As a Certified Brand Strategist here at Force 5, I am always on the look out for brand done well and brand that needs help. Both are easy to spot. I have found two examples of wonderful brand ambassadors locally and want to share them with you.
The first example of a great brand ambassador is one of my favorite people, Andrew Snyder, Vice President, Community Development and Marketing at Saint Joseph Regional Medical Center. You can’t help but notice that Andrew is always impeccably dressed and has a quick wit. That alone does not make a brand ambassador. It goes deeper than that. While meeting with Andrew, we traveled from the lobby through the hospital to get to a conference room. Andrew said hello to EVERY person he passed along the way. Not a polite hello, but a genuine “hello, how are you?” We passed a lot of people on our way and every time it was the same. It is a small thing, but just adds to his personal brand, and the brand of the hospital. That brand is “caring.”
Most times it is the small things that bring your brand up a notch from good to great. It is how people in your organization present themselves and reflect the company brand.
The second example I have of brand done well can be found at one of my favorite places, somewhere I have visited since I was a little girl, the South Bend Farmers Market. There is a booth there called “A Dedicated Life” owned by Cara Matheis. Cara’s booth specializes in organic, vegan and gluten free foods. The booth is attractive and easy to browse, but that does not make it exceptional. What makes it exceptional is Cara herself. I stopped by her booth and talked to her about her raw bars. She was very knowledgeable and friendly. The other thing that I have always noticed about Cara is how she presents herself. There were times in August when it was very hot and there is Cara with a stylish dress, headband and big smile. Not what you would necessarily expect of a vendor at a farmers market. Always put together and looking stylish – as well as approachable. It’s these qualities that make her brand exceptional.
It’s a good reminder on how everything, from how you answer the phone to the presentation of your product on the shelf, represents your brand. Both of these stories are great examples of internal branding. The takeaway here is that your brand must be internalized before any external branding is undertaken. We have all had bad customer service encounters where the experience didn’t match the brand. Whatever your brand, make sure its internalized first—making your employees are ambassadors of your brand will always be your first step to success.
If you’d like to find ways to get your brand on track, Force 5 can help!