Three mornings a week I wake up a few minutes early, step out and take a leisurely jog down Peachtree St. Down one of the parallel streets is the shell of a restaurant. It closed a few years ago, and for the past several months, has shown signs of intermittent remodeling.
The sign on the front of the building went up recently, which reads “The Daquiri Factory”. The sign itself, a rectangular lightbox, illuminated by a few interior florescent bulbs, affixed to the front of the place, is in the same state of disrepair as the rest of the building. Whether the bulbs inside the box are faded and flickery, or the sheet of almost translucent painted plastic is too thick to let that light radiate through, the signage, dark and dingy, is not an effective welcome mat. I must admit having enjoyed an occasional fruity umbrella drink, but this place is not likely to win my patronage. Yes, because of the signage.
A road sign is more than an item on a restaurateur checklist. It communicates to its public (those passing by) its identity. Consumers are smart. We’re marketed to a bunch. In a single glance, we can infer from signage a restaurateur’s priorities, processes, his attention to detail. If attention to detail, for instance, is so severely lacking in such a public-facing way, what will things look like behind the scene? Will the kitchen be cleaned thoroughly each night, or will it glossed over? Are liquor licenses in order? Are staff properly screened?
I don’t own a restaurant, and I can’t imagine the complexities of recouping the costs of a mortgage, taxes, wages and permits, one fruity beverage at a time. But I do deal with brands, every day. A brand is an organization’s public face. It communicates our identity, our values, our vision, and yes, the quality of our product or service.
What does your brand communicate about your organization? Is it what you intend to communicate to the world?