What’s your claim to fame? How is your brand memorable in your community? Are you the go-to business for sponsoring non-profits either monetarily or with volunteers? Do you have a big annual blow-out sale? Do you get wacky at Halloween or St. Patrick’s Day? Crazy sports fan? Brand is all about personality and personalities are memorable.
It doesn’t really matter why your brand is memorable (well, OK, your right it has to be either positive or at least not offensive). But memorability counts. I used to work for a financial company that was well known for our crazy car sales in July, and I mean crazy! They would pick a theme – say The Swiss Alps (no, I don’t know where they got the themes) and everyone on staff would have to dress up in costumes like you might find in the Alps (cows, mountaineers, robin hoods?) for two weeks straight. Naturally, there would be cow bells at every desk that had to be rung periodically, and who could forget the free swiss chocolate that was given away to every customer. There would also be a drawing for a Swiss Alp vacation during the promotion period. Of course the staff hated the promotion (who really likes dressing up like a cow for two weeks straight) – but the customers found it charmingly goofy and were willing to play along for the chocolate, drawing, and killer loan deals. They would also seek us out at the beginning of July every year to see what the new promotion would was. I’m pretty sure they also held off buying their cars for that promotion, we did more business in those two weeks than we would the rest of the summer.
This company became known for our wacky, all-in promotions. And it was no surprise when the local university went to the community and asked them to compete to win a spirit contest, that our financial institution came out head and shoulders above the competition. The reason was simply that the culture of our organization was primed and ready to make it memorable and to go all out. Going all out was more than a summer loan promotion – it defined our approach to customer service. And the correlation was definitely not lost on our customers – when they need a financial institution they could count on to go all out for them, guess where they came? It wasn’t very long until the entire community understood what that financial institution stood for, and the business came pouring in.
Now I’m not saying that in order to be memorable you have to dress your employees up in cow costumes and give customers chocolate (well, that second part helps) to be memorable. You have to decide what you want to be memorable about your own company. What fits with your brand? What does your manifesto lend itself to? What is appropriate for your personality? Are you service minded, how can your company take a stand for community service? Do you love the color of periwinkle? Can you get some killer periwinkle bags to put your customer’s purchases in? Are you a prankster? How can you have fun with April Fools Day?
Your brand should be an extension of your personality. Don’t be afraid to put it out there. Sure, you may turn off a couple of people – but they weren’t likely to be long-term customers anyway. You’ll win more customers by being yourself and being memorable.