Archive for October, 2010


Value of Brand

In marketing terms, brand is the image that represents a company, product and/or service. Brand is a reputation. Brand is a limited warranty of quality and good service. Brand is many things to many people, whether it is with clients, customers, employees, peers or friends.

Can you have a personal brand?

Yes. You are your own brand. It is how you want people to perceive you. Personal brand is a powerful expression of one’s self, and what you do to increase its value is really up to you. How you present your first impression is personal brand statement. How you dress, your behavior, your integrity, your communication skills, and even your personal hygiene all go into making up your personal brand.

I’m talking about brand today as a way for entrepreneurs to recognize a broader vision of their company, product, service and most importantly themselves. Certainly all of us understand what it means to develop a logo mark and create corporate colors, and collateral looks and feels that are consistent. What many fail to realize is that brand can also mean the personal experience your clients, customers and employees receive when dealing with your company and yourself.

Here are two examples of good branding and how these competing home stores handle themselves:

Background: In my neighborhood we have an Orchard Supply Home Store, which is off the beaten track and has been in our neighborhood for over 40 years. A new highway was built next to them and in comes a nationwide competitor, Lowes. Lowes opens a mega store; meantime the Orchard Hardware store is less than a quarter of the size. Certainly, if I were the Orchard store manager I would be thinking it’s all over but for turning out the lights. In this case, David does take it to Goliath and here is how…

1. Knowing that the Orchard store can’t compete with the sheer mass quantity of selection, the store manager selects targeted hot selling products that have been analyzed over years of data. Then creates a number of creative sales ads around those items to bring the customers in. In retail, these are called loss leaders. This is where the retailer is actually losing money on the sale items with the hope you’ll buy other items that carry more profit margin.
2. Instead of cutting staff, they doubled the number of employees for the store. Each employee is trained on all of the products they sell in their department, and in some cases become subject matter experts.
3. Attention to detail at this Orchard store when dealing with their customers, raise the customer experience and set a new standard for the home store industry. When entering the store you are greeted and asked if they can direct you. Each department has two employees assigned, so getting answers and giving advice comes quickly. Each sales person tries to upsell you by mentioning additional items to consider for the project and perhaps reminding you of sale items in other departments. Finally, my favorite, if you order a special order item, you will receive two calls from the store…the first confirming the order and ship date, and then when the order comes in.
4. Finally, the overall customer experience is completed by a feeling of confidence that you were treated as if this company really cares and the employees go way over the top to assure you have the best shopping experience.
So does your brand represent you, your company, product or service well? Keep it simple, be consistent and most important encouraging feedback.

Global Marketing Consultants can help with you brand, strategy and marketing. Give us a call to find out how.

October 2010