Posts Tagged ‘Branding’

Yul Brynner

Yul Brynner in The King and I

Many many years ago when I tell my daughters the world was black and white I had the unfortunate experience of answering to an area manager. Every month he, and it was always a he would walk into the store like Yul Brynner in the King and I and point out every tiny fault. He would stroll in with his arms crossed and nod to a hanger out of place or float towards the only tie in the wrong section..an amazing sixth sense. We now live in vivid colour but I am sure this is still the case.

More than ever brand rules, so it amazes me that the modern day Yul would not notice something that would damage a stores credibility.

Recently I have had the pleasure of visiting the little boys room of three large concerns that I won’t name.. wait, no I will name and shame as they will never read this. The Shell Garage in St Albans, the King had obviously been in and everything was, as I imagine as the brand guide would demand. The shop was laid out to maximise functionality and to encourage us to spend spend spend and all very clean and tidy. I walked from the bright lights of the shop floor and entered the forgotten and neglected space called the toilet. The experience reminded me of when I was boat hopping around the Greek islands and was staying at a small taverna with the worst toilet on the face of the planet. My co travellers and I had to hold our breath and rush in and try and do our business before the need for oxygen became to strong and we had to give in knowing it was going to be nasty. A Greek taverna in the 80’s was part of the experience but a Shell garage today should not be.

A very clean Toilet

In this case a very clean toilet

Another company with a very strong brand and a very strong whiff from the back room is …. Drum roll please, Costa Coffee. They might be re inventing the coffee wheel with their wonderful new ‘Flat white” but the powers that be need to pay attention to their little boys rooms.

Anyone been to Paddington station recently and had the pleasure of spending a penny or as it now costs twenty pennies? You pay your money and enter through a turnstile like going into The house of horrors at a fairground. You then go down some steps and round a sharp corner… has a dog died? Have I mysteriously been transported to a zoo? This can’t be real. How can such a large public place where new arrivals from overseas possibly desperate to relieve themselves of twenty pence be such a dreadful experience. As I write this I can’t quite work out how best to get this across to you as I am not skilful enough to describe the almost alien environment that is called a toilet. I am sure Prof Brian Cox could get excited about the unusual living bacteria breeding in the room under the concourse at Paddington station. They even have shower facilities for weary travellers who want to freshen up. But how can you shower with a mask on?

Rant over.. I am asking myself with our company, The Day That where is our toilet door? I don’t have to act like Yul and check every photograph that goes out the door for either a unique wedding gift or Christening gift as the guy’s do it them selves. They check every picture over and it is their pride that will not allow any photographs to go out to a customer with the slightest blemish. They are encouraged to take pride in their work and so would never let the stench start in the first place.

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