As a small business owner, many of you will realise that you are an integral, essential element of your brand (For more reading on what a brand is versus branding check out Amy Purdy’s great blog here).
It’s true, how we behave, what we say, our customer service and our desire to deliver the very best outcome are how our customers will remember us. This is our brand. But the ‘branding’ collateral (logo, colours, flyers, email signature, fonts, freebies etc) is important in supporting how people perceive us and whether they want to engage with us.
I am aware that for many people, coming to a training course is a nerve-wracking experience. It’s out of most of our comfort zones to sit in a room full of trainees, introducing ourselves, learning new things (which in itself can be daunting) and then doing something with this new knowledge to benefit our businesses.
My awareness comes from being in a classroom for years. Children can’t learn if they are unsettled or have something praying on their mind. Neither can adults. This being the case, I’m on a bit of a mission with the Sparkle Training room aka my office. I’ve striven for six months to get it ‘just right’ for anyone coming into it.
There’s a hand-made sideboard for the essentials — tea, coffee, herbal teas, sugar, sweetener, cold drinks, crisps, biscuits and treats. There’s even some soya milk. I try and have as much variety as possible to meet everyone’s tastes.
The couch and chairs offer a comfy place to sit, then there are the pictures on the walls, the cards, the blackboard, the whiteboard … everything has been thought through to ensure delegates and visitors are relaxed.
It is always tidy before the visitors arrive. The first impression is vital.
Why go to all this trouble? Because it is an essential element of my branding. In the last few weeks, there hasn’t been one delegate who hasn’t commented on how comfortable, light and airy the space is, how the view is wonderful, that the office is a home-away-from-home (my favourite so far).
With the addition of some beautiful, hand-made and unique art work from the amazingly talented Miranda Petersen at Kit and Caboodle (click here to read more) my office is just about set.
If this attention to detail and lovely learning environment is what the delegates, friends and guests of Digital Sparkles remember when they leave, then it’s done its job.
How does your branding make your customers feel?