Ghandi said it better when he said, “My life is my message.” I can’t improve on that, but it makes me think how brands fail to walk the walk. When a brand screams personal rebellion to the mainstream, but ends up succumbing to it within a year it shows that the brand was a thin veneer made up probably by marketers.
Before you give marketers a bad rap, though just remember that we are given the task to brand the message, but it is still the company’s job to live it out. If you ask your marketer to write “we provide a warm and inviting atmosphere with personal attention as our focus” only to have people walk in and not be greeted or helped, it is not the doing of the marketer.
What can be pinned on the marketers is their ability to ask great questions. Marketing messages only work for the long-term when they match the experience customers have at your business day in and day out. Integrity in marketing comes when the message matches the experience.
So as Ghandi said, “My life is my message,” I ask you, “Do you live out the message of your brand?” I know a salon and spa owner who always has the most gorgeous and trendy hair. I know a shoe store owner who lives and breathes shoes. I know a creative agency owner who asks herself “Are we really better than the average bear?” “Are we really hatching fresh ideas daily?” Keep in mind that everything you do is living out your message:
When you fire an employee you send a message of what it actually takes to get fired.
When you fail to deliver a quote on time you are sending a message that new business is not really that important to you.
When you fail to require excellence from your team you are sending a message about what you’ll accept.
When you badmouth a client when they leave you send a message of duality.
When you purchase sub-standard quality products and still charge your premium price you send a message that quality is variable in your store.
Take a look at your mission statement, logo, tag lines, blogs, social media posts, anything and everything. Ask yourself if you are really living the message of your brand. Whether you need to change your message or change the brand experience, do it and gain integrity. Working at a company that is out of alignment in this way is exhausting to the owner, the employees and ultimately the customers.
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