Like it or not, you’re on display 24/7. You can thank Al Gore for that. The internet has made it so that your brand is always showing. Hopefully, this isn’t an issue. But at the very least you must be aware of this fact at all times.
Truth be told, the internet didn’t put our brands on display night and day. It’s always been that way. People are watching you online and off.
One of the things I talk about in Brand Against The Machine is how everything we do is branding. Every action has an affect on your brand. This means each and every interaction someone has with you, your product, your website, and your employees is either helping your brand or hurting it.
The pizza company Papa Johns recently came under fire after an employee gave a customer a racist nickname in their system that was then printed on the customers receipt. The night before this I had a far different experience from Papa Johns. My house is on a hill and the driveway isn’t one you want to back out of, especially at night. I told the delivery guy that he could turn around in the driveway behind my house and could immediately see the relief in his eyes. He thanked me and then gave me a tiny card that knocks 30% off my online orders for the next 5 months. Needless to say I was a happy customer.
Both of these experiences, while completely different, have an affect on their brand. The good things you do can be quickly over-shadowed by your slip-ups. Your brand is always under evaluation. It always will be.
You must evaluate each touch-point your prospects and customers experience with your brand. Look at things from their point of view. How do those experiences add up?
One evening my wife and I went to eat at a local restaurant. We pulled in the parking lot and standing right next to the building were two of the cooks, on their break, with their shirts off…smoking. Sounds appetizing doesn’t it? Without a doubt the employees probably feel like they’re doing nothing wrong. After all, they’re on their break. Sadly, the manager probably doesn’t take responsibility either. He just chalks it up to “I can only control what they do on company time.”
And that’s one of the biggest problems with brands today…there is no such thing as company time anymore.
You can make your employees put in their Twitter bio that their views don’t reflect your company, but they do. Everything you and your employees do is branding. It’s on YOU to make sure each touch-point is a great experience for your prospects and customers.
While it can seem scary that something small like a single tweet can hurt your brand, the reality is most of the time using common sense is all it takes. A few months ago a friend of mine lost their job. One of the first things they did was post some rather ugly things about their employer on Facebook. Their intent was to hurt that company, but the truth is that it hurts their brand.
If you’re a prospective employer would you hire someone who didn’t have a single nice thing to say about a company they worked at for over 3 years?
You don’t have to be perfect all the time. No one is. But by simply paying attention to the little things you can build a big brand. It all comes down to being consciously aware that your brand works for you or against you…but it always works.