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Just How Sweet Does Your Brand Taste?

1st November 2010

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How bitter or sweet does your own brand taste?
How many times have you eaten at a restaurant that’s “famous” for their pie or their burger or their fish & chips? And how many times have your expectations not been met?

“We’re famous for our pie” is a brand statement – and it’s easy as pie to announce it. Living up to that promise is another story however.

Your own corporate brand isn’t necessarily what you want it to be; instead, it’s the sum of all the ways your customers experience your company and its services. And, what your consumers think of your brand may be very different from the message you believe you’re putting out there.

At the most basic level, your brand isn’t necessarily the work you do, but it is how you do it and just how the service resonates with your customers. This is what we call brand taste.

You may have agonised over your company name, obsessed about your logo design, struggled over the design of the company brochure. But now, you need to live your brand. Every minute. Of every day.

The company brand becomes the anchor identifying what you are promising to be. There’s a whole set of what look like little things that amount to something enormous when it’s done right.

The design of your office, retail space or reception area says something about your brand, as does your voicemail announcement and the way your staff answer the phone. The way you and your employees dress makes a brand statement; the music you play, the pen you use, the cars in your car park. All these and more contribute to the branding or ‘taste’ of the company

But the most important part of your company branding doesn’t come from the design or your office, your fleet or even your website design. It comes from the way you and your staff treat your customers.

Operationally, what you actually deliver and do as a company for the customer, whether that’s on your company website, in your office or working with your consultants, has to match the promise you made in the marketplace. If you promise your customers a great taste sensation then you had better give one. And just like a great chef, you may be wise to taste it first.

Examples of companies that don’t deliver on their branding are legion: A personal coach who lets walk-ins cool in the reception area without a personal greeting; the software company that claims customers are its most valuable asset but sends them into voicemail hell when they have a problem; and the general contractor who promises high-end work but is always late; all are giving consumers a mixed branding message.

Look at your company outside in – just like your consumers do and ask yourself what reaction they would really give if they tasted your brand?

If you are promising something sweet make sure you are not giving something that just looks sweet on the outside but then leaves a sour taste in their mouths afterwards.

The bottom line: make your brand taste sweet!

Design Inc is a specialist Surrey-based branding agency. If you are considering a new brand please call us now on 01784 410380