The True Test of a Brand

I arrived this afternoon in Anaheim, California for a Business of Eyecare Forum being held tomorrow.   After a four hour flight from Chicago where I hosted a Cleinman Performance Network meeting this past weekend, I had but one thing on my mind.  A pilgrimage of sorts. 

Upon arrival at my hotel, I checked in and dumped my bags in my room.  I hailed a cab and enjoyed a nice conversation with the cabbie during the twenty minute ride to and from my destination.  It was a most interesting coincidence that my driver was Muslim and in the midst of celebrating Ramadan, which entails 30 days of fasting from dawn to dusk.  Fasting was the furthest thing from my mind. 

What I found fascinating as I wound my way to this very California destination was that the cabbie told me that he had many customers who did the same thing as I.  For him, he said, it was pretty much a weekly occurance.  As I thought about what I was doing, I thought about the fact that my destination sells only about 4 products and hasn't added a single new product of significance in its 60+ year history.  What is so special about this particular operation is that it remains family-owned and the owners have been very, very singular in their focus.  They haven't succumbed to the more natural instinct to expand their product line and add additional options.  No, they deliver one thing and do it very, very well.  In fact, their customers often describe this business in cult-like terms (including yours truly) and it has evolved to include its own language

I share this story with you as a benchmark to measure your own brand and brand-development strategies.  In my particular case, I was more than willing to invest $35 in round-trip cab fare to enjoy a $5.84 purchase…and never got out of the car.  Would your patients/customers do the same to participate in your brand experience?  What might you do to develop the same brand-loyalty?



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