There are a few local companies that are on my blacklist, that I would never hire out of principle. Small things that left a bad feeling, that I cannot shake. I will share a story with you.
I am fortunate to have a splendid office in the country, at Hestercombe Gardens. The office commute is a real joy as I pass fields of corn, cows and sheep as they go about their day. A few years back I had been to a meeting in town with a client and was on my way back to the office. In a lay by I saw two workers sat in their van, enjoying 'a McDonalds' in the sunshine. As I drove past one of them waved his hand to gesture hello, and I waved back. Ah, country life.
That was until I drove home.
I drove past that lay by to find McDonalds' wrappers strewn over the floor and wedged into the hedge. I was livid. What sort of person would do this? Now, it may have been a coincidence, but it was too close to be. I had never seen rubbish like that before. There is also the odd fly tipping, which I will film is I ever catch them in the act. That's a real pet hate of mine.
Now onto the point of the story. The van they sat in was plastered in their company branding, and a local firm as well.
I see their vans around town to this day and whenever I do it makes me angry. I didn't report it or contact the company.
It serves as a reminder that when you, or your employees are driving about that they are ambassadors of your brand; what you stand for and the promise you make to your customers. That reputation you aspire to can be affected, without you even knowing.
There are others that drive too fast or recklessly. Again how does this impact your reputation?
When I had livery on my car many years ago this was something I was always conscious of. People are far more likely to share a bad experience than a good one, particularity when it comes to social media. I bet you really want to know who it was. That's human nature.
It is worth thinking about. That a small thing, whatever it is, can have a BIG impact on brand perception and reputation.
To quote one of my heroes, Mr Kelly Jones (Stereophonics):
"It takes one tree to make a thousand matches. It only takes one match to burn a thousand trees"