After a rough start, my day got better. And, then… crash, bang, dddddiiiiiii, booooommp… I finished the night sleeping in a bathroom!
Earlier I spoke about my bad day and the three simple things to do to create a great brand.
Now, to add a powerful extra chunk…
- When I book a flight I expect to fly.
- When I book a hotel room, I expect a bed to sleep in.
Obvious? Absolutely. This is merely the starting point: what’s your obvious brand promise?
And, here’s the addition… what’s the unspoken or expected promise?
- Should I expect my flight to be on time?
- And, if it isn’t, should I expect something in return?
- What is the promise being made here?
The Airline Industry
The airlines of today operate on a tight schedule. They send out planes on point and return schedules. The quicker the plane flies to one destination and returns, the more money is made. Unfortunately, it’s like dominos. Once one plane is delayed they all are.
As a passenger I receive a cheaper ticket because the airline is more efficient. However, do I also risk my flight being delayed? Is this the unspoken part of the deal? This is important. This is the point where your brand reputation occurs.
It’s in the delivery of your promise AND in the expectation of your audience.
Sleeping in a Bathroom
A second example and back to sleeping in a bathroom… No, I wasn’t drunk. There were no drugs or alcohol involved.
I had a very early start in the Sydney CBD the next morning. Thus I flew up the day before and booked a cheap hotel as close as possible to my morning venue. It was a cheap hotel, The Grand Hotel in Hunter Street, booked through an online hotel site. (I’m naming and shaming today!) The room was decent and I had a shared bathroom down the hall.
At about 9:30pm it started. The roadworks outside my window – a window that didn’t close properly. There were trucks, cranes, workmen, jackhammers. The noise made it difficult to watch the small TV less than two metres in front of me. Yes, it was that loud.
With no staff available and no spare rooms, I felt my choices were limited. I tried to sleep for a couple of hours amidst the noise to no avail. And, then a brainwave hit me. I picked up the single bed mattress on the spare bed and dragged it down the hall and squeezed it into the bathroom. And slept the night sleeping in the bathroom. It was not great and it was better than my other option.
Clearly, booking a room with a bed to sleep in is not enough. My expectation was that conditions would enable me to sleep okay. My expectation was also that if this was not going to be possible due to something the manager knew about then I should be told about this.
And, given my experience, how should we clean up this mess? Should I get my money back or write it down as a bad experience worth blogging about?
Three Big Brand Questions for You…
- What are you promising?
- What are your customers expecting?
- What are you delivering?
It’s when these three circles intersect and overlap that you brand gains power. It’s the sweet spot to aim for.