Protecting Our Brand… or is it a Reputation… or both
Although sometimes the words “brand” and “reputation” are used interchangeably, there is a distinct and meaningful difference between the two.
Brand is the way you, through your business and customer interaction, present Tombstone AZ to the world.
Whether you are representing yourself or your business, or Tombstone AZ, your brand demonstrates how you position yourself in the market, and how you want the world to see you.
Tombstone Arizona's reputation, on the other hand, is how others collectively perceive the community (or you, or your business).
While you, as a business owner, can help control your Tombstone Arizona's brand, the reputation is ultimately decided by the people, the visitors to Tombstone Arizona.
In today’s world, a quick Google search will tell anyone who is considering visiting Tombstone Arizona, or visiting your business establishment all about the reputation. And, anyone can use the Internet to write a review or article about Tombstone Arizona, and your business that will affect the reputation in a positive or negative way.
So, what is a brand story? “A brand story is more than a narrative.
The brand story goes beyond the copy on your website, or the text in a brochure. Tombstone Arizona's brand story isn't just what you tell people. It's what they believe about Tombstone Arizona based on the signals your brand sends.
Tombstone Arizona's brand story is based on AUTHENTIC history! Our Community Visitors come from near and far… and have an expectation of an AMAZING HISTORICAL ADVENTURE! They want to see, and hear and experience the history of Tombstone Arizona.
Tombstone Arizona is a highly visible and well-visited community that is an important part of American history. Who hasn’t heard of Wyatt Earp, Doc Holliday or the Gunfight at the OK Corral? Tombstone Arizona is part of every US History book, been featured in numerous movies and documentaries, and is a definite place that people from ALL OVER the world want to see, visit and experience.
Our community lives up to the tag line of “The Town Too Tough To Die.” We have endured the continuing economic roller coaster, and are adjusting to the trends in “Heritage Tourism” and realizing the power of how social media can help our businesses. The statement below is a marketing statement …a statement of expectations of sorts.
“Imagine an entire city on the National Historic Register. What you'll see in Tombstone Arizona today is a careful, accurate restoration of a historically significant Town in Southern Arizona. Much of Tombstone’s architecture is unique to the West. While the mining boom of 1877 brought the likes of Tombstone’s founder, Edward Schieffelin, it also provided the back drop for the “shots heard around the world” at the Gunfight at the OK Corral. Tombstone Arizona is a living showcase of American history.”
Does this statement accurately represent Tombstone Arizona? The Guests that visit Tombstone have an expectation of an AMAZING HISTORICAL ADVENTURE! They want to see, and hear and experience the history of Tombstone Arizona.
How do we do provide an AMAZING HISTORICAL ADVENTURE for our Guests? We do this by being innovative, creative, thinking out of the box, and remembering that we are providing a Historical Themed Experience for ALL of our guests - without compromising the BRAND.
How Can the Tombstone Arizona Brand or Brand Story be Compromised?
- Over Promising, and then Under Delivering. Nothing frustrates a guest/visitor more than being promised something and then not getting it. For example, if your website or door states you'll be open... and you're not. You've set that guest up for disappointment, and your business for a bad review.
- Skimp on Customer/Visitor Support: Make sure your phone number is accessible - on your website, Facebook page... and your information is current in the Chamber Directory.
- Allowing an Employee to Damage the Brand: Monitor your online reviews. Talk to your customers. Get feedback. You will quickly know if you have repeated bad reviews about an employee.
- No Negative Behavior, Stay Positive: The customer is always right. Yes, he is. Act upon these words. Your customer might be utterly wrong but do not say it ever to his face. You will end up losing the customer or guest for good.
- Don’t air your business (or Tombstone's business) in earshot of customers: No description needed!
- Unprofessional Photos... or Inappropriate Social Media Posts: Remember... thousands upon thousands of people are looking for a vacation spot, and are judging where to go by what is posted online - and your posts not only brand your business, they also brand Tombstone Arizona.
- Making Promises for other businesses in Tombstone Arizona: If your business offers discounts, or Groupon Discounts, or through the Southern Arizona Alliance - GREAT!!! If your business offers a discount - please ensure that you express to your visitors that your businesses discount is JUST FOR YOUR BUSINESS. The discount doesn't apply to other Tombstone businesses. This comes down to each business owner in Tombstone educating our visitors that Tombstone is a REAL COMMUNITY - and each business is independently owned and operated. Tombstone Arizona is not like Old Tucson.
These are just a few ways that your business Brand and Tombstone Arizona's brand can be damaged.
We all, here in Tombstone Arizona, are in this together - to protect and further the Brand and Brand Story of Tombstone Arizona.
Thank you for your time and being part of the Tombstone Chamber of Commerce.
Susan Wallace President,
Tombstone Chamber of Commerce