In the civilized world, there are two kinds of people: Those who do not take their phones into the loo – and uncultured brutes who have no sense of personal hygiene.
Today, I was at Cafe Coffee Day in Indira Nagar, meeting someone I wanted to collaborate with. The meeting went long and during the course, I had to use the washroom.
In the washroom, there was a poster by Lifebuoy reminding me to wash my hands.
That was the first disconnect.
Cafe Coffee Day, outside in the cafe, had done a strong, thematic branding. They have standardized their colours, fonts, design and offerings. But, this Lifebuoy poster was jarring. Someone had taped it up askew and it contrasted horribly with the tiles. It was slapped on haphazardly, and didn’t gel with the rest of the experience.
Next, I turned to the sink and I saw an old Dettol soap dispenser, with the sticker faded and worn out by excessive use.
That was the second disconnect.
Again, it was jarring. I was expecting Lifebuoy, but I got Dettol.
And then, when I took the soap out of that dispenser, it was definitely not dettol. It was a local substitute.
For most people, these three disconnects may seem trivial thing – it’s just soap. This makes even more sense when the majority of the people don’t even wash their hands after using the loo.
That said, this story is a strong metaphor (and symptom) for an underlying problem many brands face – lack of alignment.
Many companies invest a lot of time, effort and people on bringing in the money. Sales matters. It’s all about how well they can do in this quarter, this month, this week etc… And in such high pressure situations, things get thrown out of alignment.
Here is a simple, self assessment test to see where you stand with regards to alignment:
- Do you know what’s the key brand story you want to tell always?
- Do you know how to translate this brand story into different messages?
- Are you telling the same message on each platform?
These are simple questions, but not easy to answer. If you need help figuring this out, Domination Labs can help.
Domination Labs helps you reach product/market fit by working on your positioning, messaging and funnels.
If you like this and want to see how this can work for you or your brand, get in touch with me and we can take this forward.
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For now, this is Arvindh saying over and out.
P.s. Wash your hands next time you’re in the loo.