Wake and District worked with a local Raleigh designer, Joel Perrego of VAST DESIGN on branding our band. We told Joel and his team we are a public safety bagpipe and drum band – formed in 2006, serving those who have chosen a career to serve others. Our mission >> to provide a distinguishing tribute to our fallen comrades and to be in service to the family, friends and co-workers of public safety employees of North Carolina. Our desire is to strengthen relations between the protective services and the public while preserving cultural heritage and enriching our community by providing quality traditional Bagpipe and Drum music. Our motto >> For Our Fallen << would become our shared value as members of Wake and District.
Change “company” to “band” and “employee” to “band member” – and apply the message in this article to your pipe band.
Successful companies don’t just have a brand identity, they create a total brand experience. A total brand experience causes people to FEEL their brand, and I can’t think of a finer example of a Company who has mastered creating a total brand experience then Disney.
Several years ago I was asked to come out to Disney Studios in Burbank, California to meet with one of their executives to discuss the film incentive program we offer in the State of Utah. I have always been a huge fan of Disney, from their theme parks to their family films, but it was on this particular trip that it struck me just how much Disney had mastered the art of creating the total brand experience. And as a CEO myself, going through the experience at their Studio that day gave me all kinds of ideas on how my own company could learn from Disney’s example of how to create a total brand experience.
It could almost go without saying that the décor branding Disney does is nothing short of amazing! From the moment you pull up to the street for Disney Studios you see the rod iron fence has Mickey Mouse heads molded from iron inside the fence. When you get past the guard you see a grassy area with a bronze statue of Walt Disney sitting on a bench next to Mickey Mouse. Every wall is covered with framed movie posters of the films they have done. The restaurant for lunch was inside the Studio and even the chair backs were wooden with carved out Mickey Mouse heads. They completely envelop you in the Disney brand and you just FEEL that Disney brand while you are there. It made me realize the impact it has when a company carries their brand through every aspect of their offices. For example, if a company is international they could add international flags outside of their building to have the brand identity felt from the time some drives up. But it can’t stop there. The brand needs to be tied into each room of the office, from the lobby to the restrooms, there needs to be brand elements incorporated throughout the entire space that create a feeling of your Company’s brand the way that Disney does.
In addition to the décor, a brand experience requires the efforts of the people.
“You can dream, create, design and build the most wonderful place in the world. But it requires people to make the dream a reality.” –Walt DisneyWhen I arrived at the security gate of the studio the guards greeted me by name with a huge smile on their faces as if they were so excited that I had arrived! They expressed how honored they were to have me visit them. They made me feel like I was the queen of the castle arriving…it felt really nice! It made me realize how impactful that initial impression is when you first arrive at the front entry of a company. Little things like having a welcome sign with the arriving guests name displayed as they enter the building and having a person assigned to await the guests’ arrival so they can enthusiastically greet them by name can make all the difference in showing your guests that you value them. In true Disney fashion, you could even consider rolling out a red carpet runner for the arrival of those extra special guests.
After passing through the entry, they then directed me to the next guard station where the guard had a badge printed with my name, the date and time, and the name of the Disney executive that was hosting me for the day’s visit. That was a nice touch as it made others aware of who I was there to see. Every company should give a badge like this to their visitors when they arrive because it helps the guest feel more comfortable and it alerts employees of who the guest is there to visit.
At the end of the day I understood why a Company’s brand experience is dependent on the behavior and attitude of its employees. A nicely decorated lobby will become meaningless if the employee at the desk isn’t willing to greet a visitor with a smile, and the employee on the phone isn’t willing to create a “wow” experience for the customer they are supporting.
The best way for any company to begin transforming their brand identity into a total brand experience is to have the Leader communicate their Company’s desire to create it and ask the employees to help them to make it happen. Ask employees for ideas on how to use design elements to incorporate the brand into every aspect of the company office décor. Ask every employee to think through every single touch point where a customer has any interaction whatsoever with their company, whether it be a touch point in person, through a company website, through a company software application, or over the telephone, and create a comprehensive list that includes all of those touch points. Then walk through each one and have each employee give ideas on what can be done to ensure that a brand experience is created at every single one of those touch points and have them vote for their favorite ideas. Then use the best ideas to create an overall action plan that can be implemented throughout the organization.
Including every employee in the process of coming up with ideas is the best way to garner support from each person in the organization. Everyone enjoys the excitement of being part of the improvement process and everyone appreciates knowing their ideas are valued by their company. Walt Disney was bold in letting his people know how pivotal they were, stating “The whole thing here is the organization. Whatever we accomplish belongs to our entire group. A tribute to our combined effort. I feel there is no door which, with the kind of talent we have here, cannot be opened.” With a leader like that it is no wonder that they have been able to create the magical brand experience we all know and love called Disney.
Amy Rees Anderson (follow my daily blog at www.amyreesanderson.com/blog )
Vast Design helped Wake & District understand who we are through a creative, strong and humble design which speaks volumes. The mark consists of FOF, For Our Fallen, making the shape of a shield. The checkered Battenburg pattern is traditional and worn by the band members (read more on why we wear checkered Glengarry hats here). The mark represents everything Wake & District stands for, “For Our Fallen”.
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