Here’s one of my favourite stories about how important your brand is to your customers – and often in ways you might not expect.
One Tuesday morning, a junior member of the Customer Services team answered a phone call at the Macclesfield renowned department store Arighi Bianchi.
“Good morning, this is Arighi Bianchi. How can I help you?”
“I’d like to make a complaint.”
“I’m sorry to hear that madam, but I can certainly help. What’s the problem?”
“Well, I visited your store the weekend before last, to order a carpet.”
“I talked to Maria – very helpful she was – and she helped me pick out a beautiful oatmeal-coloured wool carpet for our dining room.”
“We placed an order and Maria said it would be delivered this morning, between 9 and 11.”
The customer services guy glanced at the clock – it was 11.30.
“I’m terribly sorry madam, has it not arrived? I can find out where the fitters are if you like..?”
“Oh no, they arrived about an hour ago.”
“Oh right. Is there a problem with the carpet?”
“No, no, the carpet’s fine – they’ve nearly finished fitting it. It looks great.”
“Forgive me for asking madam, but can you tell me what your complaint’s actually about?”
“Well you see, the fitters turned up in a white van.”
“A plain white van.”
“But I wanted all my neighbours to see an Arighi Bianchi van parked outside my house, so they’d know I went there for my carpet. Now they won’t know and I’ll have to find a way to tell them without sounding like a show off. I’m really disappointed.”
Unfortunately, I don’t know how the story ended, or how our bemused customer services guy dealt with the complaint, but what had happened was that Arighi Bianchi had sent their usual third party carpet fitters to the house and they turned up, as usual, in an unmarked plain (but very tidy) white van.
The customer was devastated that she wouldn’t have the opportunity for all her neighbours to see where she’d bought her lovely new carpet!
We often think about our brand identity influencing a sale – attractive packaging, website, printed materials etc. – but it just goes to show you should never underestimate how important your brand is to your customers in other ways – even if their reasons are slightly unusual.
Are you creating the right impression to your customers, and their friends and neighbours?
Is it time to review how your brand’s working for your business?
Tomango is a brand, web design and digital marketing agency based just outside Ringmer. Get in touch to book a Discovery session, and find out how to reposition your brand and make your business more profitable.