Hello SOTGC community,
Several days ago I heard a piece on Marketplace with Kai Ryssdal about Uber’s fluctuating prices during recent snow storms on the east coast. He interviewed a Harvard business professor who said (paraphrasing) that while Uber’s decision to raise prices based on supply and demand makes logical, economic sense, she wondered what the longer-term impactwill have on the way customers view Uber’s brand. Specifically, she was talking about a minimum price of $175 in mid-December for a ride in New York City. Ouch.
As soon as I heard this story, it got the brand wheels turning in my head. The message takeaway that I had relates to brand image. On one hand, Uber is an amazing service that has saved me from missing a plane when I couldn’t get a taxi for the airport. In that situation, I was certainly glad to pay a slightly higher price than a taxi (about $10 more) for the convenience. But on the other hand, in desperate times, charging $175 minimum seems a bit greedy from the customer’s point-of-view (not the legal or business-model perspective).
You, just like Uber, are embodying your brand everyday. Through your actions, words, and interactions with others. But are you thinking about how these actions are impacting your customers and their perception of you/your personal brand?
Right now you might be saying, “Ummm, I work in an office…I don’t have customers.” Well let’s stretch this metaphor a bit more and think of your co-workers and colleagues as your customers.
The next time you are at a decision crossroads, think about it this way:
- Do I want to go by-the-book and be technically right in what I’m doing (short-term success …but what does it mean long term?)
– or –
- Do I want to think about how this will impact my ‘customers’ views of my personal brand longer term? (Potentially difficult in the short term …but potential banking of goodwill for the future).
Remember, it’s always your choice to do the right thing. And what is the right thing? Whatever keeps you true to your core values and helps position your personal brand in a positive manner.