By their nature, new situations have a way of giving us a fresh perspective. As the newest member of the YMC team, I am enjoying this fresh set of eyes as I look at even familiar things. Take, for example, a Thanksgiving turkey.
The week of Thanksgiving, a YMC team volunteered at Miracle Hill Ministries’ Great Possible Turkey Fry in Spartanburg, S.C. Three of us were turkey pickers, one was a turkey prepper (which is not to say he was a turkey preparing for the end of the world), one was a potato transporter, and two, the real heroes, were onion cutters. For a couple of hours, we worked side by side with each other and volunteers from all over Upstate.
We chatted about how ready – or not – we each were for the holidays, favorite Thanksgiving dinner recipes, and other topics you address with strangers the week of Thanksgiving.
As the next round of turkeys were brought to the turkey picking station, a volunteer bumped into another and said, “Pardon me.”
He chuckled and said, “Pardon me, but do you have any Grey Poupon?”
The server, a young man who was no more than 22 years old, smiled but the reference was lost on him.
“He’s a bit too young for that, isn’t he?” the jokester acknowledged, and proceeded to explain the classic commercial to the whippersnapper.
“Some commercials just stick with us forever, don’t they?” another volunteer piped up.
From there, we were quoting famous commercials from the past few decades – the “Where’s the beef?” granny and the “Wassup?!” beer commercials, to name a couple.
We all have our favorite commercials – those moments or characters that always make us laugh or, the bigger challenge, make us smile through tears. (Here’s looking at you, sentimental card company.) I’d say if people remember your campaign 20+ years later, it was a successful campaign.
But branding is more than one successful campaign, even if it does last 20 years. Branding is also the quiet moments that are felt, not remembered. Any one of us will remember exceptional customer service during a particularly challenging situation and the company that provided it.
You capture attention with campaigns. You capture loyalty with that something special that’s felt.
So, what is your something special? Is it exceptional customer service? Or perhaps your ability to work with challenging customers or members? It could be any number of other outstanding qualities. What special niche do you cover? Why do customers or members keep coming back to you? What do they feel when they work with you? What is your value proposition?
Now, I invite you to look at your branding – the colors and images – and ask yourself if your value proposition can be found there in your logo, your imagery, your user experience (this one is huge), your employee buy-in, and everything else that you would define as your brand.
If not, I’m certainly happy to help.
Wendy McAnally, Creative Director, recently came to YMC from a large regional bank where she managed marketing and creative. She is a communications guru with a deep love for creative development, marketing strategy, copywriting, photography and production, specifically how they all work best together. You can email her at email@example.com.