B-Y-O-B: Build Your Original Brand – Part One: Identity

BYOB - Build Your Original Brand


5 Keys to Building Your Original Brand
Nike.  Just Do It.
Apple.  Think Different.
McDonalds. I'm lovin it.
L'Oreal.  Because You're Worth It.
Meow Mix: Tastes So Good, Cats Ask for It by Name.
What happens in Vegas Stays in Vegas...
These are just a few examples of effective taglines that are tied to some great brands.  In the greater business world, branding is a promise to the customer and so, as I like to do in Monday Morning with Marty, let's translate this concept to our attractions world:
Branding is delivering our promise to our guests
Over the next few weeks, we'll explore the five keys to building your attraction's original brand.  Here's our plan of attack:
  1. Identity - Today
  2. Quality - May 9
  3. Service - May 16
  4. Wow - May 23
  5. Consistency - May 30
What is your company's mission?  When I teach my BLOOM Growth Formula around the country, I usually kick off each training session by asking one of the course participants to read the organization's Mission Statement.  Then, we go around the room to share our own thoughts on these words and how they impact our own daily actions, interactions, and routines.  It's a wonderful exercise that reminds everyone that what we do and what we say should always tie back to our mission and deliver on our brand promise.
What are the benefits and features of your products or services?  Another exercise that I like to do when I present the BLOOM Growth Formula at an organization is to ask participants what they are selling?  Before I allow them to answer, I ask them to close their eyes and to then imagine this:  they are with their family or with other loved ones and the day is winding down.  They've experience everything from A to Z.  They are exiting the attraction.  Then I ask them What's going through your mind?  How are you feeling?  Most often, they respond with happy, satisfied, and fulfilled.  Then, I ask them again, what do you really believe that we are selling?  Their answers--family time, togetherness, and memories--go hand-in-hand with fulfilling our brand-promise.
What do your current and future guests already think of your attraction?  Good or bad, guest perception is reality.  Maybe there has been some bad PR in the past.  Sometimes, we find ourselves recovering from and reacting to incidents in the world around us.  In the zoo and aquarium world, everyone has been watching intently as events continue to unfold at the SeaWorld parks.  Facing declining attendance and bad publicity surrounding the treatment of their killer whales, the organization recently announced that it will not only end its killer whale shows but also the entire breeding program.  Once the iconic centerpiece attraction at all SeaWorld parks, it seems that the entire face of SeaWorld's mission and brand will need to change.  The jury is still out on whether or not these changes will alter public perception and improve attendance.  Public perception is critical to building and maintaining a strong brand.
What qualities do you want them to associate with your company?  Two popular resort destinations sit just North of my home in Florida - Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando Resort.  Each has its own qualities that people directly associate.  For example, people always rate Disney as one of the best service providers in the world.  Disney World is also viewed as great for younger kids because of the family friendly attractions and experiences.  In contrast, Universal Orlando is more favorable to older kids in their tweens and teens because the rides are more thrilling and even scarier.  Neither set of qualities is bad or undesirable so long as they fit with the organization's mission and values.
Defining your attraction's brand identity can be an in-depth, uncomfortable process.  You need to understand specifically who your guests are and what you plan to offer.  Do your research and involve others.  Get out into your park or attraction and talk with your guests.  Share your mission and ask your guests if they believe you are delivering on your promise.

"Good business leaders create a vision, articulate the vision, passionately own the vision, and relentlessly drive it to completion."

- Jack Welch