Quill feather

Branding: The Flywheel of Business

Imagine a large metal disk freely mounted on an axle. We’re not talking about a small one either. It’s heavy… like really heavy. Although it’s freely mounted, it takes a ton of effort to get it to start moving. With enough effort in the right direction, it starts to turn and gain momentum. Eventually, due to the work that had been done earlier, the disk is spinning from its own momentum. You can step away for a minute or two and when you come back, it’s still turning. This is a mechanical flywheel, and it has a lot more to do with branding than you think.

Building a brand is daunting at first, but once the momentum begins to build it becomes easier to create more. 

Brand building is different from marketing. Messaging and visuals are steered by brand strategy and implemented through marketing efforts to capture a sale. What happens in addition to the sale or service in terms of customer experience is guided by the brand strategy. Things like product guarantees or loyalty programs are done by organizations who want their customers to stand behind the product or service as much as they do. 

Having a consistent message that team members verbally say to customers is one of many brand-building techniques. In Wisconsin, where Quill Creative is located, Kwik Trip has established itself as the leading convenience store and gas station. Whenever a customer finishes checking out at the counter, the Kwik Trip team member says a simple phrase. “See you next time.” It makes you walk out of the store with a subconscious thought about your next visit. This has been tailored and taught to each employee on their first day and creates impact at a touchpoint where many overlook. Their branded mission is summed up with the golden rule. To treat customers, co-workers, and suppliers as they would like to be treated. It’s not just the fact that they have fuel and an ice cold beverage to sell, it’s because you know they have clean bathrooms, quality hot food, fresh produce that’s always priced right, free air for your tires, and a loyalty program that makes you want to stop and swipe your membership card because in one more visit, you’ll earn a free coffee.

When a new location broke ground near us recently, we began talking to our neighbors about it and how excited we were that we’d be able to stop and get a loaf of bread while on an afternoon stroll. Opening day was a week away and everyone in town got a mailer outlining all of the deals that would be available during the opening week. Once again, talking with neighbors about how we’d be stopping every chance we got to grab our free fountain drink or coffee. 

Because their brand experience has been well thought out and tailored to create that emotional attachment, we as customers talk to each other about how much we love Kwik Trip. We’re promoting their business for them because they made the experience that great. You don’t need to go to their website’s about page or read an employee handbook to know what their mission is and to be honest, most customers couldn’t put it into words. It’s just a gut feeling that we get and yes, it’s been designed.

A small, family owned gas station grew to over 700 locations because they leveraged their brand and focused on the unique DNA of their business. They tailored every touchpoint to be impactful and memorable. Kwik Trip created their own flywheel that keeps their brand and business moving forward.  

Start your flywheel today. Head over to our Contact Us page and let’s get in touch!