Jim Gras

Delivering on Your Brand

Delivering on Your Brand

Your brand positioning has been agreed on, your target customer has been identified, your message has been refined to reach that audience, you have a new logo and tagline, a new email marketing template and your website has a new design. All of this really captures who you are and where you want to go.

So, your work is done. Right?


Good start, but you’ve only scratched the surface. Your smart positioning, new site, new template and new logo will only get you so far. Now, the real challenge: delivering on your brand experience.

Experience can make or break a brand. Say you’ve premised your entire brand on exceptional service (á la Nordstrom), but your frontline employees don’t deliver. At all. What stays with your audience is not that winning tagline about service, but the abrasive rep who rubbed them the wrong way. And at that point, no amount of appealing logos or clever messages can salvage your brand.

Retailers provide an example of how to think about your brand experience. In fact, the emphasis on brand experience in retail has inspired a whole cottage industry. Perfumers develop special scents for specialty shops. Of-the-moment DJs craft brand-inspired soundtracks for store stereos. But before you write this off as a trend for retailers only, think again. While you might not need to rush out for that perfect fragrance for your office headquarters, the lesson is this: Take a hard look at your brand experience.

Getting your brand experience right requires a top-to-bottom sweep of your touch points. So, do yourself this favor. Get your team in a room and start mapping out all the possible ways your audience might interact with your organization. In other words, audit your brand experience.

As a warm-up, start with the obvious conveyers of brand: your emails, your website, your ads. But then get into the not-so-obvious: how your staff interacts with your audiences, the atmosphere in your lobby, how you answer the phone, the music playing when a caller goes on hold, the tone in your email marketing messages.

Also, think hard about whether your processes actually reinforce your brand promise—and identify the gaps. For example, are you promising “easy” but making customers take a dozen steps to complete an order? Do you want to target young families but aren’t actually offering family-friendly policies for your employees? Do you want to be known for hospitality but have a less-than-welcoming presence at the front door? All of these details add up to an impression of your brand—good or bad.

So, get beyond the big picture and think through all those details that make up the experience. Then, make some changes, start actively managing the experience and watch your brand take off. Written By: Anna Adlard, Director of Account Planning at capstrat

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