A brand is based on your customer’s thoughts and feelings, good or bad.
I remember walking into a small vintage shop once. It was in one of those wonderful historic neighborhoods that offer a certain charm and grace to visitors; where you can stroll along Main Street and visit shops, get a bite to eat, or have a sip at a tavern.
My first impression was how tiny this shop was. Nevertheless, there was so much to look at: jewelry, clothes, scarves, old books, trinkets, and more. Items were thrown everywhere, but, alas, not much room to move or walk around. Inventory management didn’t seem a high priority.
After a few minutes I heard a mumbled, body-less voice coming from somewhere to the right of and above me. And it was startling, because I hadn’t seen anyone when I came in. Or even a cash register area, for that matter. And I didn’t know where this voice was coming from.
Turned out it belonged to the store owner. Apparently, the only available spot for him to conduct business was from the dark narrow stairs that led to the second floor: sitting down and out of view, lurking behind the clothing, scarves, and other end items hanging along the banister.
I made some quick small talk and left. Honestly, it freaked me out a little and gave me a feeling I can only describe as creepy. Unfortunately for him, “creepy” became his store’s brand image in my mind.
A brand is a promise delivered
Get inside your customer’s mind and figure out what you can do to meet their needs. And then do it.
Nick Rice from www.smallbusinessbranding.com offers this advice:
“Branding is managing the thoughts and feelings of your customers to ensure that you are what they desire. If your desired brand image isn’t what’s in the minds of your target audience, you’ve got to figure out where the gaps are and how to address them. And fixing those issues is hard work because the old adage still rings true – the customer is always right.”
In my vintage shop example, the owner prioritized convenience over customers. If he hadn’t, the products in his store would have been better managed to allow a sitting area for the shopkeeper, visible to customers, which would have given off a friendlier vibe.
Because it’s all about the experience.
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