- Silent Selling
This week’s post is the 2nd in a three-part series around the topic of Better Branding.
Marketing: How To Avoid Common Brand Muddles
The biggest challenges – that we have seen when mystery shopping hundreds and hundreds of craft businesses – are two areas where a craft brand seems inconsistent and sends mixed messages to the consumer. These are what we call brand muddles.
Consistency Is The Key To Success
Brand Muddle #1: Inconsistent Branding
The first type of brand muddle is when our intuitive feeling or “gut check” is conflicting with what we know the business website promises and/or what the desired brand story should be. Just because we know what the brand is, it doesn’t mean that this is being translated accurately to consumers – customers’ internal assessment may not be what the owners thinks it is, or wants it to be.
Solution: Everything Speaks! Be Thorough.
The lesson here is to help your staff – and improve your brewery or winery guest experience – by being consistent. As Disney says it so well, “Everything Speaks” – a concept that emphasizes that every minor detail says something to your guests. It puts them in a mood or a frame of mind that can affect their experience.
Once your desired persona / brand position is clear, does everything else match it? Consider your backstage – those things that need to be in place in order for a perfect performance or guest experience:
- Your venue and layout
- The design of your guest experience – From tour script to tasting options to guest journey mapping
- Your staff knowledge, skills, attitude and dress
- The music. The lighting. The bathroom.
- Does your visual merchandising and peripheral sales items tell a story that reinforces the desired brand image – or did someone just think buying generic tchotchkes were a value-add and interesting to your consumers?
Try to ensure that everything in your craft business – front stage and backstage – speaks to your brand and your brand/business goals and continually monitor it. It is hard to judge for yourself, so on an on-going basis, having objective audits – of their brand gut check, through someone else’s eyes – is really important.
Storytelling: Achieve A Memorable Impression
Brand Fumble #2: Don’t know how to achieve a Memorable Impression?
The second type of brand muddle is where the guest walks away from a visit with no real memorable impression…without any understanding of how your craft business is really different from the one down the street. It’s tough. Let’s use wine for example, if a typical wine country visitor sees 6 to 12 wineries per wine-country visit, how is an individual winery ever going to stand out? What can they do to make sure yours does?
Solution: The Golf Course Test.
Imagine a couple just got back from visiting wine county and the next weekend they are on the golf course. Their friends ask them about their trip and want to hear about their experiences. Bob is about to tee off and says: “We went to XYZ Winery, and…” This fill-in-the-blank is where the individual winery brand needs to come through… it’s your guests’ take away and what they remember from their visit to your winery.
The answer to achieving a memorable impression is storytelling. Storytelling helps to share interesting, relevant things about the brand. Try to think about a brand story that is so impactful that you would remember it a year from now. The best tasting room and taproom performers – the best salespeople – are all great storytellers because they weave a good tale. The best stories are not just any story, but those that teach you something, give you a sense of the company culture, values, and tells you what it is about the brand that makes them different.
What brand stories have you heard that appeal to you emotionally? These types of brand stories are what is going to resonate with your guests long after they’ve visited. And, storytelling isn’t only appropriate in your tasting room or at your brew pub. It should also be carried over in your engagement on social media. When is the last time yo heard of a new brand’s slogan like Nike’s “Just Do It”? You don’t. Slogans have taken a very back seat to the art of brand storytelling, and social media is now where great brand stories are now told and shared.
If you provide personal, genuine, thoughtful service, people will remember you – and your brand.
If you provide personal, genuine, thoughtful service, people will remember you – and your brand. If you are also consistent with your brand message and tell great brand stories, people will remember your brand longer. Don’t forget, you are not just selling a craft beverage, you are selling memories. Make it a positive, lasting one.
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