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Managing & Enhancing Your Image

Lesson Three:

Managing & Enhancing Your Image

If you are not a brand, you are a commodity.
Philip Kotler



This lesson will further explore the influence of the 3Cs. Remember that your brand needs to be clear and consistent, and you need to be committed to it.  By following the rules of the three Cs, you will be able to control and develop your brand and your image. Once you commit to the three Cs, it will be easier to continue developing your brand.


As we have already learned, brand descriptions must be clear and defined. There should be no ambiguity or vague qualities in your brand. Clarity in your brand will allow people to understand what you do and do not represent. Failure to be clear about your brand is destructive. Your brand creates expectations, and there will be disappointment if your brand hints at promises that you will not fulfill. Additionally, people will be more likely to embrace your brand if they fully understand what your brand is. For example, Starbucks built its brand on the promise of the “third place” or the home away from home where people can relax. There is no confusion in this idea or what it represents. 


You must make sure that your brand has consistency. If you say that you are going to do something, you need to do it. Every exposure to your brand needs to be the same as the last. Online encounters, face-to-face interactions, and every other way that you connect with other people must reflect the brand that you have set forward. If your brand promises one thing online, but a physical encounter does not measure up to that image, your brand will suffer. 


It is important to note that you need to choose branding wisely before you make it public. Frequent rebranding can make you appear indecisive. Once you have created your brand, you must make every effort to be consistent in its execution.


Consistency takes commitment. You need to make sure that you are faithful and dependable in the execution of your brand’s promises. This requires the cooperation of everyone who executes your brand. If a company promises excellent service but do not deliver on that promise, the brand will suffer. It is important that each exposure to the brand is the same for every person. For your brand to be seen as dependable, multiple encounters with other people must reflect the values and mission of your brand. By committing to execute your brand correctly, your reputation will remain positive and spread.  


Committing to your brand requires you to take action every day. It falls in line with consistency and constancy. As we have already learned, every interaction with your brand needs to build a sense of dependability. Committing to living out your brand is the only way to make this happen, and you must commit to doing it every day. How you execute day in and day out will depend on your brand and your customers. Taking from the customer service example, you would need to exercise customer service with a positive attitude and by going the extra mile for your customers. Regardless of your brand, the point is for you to follow through every day. As you do, the actions will become easier and more natural, and you will be able to expand your brand’s reputation.

Practical Application

Jennifer wanted to create a bakery with a reputation for quality. Her business partner agreed with her vision for the company. At first, the bakery’s reputation was positive as Jennifer worked 18-hour days cooking and serving her customers. Six months after opening, Jennifer left town for a few weeks to handle some family business, leaving her partner in charge. While she was gone, the customer reviews began to spiral downwards. She returned to find her business partner had stocked the kitchen with premade items to save on labor and cost. Jennifer was furious and wondered how she would get back the customers who no longer trusted her product.