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Ideas. Insights. Inspiration.

The Face of Your Brand

"Do you know who the most important person in this office is in terms of our brand?"

Early in my career, I attended a monthly "all-hands" meeting, and the President asked this question of the twenty-or-so people who had gathered in the boardroom.

I thought I knew the answer, so I raised my hand.

"Julie?" I answered cautiously when the President looked at me.

The President smiled and exclaimed, "That's right... it's Julie!"

Julie wasn't our Chief Marketing Officer.

She was our receptionist.

The point the President was making was that because Julie was the very first person anybody walking into our office would meet, the impression they got from her would shape what they thought of the company and the people who worked there.*

It's such an obvious observation when you think about it.

And yet, it's one too many companies seem to forget every day.

* * *

I was in a Starbucks earlier this week and saw a barista argue with a customer.

In fairness, the customer was being extremely unreasonable; she was upset the barista would not take her order for an extra drink at the beverage pickup counter and instead asked her to return to the cash register so he could properly process the additional purchase.

But after the two went back and forth for a few vocal minutes, the barista, in frustration, exclaimed, "Jesus Christ..." loud enough for me to hear it three feet away.

Perhaps he was praying for patience, but he probably should have done that silently.