Reinforcing the brand promise

I've accessed public access wifi spots for almost five years now. Airports, hotels, coffee shops, restaurants, etc. I saw something today that I hadn't seen in those five years: a layman's, clearly written, self-describing SSID. It was at the Tully's coffee shop near Union Station (Seattle), where the SSID is "Tullys Free Wifi." Not earth shattering, not going to change the world, but it gave me pause: why is it that this is the first time in five years I've seen something like this? You'd think someone by now would have wanted to reinforce their brand.

But that's Tully's. I think they are local to Seattle, but probably have as many branches as Starbucks. Locals who know coffee and coffee shops generally prefer Tullys to Starbucks - better coffee, better service, nicer area to lounge, and now free wifi (finally). They are truly customer-oriented, and that's reinforced even at the level of detail of their SSID.

But, back to the point of my post: why don't companies take advantage of every customer touchpoint to reinforce their brand?

Perhaps one of the hardest things in product management is to understand what exactly to do at touchpoints. Let's use product documentation as an example. Most of the time, product documentation is use based - what are you trying to accomplish? In my last product, I took a different track - find out who the customer is, and present content tailored for them. Not to the level of personalization, but profiling. Ask a couple quick questions about them: how big is their business? Do they have an existing e-commerce site? Voila, based on answers, I now know whether to give three bullets as an answer or to explain the terms I am talking about. Quite effective, and feedback from users was that this was better than hybrid models with mouseovers and "click here."

No comments: