, lives up to organizational standards, and eliminates the BUT’s, will they provide customers with an experience that is consistent with the brand promise. By evaluating every point of contact between your company and potential advocates, you can then give your team the basic rules, expected outcomes, and the resources to get the job done. Armed with these tools, your team will be able to provide extraordinary experiences which eliminates the BUT’s and therefore recruits loyal advocates.

Do you have a BUT? How big is it? What is it doing to the value of your brand? Is it keeping your small business from recruiting advocates and being successful? If so, what are you doing about it?

So, what are you waiting for? Now is the time for you and your team to get off your butts and build a brand culture that eliminates your BUT’s on a daily basis.

Dave Lubelczyk

Dave Lubelczyk is a branding columnist, business author, brand dynamics consultant, and President of IMAGEidentity, LTD. For twenty years, he has provided creative and consulting services to large corporations, non-profit organizations, and small start-up companies. Dave’s first book, MYOB: mind your own brand is a collection of articles designed to make the reader think differently about their brand and he is currently putting the finishing touches on his next book The Brand Percolator.
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Avatar About the Author: Dave Lubelczyk is a branding columnist, business author, brand dynamics consultant, and President of IMAGEidentity, LTD. For twenty years, he has provided creative and consulting services to large corporations, non-profit organizations, and small start-up companies. Dave’s first book, MYOB: mind your own brand is a collection of articles designed to make the reader think differently about their brand and he is currently putting the finishing touches on his next book The Brand Percolator.