When I am living in one of our other Laptop Life locations, let’s use Florida for example, life is completely different. Don’t get me wrong, I love our home in Florida but things are different. In Florida when I finish my day’s work I either run off to squeeze in an hour at the gym, run errands, or I start to cook the evening meal. If I’m lucky I get an hour or two to sit in the quiet of my sun-room reading.
When I finish my day’s work in Italy, Mark and I will wander down to the main street of the town. We settle in at one of the many outdoor cafes. Perhaps we will order a glass of prosecco, or an aqua frizzante. The townsfolk wander past in their finery. Up and down the cobblestone street with their dogs and children yelling at each other and running around their feet. We will chat or read, or just sit and watch the evening arrive.
Italy knows how to brand life. It's called La Dolce Vita.
No matter where go you in Italy they are consistent in the way they live. Think Italy and think good food, long meals, wine, friends and relaxation.
Last week we were doing the above. I had just downloaded all my favorite magazines in to my Zinio app on my iPad (a must have if you don’t have it) and turned the page to see this…
Because this is on my iPad and I can only see only half of the double page advertisement. The name of the company and the logo are not visible. I didn’t need to turn the page. I didn’t even need to read the text. I knew instantly that this was an ad for Ikea.
That pretty logo that you just paid a design firm $10,000 for isn’t what branding is about. In this case it was completely unnecessary.
In Italy all the stores close for 2-3 hours at lunch so that people can go home and eat a slow meal with their family and take a nap. That’s sending a clear message to the “customers” of Italy. Without a logo. Italy infuses the “dolce vita” consistently, without fail, in to every aspect of Italian life. A brand must consistently, without fail, infuse everything they do with the values and customer promises that represent their brand.
I knew this ad was Ikea because of the layout, the font and the way the price was presented. It’s consistent. It never varies. It looks the same in their catalog, their store, their website, their advertising - and it tells me exactly who Ikea is. A no-frills, practical, inexpensive company who cares about good design.
Who is your company? Not, what is your company, but who is your company? What do you care about, what do you promise, what are your values? Do you present your brand to every customer consistently, in every interaction? From the words on your website to what people say about you, from the products you choose to sell, to the sound of the voice of the person who answers your customer care line. How are you telling your story… consistently.