Photo of handshake and quote: Helping organizations better define who they are, what they do, how they do it, and why anyone should care!

Branding Bytes Archives

Issue 35:
Thoughts On Using Social Media

Issue 34:
Reigning in Public-Private Partnerships

Issue 33:
Seven Ways to Avoid Toxicity In the Workplace

Issue 32:
A Few Bad Apples Bruise the Brand

Issue 31:
Branding Beyond the Logo

Issue 30:
The Yin and Yang of Celebrity Leadership

Issue 29:
Want to Raise More Funds? SPEAK UP!

Issue 28:
Government Funding Cuts: Act!

Issue 27:
"We Are Sorry":
Your Brand is Your Behavior

Issue 26:
Tell Your Story

Issue 25:
Good Leaders

Issue 24:
Think "People,"
Not "Organization"

Issue 23:
What's in a Name?
Just about Everything!

Issue 22:
Is Your Mission
Getting Creepy?

Issue 21:
Welcome to the Age
of the New Normal

Issue 20:
"Receptionist" vs Director of First Brand Impressions

Issue 19:
It's Not About How Your Message is Delivered

Issue 18:
When it Comes to Your Brand, Details Matter

Issue 17:
A Good Brand Requires TLC: Just Ask My Wife!

Issue 16:
Toxic-Work-Environment Syndrome Can Tarnish Your Brand

Issue 15:
Adjusting to the
New Face of Need

Issue 14:
Tired of all the Doom and Gloom? This is Your Time!

Issue 13:
A New Year's Resolution: Don't Cut Off Your Nose

Issue 12:
What You Do Is
About All of Us

Issue 11:
Ethical Standards
and Your Organization

Issue 10:
Leadership: Whose Journey is it, Anyway?

Issue 9:
Giving Circles
and Branding

Issue 8:
The World's Richest Men
— and Philanthropy

Issue 7:
What is an External
Brand Audit?

Issue 6:
Keeping Everyone
on Brand Message

Issue 5:
What is an Internal
Brand Audit?

Issue 4:
Turn Board Members into Better Brand Ambassadors

Issue 3:
Leadership, Vision
— and Branding

Issue 2:
What's 1st—Organization or Brand? / Govt. Cuts?—Branding Helps

Issue 1:
Branding Myths

Issue 17, Winter 2010

A Good Brand Requires TLC: Just Ask My Wife!

My family has been going to the same dental practice for years.

Although one of the most expensive in town, this is a group of professionals who pride themselves on acquiring and knowing how to employ the latest in dental technology (most of which seems focused on pain reduction, which I think is the reason my wife likes it so much).

The waiting area and examination rooms are attractively appointed; all the dentists and hygienists are extremely skilled and personable; and the receptionists are as warm and friendly as can be. Even the Musak playing softly in the background is agreeable.

In short, this practice is not simply about dentistry. This is a business that over time has distinguished itself by building a solid brand image around the ultimate in professionalism and state-of-the-art dental technology delivered in a peaceful, soothing customer-friendly environment. These attributes are the covenant, or promise, the practice has made to its clients-and it nearly succeeds at making "going to the dentist" seem like a pleasant experience.

And as my wife likes to say, "I don't mind paying a premium for that."

As a result of this kind of appreciation for and loyalty to the brand, she and I never hesitate to recommend the practice whenever someone asks us if we know of a good dentist in town.

Ding in the Brand

Imagine my wife's shock when one day she calls to make an appointment and is treated differently than she expects from this business.

"I can't believe it," my wife said to me in exasperation after she hung up the phone. "I've never been treated like that before by anyone in that office."

Now, my wife isn't someone who often complains about being mistreated. On the contrary, she has worked in the education field for years, mostly around teenagers, and subsequently has a high level of tolerance for what others might consider less than civil behavior. But after getting off of this particular phone call she was visibility upset.

"The receptionist was simply rude to me for no reason," she huffed.

"Maybe she's just having a bad day," I consoled.

"Maybe so," replied my wife, "but I don't think Dr. G would be happy if he knew that one of his patients was treated this way."

And therein lies the rub. The brand image that Dr. G and his associates take such pride in promoting, at least in my wife's eyes, was ever so slightly tarnished by that one bad phone call experience with a receptionist.

Now, does this mean that our family will no longer have our teeth cleaned, drilled, extracted or capped by Dr. G's practice in the future?


But there is now a small chink in the brand, and I can assure you that should another incident like this occur, my wife will, at the very least, be less inclined to recommend the practice to others.

The Moral to the Story

When we speak about creating or defining a brand for a business or organization, we're not simply talking about developing an attractive logo and catchy tagline that can be slapped on stationery, signage, brochures and the like, and, voila, we have a brand.

On the contrary, a brand is fluid and dynamic — and everything that an organization and its staff do is a reflection on its brand. The quality of its products and services, the way those products and services are delivered, the way staff treat and relate to customers, funders, partners and each other, and how people perceive who you are and what you do are all part of the brand experience. It gets down to even how your phone is answered.

Just ask my wife!

As always, I look forward to receiving your feedback, questions, success stories and branding challenges. Also, if you are in need of a motivational speaker, trainer, branding consultant/coach, or management consultant who can help you answer the questions: Who are we? What do we do? How do we do it? And should anyone care? I invite you to for more information.

In the meantime, good luck with your branding! — Larry

About Branding Bytes

Branding Bytes is a FREE quarterly e-newsletter courtesy of Larry Checco of Checco Communications. Please feel free to forward Branding Bytes on to others. However, Branding Bytes is copyrighted and may not be reprinted or reproduced without attributing Larry Checco of Checco Communications as its source and providing the following website address: Thank you.


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