18 February 2023

What We Do at McGillicuddy Hospitality: Part 1

Creating Brand Standards

When we engage with a client, one of the first and most critical tasks for us is to establish that brand’s promise to their customers. In some instances, our clients have pre-defined their brand promise, but surprisingly many brands have not yet completed this important step. Our goal is to ensure every team member knows and understands the brand promise and is motivated and trained to deliver on that brand promise every day, so having it stated clearly is mission critical!

Brand Promise and Brand Standards – what is the difference?

A Brand Promise is what a customer can expect from a brand, whether in the form of a product (think Apple, McDonalds, Nike) or in the form of a service experience (think Four Seasons, Qatar Airways, Starbucks). It is often somewhat abstract and can be best defined as to how that product or service makes you feel, rather than anything more tangible.

Brand Standards describe in real terms where a brand will consistently deliver on specific experiences as part of their customer journey. This may be as simple as the “opening the box experience” that Apple does so well, or the friendly greeting one receives consistently at a Starbucks counter or drive through kiosk.

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Our expertise is to help define these brand standards for you and your brand. We like to keep the total number of standards to as few as possible – after all, if you expect your team members to deliver on these brand standards with every guest or customer every day, then they need to be kept to a bare minimum, so they are easily committed to memory in a tangible and “sticky” way.

Where do these brand standards come from? We harvest the information that makes up these standards from your top performing and often longest tenured employees. These are the valuable team members who are already delivering to these brand standards every day, even if they are not documented or stated anywhere. They tend to be the ones who are in high customer contact positions, and excel in their roles, thriving on repeated successful interactions many times per day.

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We create your Brand Standards by helping capture these unique traits that make your brand stand out and provide these to you in a format that is easy to understand and digest, so we can build training around these as part of your Onboarding Program and ongoing Customer Service Training.

Often the very act of getting these clearly documented, in as visual a way as possible, is powerful in terms of your team realising what your brand promise is to your customers or guests. This is the power of well written brand standards – everyone can get behind them and can act upon them, in every interaction, with every customer, every day. After all, the power of this consistency is ultimately what differentiates world class brands from their competitors.

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