Wearing Your Badge

For some reason, a random trip to McDonald’s back in 1997 sticks in my mind. I was working in my first job at IBM at the time and had popped out for a quick bite at lunchtime. A group of us had ordered and we were happily chatting away over our burgers and fries. A bunch of lads in their early twenties came into the restaurant. They were talking in real loud voices, their conversation littered with swear words and bad taste jokes. At one point a member of the public asked them to curb their language – only to be greeted with a barrage of abuse. It was at this moment I noticed all of them were wearing IBM security badges.

The number of organisations I see that still view marketing as brochures, case studies or slide decks amazes me. In Jason Fried’s book “Rework” he makes reference to the fact that marketing is everything that you do as a business – This is so true. From the way you answer your phone, to the way you support a customer, to the way your staff behave in public – it’s all a reflection of your brand – it’s marketing.

Back in 1997 we had no social media – no Blogs, Twitter or Facebook. The incident was contained within the restaurant. Thirteen years on, the world is a very different place. A blog posting about customer service, poor products, or even crossed words at lunchtime can spread like wildfire on the Internet. On-line reputation and brand perception is everything.

No matter who you are, your badge is now visible daily.