What is the real color of apple juice? Is it black, brown, or gold? I posed this question to a few colleagues in the office and the responses I got were very interesting. One said that apple juice is the color of ‘strong tea’ if you are an African you can relate. Other responses were; color of beer, brown, golden brown, dark brown almost black! From these responses, it is clear that people see things in different perspectives depending on how they have interacted with them
It is the same way people perceive brands. What is the ‘colour’ of your brand? What ‘colour’ does your target market associate your brand with? The responses that will be given will be based on the kind of interaction the target market has had with your brand. If they experienced poor customer service or they love your products and services, or how efficient your company is then they will give the ‘colour’ in relation to that. The question we should be asking ourselves is, What ‘color’ do we want people to see of us?
PR is about building the reputation of a company in order to win more customers and to retain the ones we already have. PR might be talking of how efficient, caring, industry leader with best products and services your company offers but on the contrary, your company could not be practising them hence the target audience get a different ‘color’ of your company. As George Bradt wrote, “They won’t believe what you say. They will believe what you do. It only works when what you believe, do and say align.” For PR to be effective, companies should strive to give their best to the target market consistently.
A story was once told of a restaurant that offered good service to its customers on the initial days after its establishment however, as the months went by, customers started reducing in number as a result of poor customer service and some were complaining how the quality of food has gone down. Eventually, the restaurant closed down. The news information was contrary to the services being offered and as a result, customers got a different ‘colour’ of the restaurant. Nothing kills credibility faster than not practising what is preached. If the restaurant had practised what they preached consistently, it would have retained its original ‘color’.
Therefore it is important that we professionals set good examples that will translate into positive public acceptance. You can do little things like greeting your colleagues or customers well, presenting yourself to the pubic in a clean professional manner, being courteous and even doing something as simple as appreciating every act of kindness from other people. These all contribute to clearing up poor stereotypes that might be held by the public. Remember PR is about reputation.
What is the true ‘color ’of your brand?