Do brands matter to you? Of course they do! But the right brands really matter. And if the brand has a consistent and relevant brand promise, there can be a great long-term relationship (and positive results) for everyone involved.

Driving on the freeway today, I noticed a big bus trying to get over into my lane. I had two options:

  • Speed up, frustrate the driver and cut two seconds off my arrival time. Tempting.
  • Slow down, let the driver move in and allow them to get safely where they need to go.

And I took the road less traveled by. I let the driver over.

Now you might say that you always do that. That it is just common courtesy. Agreed.

But why did I so quickly decide to do so?

In my case, it was due to a relationship. And due to quick and positive brand recognition. The bus was an OCTA (Orange County Transportation Authority) bus. And when I recognized the name, something changed.

Instead of seeing a bus (hindrance), I saw a person (a personality) I know here in town who happens to work for them (a well known and smart social media/PR expert). Meet Ted Nguyen. It is because of Ted that I had a positive reaction to that bus.

Ted does a great job of delivering a strong brand and brand personality for OCTA. So much that anyone who meets Ted probably leaves with a sense of energy and a positive impression of his company.

Want another example?

A few months ago I took a complaint (of sorts) to Twitter. I let the people @Crest (toothpaste, etc) know that one off their products wasn’t working quite right. Within a few minutes I had a tweet back with a very friendly solution. They reacted right.

And now I react differently when something from Crest isn’t perfect. I am more patient. More trusting and more loyal.

So what does a strong brand do?

It makes your users, consumers or customers more flexible, happier and more willing to be patient if things aren’t perfect. And that probably means fewer support calls, less complaints and more sales.

Oh, and more profit.

So who is representing your company? And what impression are they making?