A couple of years ago, Mercedes commissioned a market research firm to identify all the ‘touchpoints’ its customers had with the brand (in other words, all the different ways that customers interacted with the brand). How many do you think there were?
The answer (from memory, which may be a bit hazy) was about 250. Now, I can’t even think of 250 ways that I could stumble across the Mercedes brand, but they did.
We all have touchpoints for our personal brand. These can be formal, like your business card, or informal, like meeting you in the lift. Imagine you’re walking down the road and someone bumps into
you. You’re in a foul mood so you turn round and shout abuse at them.
Later that day you’re in a meeting. What if they other person witnessed
your outburst? What if they were the one you shouted abuse at? What
will they be thinking of you? Your personal brand is under scrutiny all
If I think of my own personal brand, then I can think of the following touchpoints off the top of my head:
I could keep going. It’s a bewildering array, and one which you wouldn’t necessarily appreciate until you start to write it down. What’s more, the principles of branding, and integrated marketing communications, suggest that you should strive to maintain consistency (the recipient gets the same message regardless of how they encounter your brand or when) and clarity (they can understand the message easily) across ALL of them. In other words, no matter how someone encounters your brand, the brand message and values that they get should be the same. Which is a bit of a kicker when you realise that not all of your touchpoints will be under your control. Moreover, they should get regular exposure to your message (‘constancy’).
In a future post I’ll write about what you can do about the stuff that is outside your control. For now, however, I have an assessment exercise for you.
I’ve put a template for this exercise on the registered user area of my website. To download a copy go to the site and register. It’s free, and you won’t find your inbox filled with a stream of spam.
And of course, if you don’t know what brand message you should be communicating, if you need more control over your brand, if you need some clarity and consistency, or if you’d like some ideas for building constancy, email me and we can discuss how your brand is doing.
Bye for now