Do you know people who poke a hole in the bottom of a chocolate to see whether or not it's the one they want? The culprits I know never throw away the damaged piece they've decided against. They just sneak it back into the box. (As if no one will notice!)
What's even scarier to think about: are people poking a hole in your brand to see if they want it?
The great philosopher Forrest Gump taught us that "life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get." Like Forrest, some people are content to just go with the flow and take what life (or a brand) serves up. I think people like Forrest are few and far between.
Most of us are more discerning—maybe even downright demanding. After all, whether we're spending calories or dollars, we want value. We want WOW!, and we've learned that what's on the outside may not be a true picture of what's on the inside. So we cautiously poke holes in things to see if they're really worth it before we commit our valuable resources.
Here are some ways prospects or customers could be doing this to your brand (and it's probably happening without you realizing it):
- They ask your sales people "off the record" about your product.
- They notice—and mention it to others—when they see discord in your place of business.
- They ask distributors or others in the supply chain if they recommend your brand—or someone else.
- They go to glassdoor.com or other review sites to see what employees say behind your back.
- They call after hours or use your emergency lines to see what happens when no one is there.
- The really do check your references!
Try some of these techniques for yourself. Secret shop. Dig around. You may find warning signs that your internal brand isn't living up to its beautifully marketed exterior.
If your brand is well-aligned and authentic through-and-through, you're on the right track.
If your brand can't stand up to being poked and dissected, the cracks will soon start to show. What's left is unappetizing to everyone.
Tags: internal brand, brand strategy, alignment, value