What's the first thing people think of when your brand is mentioned?
What is the first thing someone thinks of when your brand is mentioned? Service? Quality? Burned out light bulbs? What is your brand?
What do you immediately think of when I write Las Vegas? How about New Orleans? How about Los Angeles? What about Disneyland? They each have a very distinct brand and that brand may be different based on your own life experience.
Camping World definitely has a brand image among the RV community and it’s not one people would likely be envious of. There are actually RV forums where mention of the brand will get you warned on the first go, kicked out if you do it a second time.
They’re aware of this as well. Very well aware of this. So they bought another company. Then they changed the name of that company. Then they got the rights to another name, and there is speculation that they’re going to change their company name to that new name.
But they’re also aware that it’s cheaper to keep an existing customer than to earn a new one, so the company has been reaching out in rather dramatic and significant ways to help quell the tide of negativity about them. They definitely have a vested interest in turning our frown upside down.
The bottom line, from my perspective, is that they’re Camping World. The name kind of says it all. They’re the place to go for camping stuff. That includes RVs but also RV-related supplies and gadgets and plates and signs and such.
You know. Camping stuff. Hey, that’s not a bad name.
Seriously, though, changing the focus and the name and the offerings and on and on is hurting a brand that already has a giant public relations issue. And it’s a lesson for all of us.
What are our brands? What do we stand for? If someone mentions the name of your business what’s the first thing that comes to mind? This is something to try out for a lot of us - ask people to think of the very first thing that comes to their mind when your business is mentioned.
Sometimes you may find that what the customer thinks and what you have in your mind are something absolutely different. This may or may not have to do with the name of your business. For example, until they absolutely owned the “search” market nobody would have associated searching the internet with the word Google. But most of us don’t have the luxury of being able to have such a universal reach with our businesses.
Think of the name of many drugs on the market and the association comes from the reinforcement of their marketing and messaging and staying focused on their brand. For example, none of us would associate the word “Viagra” with what that product is intended for until a very successful marketing campaign.
Please take a moment to think of all the stupid Viagra jokes you possibly can. Go ahead, I’ll wait. Not longer than four hours, though. Then I’d call my doctor. Or the Guinness Book of World Records.
Imagine that phone call. “Hey, can you guys come over, I’ve got something to show you.”
So this might be a time to see what people’s actual impressions are of your business. If those impressions are inaccurate, perhaps it’s time to work on that. This could either come through messaging, or reorganizing your branding or look or just reinforcing your brand with your customers.
Funny thing I was just looking at some photographs of a resort that were sent to me and, all around the pool, the company had put up signs advertising the services they offered. So this beautiful Alpine setting was marred by an absolute over saturation in messaging. This is less than an ideal way to reinforce your messaging. There is a fine line between subtle and drowning.
What’s your message and do you need to focus more on that?