No matter how much money you spend and the lengths you go to in order to create a certain image or perception, that’s what it all boils down to.
You can influence what people say about you, but can’t control it.
Some hotels, for example, want to be perceived as luxury or high end brands.
Their price reflects this, their quality of service, the staff they hire, the physical branding such as signs and logos, even the food on the menu, the sheets on the beds and the way the staff speak – everything all focussed on delivering a high end, luxury experience befitting of this ‘brand’ they think they’re creating.
With a spare half hour between social media training workshops, Gary and I popped in to a leading hotel for a spot of lunch yesterday. We’d been in before for meetings but never eaten there. Lunch was first class, in an excellent setting, we both felt good about the brand.
Then, I went to use the gents. And endured a wrestling match with the toilet roll which was locked away in a secure metal casing with the cheap paper itself packed tight so that even the most experienced yoga practitioner would have had a battle extracting anything of use.
Now, I felt bad about the brand and Gary and I left the hotel discussing how irritating it is when great businesses let themselves down with little details such as these. A ‘home away from home?’ You won’t need a pin code and a hyper-extended elbow to use the toilet roll if you come to my house.
It seems trivial but those details matter and they underline the importance of making sure everyone from the Chief Executive to the work experience boy understands the brand values and the role they play in achieving them. Training can help get this across.
Perhaps this hotel sub-contracts maintenance of the lavatories to a 3rd party? Perhaps the cleaner doesn’t see himself as representing the brand? Maybe the hotel management consider the toilet I used as part of the ‘public’ area and therefor not worth bothering about?
The bottom line is that what had been a good experience of this brand ended on a bum note, and that’s frustrating because with a little more attention to detail that wouldn’t have been the case.