As some of you know, I think about branding frequently. Concerns about branding and how to do it right seem ubiquitous in the circles I travel in. Some of my copywriting clients are building a brand identity. Some, like Cisco, are actively involved in preserving, extending, and reinforcing one. And, so far, my projects with Taproot Foundation have been all about branding and messaging.
I love thinking and writing about branding at the local level. Here’s an example.
A few weeks ago, as I was driving past a neighborhood hardware store, I noticed it had become part of the Ace Hardware system. Would the change would be good? As a girl, I don’t spend a lot of time in hardware stores, but I love Wisnom’s . The people who work there answer dumb questions—and give great advice—with a smile. Thanks to Wisnom’s, I’ve gotten rid of cat pee odor, experienced superlatively sharpened kitchen knives, bought the right size sink stopper, and so on.
I drove by a few days later and noticed that signage had been repositioned to accommodate the Ace logo. The building’s façade looked pretty bad, what with the outlines of the old signage showing clearly. Could this be it, I wondered? Would it stay like this permanently? Oh me of little faith. I should have thought better of Wisnom’s. In less than a week, painters had completely covered the marks—and the rest of the building—with a fresh coat of cream-colored paint and repainted the harvest-red stripe that bands the top of the building.
Mu point is that Wisnom’s and many other businesses in my little town take the time to do things right. Of course, you could argue that Wisnom’s was merely acting on instructions from Ace HQ. I disagree. Owned by Ace or not, Wisnom’s would have made the fixes, because of the kind of organization it has always been. No wonder customers keep coming back. (“Fantastic hardware store! Forget Home Depot.”)