Are You Ready For A Rebrand?
I have not been known to frequent Popeye’s Chicken as a part of my day to day activities, but I do prefer their fried chicken over other fast food brands – and my preference is strictly based on the taste of the chicken – certainly not their service.
Last week when Shea and I had to take a trip to “The Walmart” (inside joke) we stopped at the Popeye’s Chicken in the parking lot and had dinner. We have been to this location before and it has never been high on my list of the cleanliest restaurants I’ve been to. Set typical scene:
Brown tiled floor with darker brown grout that leaves one to wonder if it’s grime or the actual color of the grout.
Bathroom where you are particularly careful to use napkins (or your elbow) to touch anything in there.
Counter that is slightly greasy to the touch. I’m sure they wipe it down – I’ve seen them do it – but for some reason it is never quite squeaky clean.
But this visit was different.
As we walked in we noticed that they had recently remodeled. The lights were brighter. The old walls were covered with a fresh new wallpaper in some areas and new (vintage designed) wooden slatted walls on others that had the appearance of having been inspired by a farmer’s market. The counter’s were new. The old dingy partition that once separated the front counter from the rest of the restaurant had been removed and a new lower paper goods and condiment station was in its place, opening up the restaurant to make for a much larger and spacious feeling room.
They had done a really great job! I somehow now felt that my chicken was antibiotic free, possibly free range, before it was my dinner. The whole place made me feel differently about my food. I looked at Shea. “Wow”, I said. We both nodded in agreement.
We were now at the counter.
One employee was tidying up in the dining room – not daring to look in our direction.
Several other employees were in the kitchen area – not daring to look in our direction.
One woman came from behind the counter to wipe down the soda and tea machines. We were not acknowledged.
Shea and I contemplated leaving and eating elsewhere. Shea gave me that look that says “Geez women. Wait a damn minute!” So, I waited.
Finally, after what seemed an eternity, a woman walked over to the register, shared a dangerous look with the women still cleaning the dining room (you know, the one that says, “Bitch, it’s your turn to run this register!”), and while never once actually looking at us, asked if she could take our order.
And there it was – the mentality of the employees had stayed the same. There was no change for them. It was business as usual. The whole place had transformed into this happy fresh space and yet they had been unaffected by it, as if they weren’t even aware the change had even occurred.
And the whole place went back to being exactly as I had remembered it being on every other visit – a crappy filthy restaurant that is good for some quick cheap chicken, but nothing more. The new found fondness that I had for Popeye’s had disappeared in an instant.
And all of the money they spent on rebranding was lost.
Which brings me to you – and your business.
A lot of our clients ask us for help with rebranding their business, and we always ask WHY?? Has something changed? Have your clients changed? Have you changed?
Because you can get a new logo, or a new website, any day. But are you ready to start truly LIVING OUT your brand in all that you do? Are your employees ready too?
If you’re struggling with sales, doing a crappy job with follow up, not taking care of your business (not making your customers wait a damn hour to be acknowledged before you take their order!), or whatever your personal issues are, then slapping up a perky new website (or wallpaper or signage) isn’t going to fix you.
You need to take an overall assessment of your areas of struggle and start working to correct those issues – before you spend a bunch of money trying to recreate yourself and end up falling into the same bad habits that caused you to want to make the changes and updates to your brand in the first place.
We all need to keep up with the times with our image and branding, but we need to be realistic with our expectations – can a new awesome website transform a customer’s impression of you? You’re damn right it can! But what happens when they send that email? Or call your office? Are you still able to deliver on that makeover??
Moral of the story – Don’t be a Popeye’s!