Branding Bliss

The goal of any brand is to become a part of the fabric of our culture.  To have their name become synonymous with a product or service the way Kleenex did with facial tissues, Coke did with carbonated cola beverages and FedEx did with overnight delivery.

When I was a teenager and young adult, McDonald’s was still a “new” and growing concept.  Where still a part of American culture both here and around the world, another brand has emerged to take their place.

That brand?  Starbucks.  My evidence?  The many postings of mocked up Mars Rover photos from the “surface of the planet” that have been posted by friends all across the country.  Here are two:

I’m sure the marketing team at Starbucks is doing the happy dance over this.  To have customers so accustomed to your brand being there, being a part of your life, a part of monumental moments (which the Mars Rover landing was indeed) is to accomplish branding bliss!

So how can you gain better branding awareness for your business? Consistency and repetition.  No matter how you advertise, how many locations you have, how much you have to spend on branding you must be consistent in look and message over and over again in all forms from media, social media,  physical locations, vehicles, uniforms – everything – to effectively imprint in your customer’s mind.

Whether you want to be the next global company or just your community’s “go to” source for whatever you do, you have to be consistent.  Consistent in images such as your logo and branding colors.  Do you even need to see the word “Starbucks”?  How often do you only see the mermaid circle logo or even just the green umbrellas and still you know it’s a Starbucks.

You also have to be consistent in delivery of your goods and services.  At Starbucks you always know exactly what you are going to get.  There is a standard for everything – even the iced tea mixing cups are marked with lines for tea, water and ice for each size.  That’s why the iced tea is always perfect.

In a Las Vegas hotel Starbucks, I watched an employee make my iced tea NOT using the company provided shaker cup and I could tell from the looks of it that it was going to be too strong and not to my liking.  So I asked him to make it using the branded shaker cup which he begrudgingly did and one of his team mates said “He does it that way all the time and people don’t complain.”  I then said “When it says Joey’s over the door, he can make it his way.  I came in because it says Starbucks.  As long as it does, customers expect it be made the Starbucks way.”

Consistency and repetition with a fierce protection of your brand and standards – that’s the secret to finding your business log on the next remote planet we visit!


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