One caller was a woman who had once worked with Rogers. She recalled being in an Asian city when the image of Mister Rogers flashed on a giant public TV screen on a busy street.
In response to the familiar face, she said, some of the young folks on the sidewalks and streets began to sing a spontaneous rendition of the Mister Rogers theme song.
Fred Rogers was probably the least likely person to contrive a strategy to build a brand for commercial purposes, but what he did is indicative of the steps that are necessary to do just that. After all, what does a brand do but create a consistent, indelible image in the minds and consciousness of its target audience?
No doubt that most, if not all, of us could sing a few lines of one of Fred Rogers’ songs or would associate a sweater and a pair of tennis shoes with the enduring children’s programming wizard.
Was Fred Rogers a marketing maven? I don’t think he tried to be, but he did understand what creates a powerful brand. He sent a consistent, simple and comprehensible message to his audience and he never wavered from delivering on every level what he promised. He valued them as people, never took them for granted and always made sure that they got the best he could offer.
You might want to examine what your brand says to your customers and how effectively you meet its promise. Are you delivering what you say you will to your customers?
Sales and marketing people say that it’s much less expensive to hold onto an existing customer than to try to acquire a new one. The easiest way to lose one, it seems, is to fail to make good on your brand promise. Do that too often, and the days won’t be beautiful for long in your neighborhood.