When you fully understand your brand (see What’s Your Story?), you can work on expressing it clearly and consistently every time you communicate, no matter the medium. Whether you call the components of branding brand expressions, brand or customer touchpoints, or customer experience, know that you’re expressing your brand in every transaction and interaction with your customers and the public. Everything you do in your organization brings your brand to life in the world. It’s up to us to carefully manage what we do with this important asset.
Stephen Tolerico, Chief Marketing Officer, Sewell Automotive Companies, in a recent talk the Dallas/Fort Worth Chapter of the American Marketing Association, says that his organization recognizes 682 customer touchpoints – and they strive to get them all right, every time.
Understanding branding is easy – everything matters.
– Howard Schultz, founder of Starbucks
I don’t have 682 touchpoints, but here are 44 to start your thinking about how you express your own brand in everything you do.
- Not just your logo! But your expression of your brand in all media:
- Logo image: symbol and/or wordmark
- Paper selection
- Fonts and typefaces
- Elevator speech
- Mission statement
- Vision statement
- Positioning statement
- How you answer your phone
- Quality of service
- Staff attitude and professionalism
- Ease of access of service or product
- Everything printed or created for your organization – brochures, proposals, letters, business cards, signs, handouts, etc.
- Your website
- Presence on other websites and directories
- Your social media presence – your pages and your posts
- Integrity – consistency between what you say and what you do
- Public relations, press releases and articles
- Email signature lines for everyone in the organization
- Mass emails
- Events – type of event, invitees, style, location, etc.
- How you handle problems
- Annual report
- Promotional products
- Signs & banners
- Partnerships and strategic alliances
- Grants – which grants do you apply for, and how do you write your grant proposals?
- Customer/donor/supporter database. How do you communicate with your supporters? Do you pursue supporters who specifically fit with your brand?
- The interior design of your facility
- Snacks and amenities at your facility
- How people are dressed
- Product/service packaging
- The vehicles your people drive
- Your online and offline advertising
- Speeches and presentations
- Volunteering and other community projects
- Non-profit sponsorships and donations
- Invoices and sales tickets
- Loyalty program
- Trademarks and servicemarks
- Proofreading and writing quality of your written materials
- Response or wait times
- Salesperson and representative actions and demeanor
- And probably the most important of all these brand expressions: Word of mouth
Planned or not, your brand is communicated in every single thing you do – or don’t do. It is easy to overlook the reality – you communicate your brand every time you perform your service, offer your product, or interact with the public.
All of these components will work together to build your brand in the eyes of the public.