I was talking to someone the other day about the concept of brand. He is near the beginning of his career in a technology business and I was trying to explain how a brand is the promise of performance and is about so much more than just a name or a logo.
This meant that the work that he would do on a business’s systems, though nothing in this case to do with their identity or communications, would still play a part in establishing that brand through the experiences people would have.
To help him visualise the concept I asked him what he thought of when he heard the name “Volkswagen“. He said all the things you would think – reliable, solid, well engineered etc. I then asked him what would be the first thing he would do if he sat in a VW car in a showroom. His answer was “I would touch the dashboard plastics to get the reassurance that the build quality was what I expected”. In other words how did the plastics feel.
But if the plastics didn’t pass this “touch test” would this effect his perception of the car and VW? Absolutely he replied. Enough to potentially leave the showroom? Absolutely.
So here is an intelligent, logical and technical individual saying that his perception of the VW brand would be materially effected by whether a piece of plastic that cost a few pounds was of sufficient quality to pass his “touch test” expectations.
A reminder that a brand is made up of a huge collection of, often, small experiences, all of which have to add up to that promise of performance and pass our own “touch tests” everyday.
Does your brand pass the touch test?
Thursday, July 2nd, 2009