by Michael Noel, MBA | April 4, 2018
Think of your favorite fast food restaurant. One of the main reasons we go there is not the culinary experience – it’s the reliable experience! No surprises! No doubt we rely on the consistency of the product that sets our expectations – which if met means we will return.
We do associate the restaurant with its product – the food. Usually when you pull into the drive-through you already have in mind what you want to eat. Most likely it’s what you ate the last time you pulled through there. And there are cars behind you waiting, so unless you’re my wife, keep it moving!
There is the menu which may drive our choice between the options out there – but the secret sauce is in the process as much as the Triple Stack Meal Deal. Useful processes are highly duplicable and repeatable. If repetition is the mother of invention, her other children are instruction and retention.
Now we do need our distinctive options, our catchy catch phrase, our unique and awe-inspiring logo which link minds to our menus that set us apart. The process of branding is consistently impressing those things upon our customers’ minds, early and often.
But don’t stop there! Brand your process. The things that you do consistently in creating your customer experience are just as important as always using RED HEX #CB4335 (one of my favorites) or Goudy Old Style 12 point font.
If your business has competition, you must set yourself apart to gain and maintain your customer. Differentiation can be a unique service or product – but it can also be the unique way you deliver your product or service. And, if this unique twist can be done the same for every customer every time – your process is part of your brand.
This is where instruction comes in. I have always had pets. Most usefully, retrievers, but really any pet will do. Training a pet (or as it turns out my son) is really about training the owner to be consistent. If you tell your kids to stop doing something and start counting to three, you are teaching your kids to count to 2 ½. If you tell your dog to “sit,” you have to be willing to get up and gently sit them after five seconds if they don’t sit. If you keep saying “sit,” the dog is learning to count how many times you say sit before you get up or blow up. Make sure your process can be learned and at what cost to make sure it is worthwhile.
I’ve been in some nice hotels. The one I remember best was one that greeted me at the door with a cool moist towelette on a hot day. The valet took our bags, put them on a cart and led us to our room, stopping along the way to tell us about some of the art hanging along the hallway. That was quite the first impression! Catalogued as the most impressive place I’ve ever stayed, I felt special; though in reality, no more or less special than every guest they entertained because it is their consistent process.
Consider your processes that accomplish critical consistency and unique diversification and make sure that they are as much a part of your brand strategy as RED HEX #CB4335 or Goudy Old Style 12 point font, and then do them every time!