Smell the Coffee
On a flight back from a speaking engagement in Darwin last week I ventured into the toilets at the pointy end of the airplane. As I entered, I noticed something attached to the door of the cubicle, which turned out to be a bag of coffee beans. I have to say it was nicely presented and quite subtle, yet a bag of coffee beans none-the-less. Apparently the airline uses coffee beans to absorb aromas in much the same way that David Jones offers customers coffee beans when sampling different perfume fragrances - in between a sniff of one perfume and the next, you are offered coffee beans to neutralise your palate so that the second waft of perfume goes onto a fresh palate.
The experience reminded me of a story that I quite often tell in my marketing and brand speeches based on my book The Vibe.
I like to explain that your brand is like that bag of coffee beans in that it soaks up everything that goes on around it.
Your brand and the marketing associated with it is not just the advertising you do. - It's also the way you talk to customers, being on time for meetings, who you put your sponsorship dollars behind, how you deal with complaints, the perception you create when one of your trucks cuts me off in traffic and flicks me the bird, your annual report, your e-mail signature, your website, your tweets, your packaging, your signage on the building and the way I'm treated in reception. It's Mabo, it's the constitution, it's just the Vibe.
Your brand, like a bag of coffee beans, sucks up perceptions from all those different places. Bundled together they create a vibe that can either be good, great or non-existent.
Small to medium sized enterprises need to be particularly careful to ensure that their marketing is not simply their advertising and promotion, because it's not. It's every single contact point you can possibly have with your customer, creating a perception which is ultimately your vibe. It's really worthwhile taking a step back to look at all those contact points that are the coffee beans for your brand, and see how you fare.
Couldn't have said it better myself!
Next Training course. Communication - It's more than speaking and writing. 29th July 2010
To connect to my website, blog and training programmes click here
Don't you just love to blog? Just like talk back radio - only you always get through! Follow my blogs and tweets, add your comments, have your say, raise an issue, ask a question - have some fun!