One of our Armitage, Inc. clients is a high-level Michelin starred restaurant that sits at the top of a large hotel resort. They are an absolute gourmet foodie’s haven, and a delight to work with as they’re constantly innovating and moving forward.
Unlike any of the other restaurants in the hotel, my client is a tenant. This means that, while he’s supported by the hotel’s in-house marketing team, he is not necessarily promoted or treated as a priority. They have their own restaurants to promote, and, that’s why my company is on board.
A couple years ago, we updated the restaurant’s brand identity and messaging and sent it all out accordingly. As a refresher for you, dear reader, when we create Brand Identity for a client it, in its most simplistic, answers the following two questions:
- Who are you?
- Does anyone else know?
Once Brand Identity is out there, the absolute importance of Brand Congruence steps into play. Brand Congruence is vital in the ongoing tale of your story, from seemingly insignificant pieces such as name tags and presentation materials to the ongoing messaging you present in every level of media to the outside world.
On our end, our Brand Congruence for this client is quite solid. We’re providing weekly deliveries of content, ongoing menu updates, releases and announcements, videos, in house materials – we’re consistent.
But just because you’re sending your Branded material out in a consistent manner does not necessarily mean that the recipients are treating your Brand with the same reverence. This isn’t malicious or a fault on their side necessarily – it just is. It’s your job to protect your Brand, not theirs.
This became immediately clear when, in the middle of several hotel changes last week, we discovered a few errors in various materials the in-house team was publishing in respect to our brand . . . even down to incorrect reservation phone numbers. Unfortunately, we didn’t even know these pieces existed until, by some random act of God, they began to land at our feet. Fortunately, the team worked with us quickly to repair the errors, but we’ve still lost time somewhere along the way. In today’s world, messaging is moving at a per-second speed. If that messaging is wrong, you’ve lost more than a few seconds.
End message: Even with weekly and monthly communications with the outside world, and even when working in joint ventures with others who are positively supportive of you, understand that you – and you alone – are responsible for following up, asking for usage examples, begging politely to be involved in final approval processes before pieces are printed by third parties, and then collecting those pieces just to be sure everything turned out OK.
Protect your brand. No one will ever care more about it than you do. And nothing is more important, period.