I write about the things that matter to me. All opinions are my own.

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Friday, April 6, 2012

The Basic Unit of Branding Is Interaction

Children with Elena Budassi
Photo by Giorgio Minguzzi via Flickr

How you treat people, and their response to you, is your brand.

You ought to look consistent, talk consistent, do things in a consistent way, have a consistent name. Your mission should be consistent.

But at the end of the day you are judged by the quality of your human dealings.

It is very easy to mouth off in theory about the importance of being nice to people. But that is not what I mean.

Rather it is about achieving consistency in terms of your dealings with others. If they know what to expect and value the result you now have a usable brand.

--For example when you go to a club in New York the bouncer will often refuse you entry. You will go back!

--In a fancy department store they will wait on you hand and foot even if you are rude. Perhaps especially so. You will go back!

--When you interact with law enforcement they will treat you worse if you are disrespectful. You keep doing that and they will bring you back - to the police station! And that is exactly what you want, for them to insist on the proper deference that comes with a society ruled by law and order.

In organizational life this issue comes into play with respect to teaming.

If you are going to promote collaboration as your brand this is a delicate promise involving fidelity at every level and every instance of interaction.

Just one failure to to team - just one demonstration of self-interest, or lack of accountability - kills it. And it can be very difficult to revive.

When you interact with people, think about what you want them to come away with. Everything you say and do has to build that desire perception.

Conversely if they treat you differently than you want them to, it is up to you to teach them the boundaries.

If you find that your desires brand isn't working in real interactions, perhaps it is time to course-correct. Only build a brand that you CAN support - consistently.

Have a good day everyone - and good luck!