I got my first one about three years ago. My boyfriend brought a couple home from the drug store one day. Silly. Fun. Happy. Those same balloons slowly deflated like balloons do…getting lower and lower, and closer to the ground. In the middle of the night, we heard what sounded like a freight train. It took a little while to get oriented to where that sound was coming from only to realize it was coming down the hallway to the bedroom. My boyfriend and I didn't say one word to each other or move a muscle. And then it got so quiet. Not a sound. The quiet was so loud. Until…until we saw it. The big yellow happy face balloon slowly rising up from the base of the bed. We laughed hysterically and with relief. Yet, we instantly felt bad when we realized our big love of a black cat, Black Jack, had gotten the ribbons caught around him, and in a panic ran as fast as his legs could take him to humans (us). His heart was racing, and he was scared to death. We still talk about that story to this day, especially since it was shortly thereafter we lost Black Jack and his brother Gray Goose to neighborhood coyotes. It's one of our "happy" memories. RIP – Black Jack & Gray Goose.
You would think happy face balloons could make everyone as cheery as the cashier extraordinaire at CVS who blew up 3 almost happy face balloons still flat in their packages…like flat-Stanley. This experience I had at CVS today made me happy. There wasn't one thing that was going to take the cheer out of the cashier. Even when, as I tried to help her by tying the ribbons on the end weight, and we fumbled the handoff. We both watched that inflated yellow, happy face float to the suspended ceiling. It wedged itself just to the side of a panel of fluorescent lights. We giggled and laughed, and she again gives it the "I got an answer to this too". She grabs a long pole with some type of grippy at the end, but is just a few inches too short. Again…her no worry attitude came through. She went around to the back of the counter and jumped right up there. Chatting my ear off the entire time I was apologizing for fumbling the handoff. She hands it to me again, and I finally commander it onto the weight. As she rang me up, I listened to her tell me about the jackhammer vibration outside at the intersection. Not one thing could take her attitude down…not even the pouring rain outside and dark gray skies. People, this is Phoenix, Arizona.
I tell this story, because when my boyfriend bought me the first set of happy face balloons, he got a cashier who he aptly acted out his experience. This cashier had the exact opposite attitude. Not that this helper at a different CVS wasn't helpful, it's just that she had to come all the way down from her break to help out. When asked if they had any Mylar balloons, she said with the exact intonation of Oscar the Grouch, "well, we have happy face balloons"! Clearly, happy face balloons had very little impact on her day. So, consider this for a moment…the CVS brand and customer experience. Sure, you can’t force your employees to have the cheery disposition of a happy face balloon, but it is important that everyone on your team understand your “brand” and how to extend your brand at point-of-sale, on the phone or anywhere else.
Let’s jump forward a tad to last summer when I had a vendor table at a local women’s group luncheon. I needed something with some height for my table to attract attention. Unfortunately, green elephant balloons don’t exist, so I had to go to the next best thing…big yellow happy face balloons. I transport those yellow happy face balloons in my car, and there they are “smiling” at me in my rear view mirror. Yet again, making me smile and be happy. While they aren’t an icon I use in marketing for No Moss Brands, they are the customer experience I extend to my customers. I want my small business customers to be not only successful, but happy. I want them happy with their brand. Happy with the services I provide. I want my customers to remember No Moss Brands as a happy and effective service.
How about your brand? Did you set an attitude? Or did you just assume your receptionist, call center employees, retail employees and other living aspects of your brand would live up to your “brand”. Your brand has an attitude. Your brand has a personality. Isn’t it time you set the stage for your business with your brand impression?
I help small businesses define their brand, and the best way to get your brand remembered. Attend Creating a Memorable Brand workshop or let’s talk about your brand and how we can create an impactful, memorable brand that gets the same attention as a happy face balloon!