Who is the face of your brand?
I recently walked into a mountain town restaurant for breakfast, the name of which will remain anonymous to protect the clueless. I was greeted promptly by a young man who looked like he just got out of bed. His hair was dirty and matted, his t-shirt was stained and torn, and his trousers were hovering precariously around the vicinity of his knees. Then there was the monster dip protruding from his lower lip, bracketed by unbrushed and tobacco stained teeth. As he showed me to my table my appetite took precipitous dive.
If this sounds judgmental that’s because it is. Not of the young man personally—his lifestyle and hygienic habits are his to choose and not mine to judge—but as the face of the restaurant’s brand. This is a business he represents—one that serves food—and his personal choices did not serve that business well. Like most establishments that directly serve the public, this place had one shot to make an impression, create a memorable experience and establish a relationship with me. He did make an impression and it was certainly memorable. I won’t be back.
The essence of branding is the experience you create for your customers, most importantly at the initial touchpoint. First impressions establish the tone of your branding and set the stage for the experience that follows. So who makes the first impression for your business? Who is the face of your brand? Are you paying attention?