André Gide (1869–1951)
French writer, Nobel Prize winner
Have you ever entered a store and discovered that what they sold inside was not at all what you thought?
I spent one summer in the passenger seat of a Host Ice delivery truck. It was a great job because I did not mind being sent on the long trips through the Texas panhandle – delivering ice to small-town gas stations, grocery stores and restaurants. It was a great gig because I would nap between the small towns and then load the ice bins of the store while the driver completed the sale.
As I delivered ice, I encountered many businesses that portrayed a clean and freindly appearance in the front of the store, but were severly disorganized, chaotic, angry, and sometimes unsanitary in the back room or food preperation areas. I knew which restaurants were dependable and clean and which I would never eat from again.
I discovered a truth then that was reminded to me when I read Jay Conrad Levinson’s Guerilla Marketing. Something he emphasized there was the need to communicate your identity not your image.
You see, an image is a mask. Something we create to be accepted by others.
An identity is the core of who we are. It’s what makes us unique. If our “image” does not align with our identity, we are false and dishonest.
Your marketing brand is not just a pretty logo or name – it’s the reputation attached to that name and logo.
You have to create a harmony between the image and message you send and the experience your customers receive. The reason McDonald’s can get away with grease-in-a-bag quality is because you have no different expectation. You know what you’re getting. (By the way – I love the McGriddle).
What are you communicating about your experience that your customers aren’t getting?