“We don’t have an awareness problem. Everyone knows Tinder. We have to change the way people think about it.” This is a quick paraphrase from a blog interview where an exec talked about the dating platform and how they are approaching the future of the app.
This exec is right. Everyone knows Tinder, and we all get what “swipe right” and “swipe left” means. There’s no awareness problem at Tinder. Most brands would kill for the kind of visibility that Tinder has in the marketplace. Even if you’re not dating, you know what Tinder is… or at least you have a perception. Where the challenge shows up is in the assumptions people make when they think about the brand.
We’ve said in the past that brand is how people talk about you when you’re not in the room. It’s your reputation. It’s how people see you. It’s where their mind drifts when they hear your name.
So how do you control the story they’re telling about you and what they think about you? There are two ways to do this…
First, tell people what you do and how you show up. You’ve heard us talk about brand messaging before and the power of storytelling to attract customers. Your message is key to your success, from the stories you’re telling on your website and in print to what you’re saying in person. It’s how you control the assumptions. And today, more than ever, it’s also a powerful tool for attracting new employees.
Here’s the challenge… for all of us. Once you say it, you have to do it. As Will Rogers once said, “It takes a lifetime to build a good reputation, but you can lose it in a minute.”
Do what you said you were going to do. This is the second (and most important) part of this equation. As you’re working hard to cultivate that solid reputation and what people think when they hear your name, this is essential. It can also be really freaking hard. When we’re busy, doing what we said we would do can be challenging. Making realistic promises and then keeping them can test us. It’s a challenge for us every day and something we are continually working hard to do well. Sometimes we fail, but we’re constantly aware that we need to live what we say.
Say it. Then, do it.
Look at two areas within your business today. First, what kind of brand messages are you putting out into the world? Do those messages capture who you are and how you want to show up? Second, are you staying true to those messages and showing up the way you said you would? Are you living what you profess and doing what you say?
Ready for more?
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