Do you have a business where people go out of their way to be your customer?

I was dreaming the other day about what it takes to build a brand that delivers clients to my door. Let’s just suppose that I manage to come up with the best possible name for a business in my industry. Then I design an attractive logo and an engaging tagline. It’s so good it wins awards and all my competitors almost quit because they didn’t think of it.

Have I built my brand yet?

Not quite. I need to get the word out to customers. So I plaster one hundred vans with a silkscreen and launch a website takeover ad, like the movies do. Because my look and voice are perfect for my customers, they come pouring in.

Have I built my brand yet?

Almost. Now I need to respond to my customers, provide my product or service and follow-through. My employees greet every customer with my product promise and end every call with my tagline. Products are delivered with a printed version of my brand message. A follow-up survey reminds them of what we stand for.

Have I built my brand yet? You bet.

My brand is what my customers feel and what my customers think my brand is. If I deliver on the feelings and belief that attracted them, then I have a hit. If I deliver anything different, then all my logos, slogans, advertising, surveys and customer service process become a laughingstock.

Let’s be clear: You need to be intentional about your brand. Your brand statement is a means for you to communicate within your company the core of what your customers will feel about your company. Your voice and look and feel should align with that. But if the customer experience does not line up, you have dug yourself a hole.

How do you build a brand? Interaction-by-interaction and customer-by-customer.

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