Who are you questionSo marketing can get pretty confusing when it gets down to the “deep” stuff.  You’ve got your brand, which isn’t the same as your logo and it also isn’t the same as your kitchen and bath manufacturer brands; and then you’ve got your identity, which isn’t the same as your brand.  Confused yet?  Don’t worry; we’ll clear it up as best we can.

Brand, logo, and identity are all commonly confused, and not without fair reason.  For instance, when you think of your favorite shoe brand, the Nike swoosh logo may come to mind; which is precisely why people tend to get them confused.  But, what that means, is that Nike did an awesome job of creating a logo to represent their brand.

What is your brand?

Hopefully your mind didn’t immediately jump to the manufacturer brands that you sell.  If it did, then your branding strategy likely needs some attention.  Your brand can be described by the impression your dealership makes on kitchen and bath buyers.  For instance, how they feel when they hear about your company or see your products.

You may have one idea of what your brand is, but some people in your target audience may have a completely different taste in their mouths.  Brand is ultimately dictated by its audience, but managed by your company.

Basically, everything your employees do, everything you choose to sell, how you handle discrepancies, the types of warranties you honor, and even the way you set up your kitchen and bath showroom can all play into your brand.

Take the department store Nordstrom for example.  You may be thinking, “Quality products, great customer service, amazing return policy and clean bathrooms.”  If that’s the case, they’ve done their job, as their Nordstrom Cares blurb states the following:

“We’ve always followed a simple philosophy when it comes to running our business: Leave it better than you found it. This also describes Nordstrom’s commitment to social responsibility. Since our early days, we’ve focused on doing the right thing for our employees and our customers. We continue to make every effort to be an ethical company where people want to work and shop. We’re working to leave it better than we found it.”

Now, if you were one of the people thinking “Nordstrom: rude employees,” it’s likely you have a story to back that up; and you’re a great example of what a poor customer service experience can do to taint your brand image.

Your kitchen and bath dealership’s brand is so much more than its logo, and it’s deeper than the identity.  We’ve discussed brand before, so if you’re still having any confusion, take a look at Nick Ritota’s “What is Your Brand” article for the K+BB Designer’s Corner, and then compare your understanding of brand with “identity” and “logo” which will come in Part 2.