A few weeks ago I received a flyer in the mail advertising a new fitness center located three blocks from my apartment. The flyer caught my attention because the images oozed sophistication and the copy read class. They claimed that the center was just remodeled into a chic and elegant gym, perfect for the working professional with a busy schedule. I was astonished when I saw that the seemingly exclusive fitness center was also offering a special for five sessions with a personal trainer for only $100. I was sold. So, a few days later, I threw on my gym clothes and headed to the fitness center to purchase my personal training sessions.
As soon as I walked into the gym, I knew that I had been deceived by the flyer. The small fitness center was not only dirty, but extremely hot and stuffy (apparently they didn’t have any air conditioning). The woman working at the front desk didn’t even know about the flyer that the center had mailed out, nor did she know about the personal training special. Even though I had the flyer with me, her manager was gone, so she said I would have to come back to redeem it. I quickly left, and recycled the flyer on my way home. There was no way I was ever going back to that establishment, not even for an amazing deal.
This is a good example of a brand gap. That is, a business that claims one thing, yet does not fulfill that promise in all arenas. In this case, the fitness center promised me a sophisticated, refined gym to work out in. They also promised me a great deal, once I joined. However, when I actually arrived at the gym, they did not follow through on that promise. The flyer and the actual place of business were two completely different brands.
It is important for all small businesses (whether you are a life coach dealing with clients via the telephone, or a yoga studio) to decide what position your brand is going to take, and then follow through on that position in all facets of your business. Your website, advertising, and customer service must work together in harmony, which in turn will help you build your business.
For more information on how to build a better brand for your business, check out www.smallbusinessbranding.com.