Good Branding Gone Bad – Don’t Let It Happen to You

Do you have everything branded with your logo and contact information? Branding experts recommend consistent labeling to make mental impressions every time a customer or prospect sees anything affiliated with your business.

Smart business owners invest heavily to follow those recommendations. But, what happens when the consistent labeling is combined with a bad experience. One action by an employee can alienate a group of people.

Western North Carolina is in the middle of a gas shortage. Most stations are out. Others are enforcing limits. Some folks have found themselves waiting two hours or more to buy 10 gallons of gas.

Today, I waited in line to buy gas. The line snaked through the parking lot and out into an access street. Businesses line both sides of the street. The waiting cars offered spaces between them at the entrances for patrons and employees to cross the line.

After being on line for about 20 minutes, I noticed a van approaching an entry that was two cars ahead. The van was angled as though it needed to cross the line to exit the access road. The gentleman in front of me stopped so the driver could cross the line.

He didn’t. He pulled into the line, effectively avoiding half of the wait. It happens. You offer a kindness to a stranger and end up regretting it. The driver of the car through his hands in the air in frustration then sat there simply shaking his head. There wasn’t a fight, name-calling, or horn blowing. Just simple disbelief.

But this wasn’t a regular stranger. This was a stranger driving a van decked out in its company’s colors. From every angle, everyone watching could see the branding. And no one was smiling. I am confident, not one person was thinking, “I’ll check that place out next time I am here.”

Quality branding is making good mental impressions. In your next employee meeting, make sure that everyone knows your customers and prospects are watching. Positive actions make people happy and more likely to choose your company. Negative ones, well your mom taught you better than that!

Moral of this story: Don’t brand unless it is POSITIVE!

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