A Lesson in Brand Consistency

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When Walt Disney told his wife he wanted to open an amusement park she said, “Why would you want to do that? They’re unsafe and filthy.” But he went ahead and did it anyway and as they say, “the rest is history!”

To this day, Disneyland gets hundreds of thousands of emails and letters every year. Do they mention the characters? Yes. Do they mention the rides? You betcha. How about the food? Yes. But the number one reason people write to Disneyland is to remark about how safe and clean the park is. Yesiree, Walt’s number one objective when launching the park in 1955 still holds true today. Talk about brand consistency!

This is all by design.

Walt believed that the people who clean the park and the ride operators are the most important people in the entire organization. They keep the park clean and the people safe. But more importantly, they have more interaction with the park goers than anyone else. They are the frontline. They know everything about the park. The next time you are there ask one of them when the parade is or where you can buy a turkey leg – they have an answer for everything!

So, who is on your front line? Who in your agency has more interaction with the client than anyone else? Do they have the answers? Do they keep your clients safe? You may not need to keep things “clean,” but you do need to keep your clients happy and coming back for more. Who do you trust with this responsibility? Do you train them?

We sometimes lose sight that we create long lasting interpersonal relationships with our clients. They trust us to have the knowledge and experience to deliver. How can you make sure this happens?

From the moment they make an inquiry call, to the pitch, your sales team is the front line. They are the initial touch point with the customer. They set the tone; the expectations; they represent your brand. They need to be equipped with answers and have the knowledge and skills to represent the agency. At some agencies these people become the Account Executive and are with the client for the entire process. They play a critical role from the moment a client says hello.

I took my family to Disneyland last week. We were barely on Main Street when my wife said, “This place always so clean.” As soon as she said that, I saw a mom up ahead drop a piece of trash. In an instant a Disney employee dressed in white appeared out of nowhere with a broom and dustpan and voila – the trash was gone. If you have been to Disneyland or Disney World, you know who I am talking about. It’s an amazing lesson on brand consistency. Case and point, last summer we went to another Southern California amusement park. While in line for a ride I noticed some dirt and wear and tear on one of the rides. I looked at my wife and said, “This sure isn’t Disneyland.”

Who do you want your agency to be? Disneyland or the other park?

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