Brand ON or Brand Off?

Posted by Kristin Arnold on August 22, 2017

Have you ever had an amazing customer experience where everything smacks of the brand promise?  At a restaurant, the maitre de, the server and the chef paid attention to every detail.  During your hotel stay, the towels and the amenities were above the brand’s standards.  Sure you have!  In Janelle Barlow’s book, Customer Branded Service, she calls this confluence of events as “brand on.”  The company and the employees are delivering at and above the brand’s promise to the customer.

And yet, many times, we experience something is a tad bit “off-brand.”  It’s inconsistent with the brand promise.  Smacks you as a bit weird.  The restaurant is known for elegance, but the wine glass has fingerprints (or even lipstick!) on it.  The posh hotel that doesn’t have a bathrobe in the room.  You know what I mean.  You had a certain expectation for that establishment, and they didn’t deliver.  Something was a little off-kilter.  That’s “off-brand.”   I love this nickname because it allows the team to point out the incident rather than pointing the finger at a person.

In my experience, those things that are “off-brand” are typically symptoms of a process that is not working…not a case of people not wanting to do what’s best for the customers.

So take inventory of your workplace: What’s “on-brand” and consistent with your organization’s mission, purpose, values, and brand promise?  And what smells just slightly “off-brand?”

KRISTIN ARNOLD, MBA, CPF, CSP is a high stakes meeting facilitator and professional panel moderator.  She’s been facilitating teams of executives and managers in making better decisions and achieving greater results for over 20 years.  She is the author of the award-winning book, Boring to Bravo: Proven Presentation Techniques to Engage, Involve and Inspire Audiences to Action.

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