Branding isn’t about your logo or brochures—it’s about how people feel when they see those items, says Scott Stratten, author and president of the unconventional marketing firm, UnMarketing.
“Whatever people think about them, they’re right,” says Stratten. “Your job is to either enhance or disprove that bias.”
People do two things when they see a logo: Think of their latest experience with the particular brand, or the most memorable experience they either had or heard about, Stratten says.
But stories can change how people view brands.
Stratten cites a story about a family who stayed at a Ritz-Carlton and left their son’s favorite stuffed animal behind. A laundry worker there found “Joshie,” and the luxury hotel returned the toy via overnight mail—along with photos of the stuffed giraffe on an “extended vacation,” a letter from the general manager, and a laminated employee badge (loss prevention department), all at no charge.
“Now, what comes to mind when you see the Ritz-Carlton logo?” Stratten asks. “See how a brand image can change due to a story that didn’t even happen to you?”
Scott Stratten on the CUNA News Podcast
Stratten includes this story in his book, “UnSelling,” creating substantial word-of-mouth publicity for the company.
“We all want word-of-mouth,” he says. “But to get it, you need to do things that are worth talking about. You have to evoke emotion because we share emotion.”
Notably, this story was created by a laundry employee and a front desk clerk, whom the organization empowered to fix a problem.
“Do you want to improve your bottom line? Enhance your front line,” Stratten says. “When you trust and empower your employees to fix things, they do.
“The point is that everyone within your credit union is the living, breathing brand,” he continues. “They should feel this.”
Stratten addressed the 2018 CUNA Governmental Affairs Conference.
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