Personal Branding and We’ve Got the Burgers

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Charles H. Green’s Trust Matters blog tells the Russian (or American) story of customer service upon opening a McDonald’s where the trainer spoke of “fast, friendly, courteous service to customers.”

An employee approached the trainer one day early in the process, with an offer to help. “Listen,” he said, “you seem like a nice person and I’d hate for you to appear foolish in front of the group, so let me explain something to you.”

The trainer was all ears, concerned that he had nearly made a faux pas, and grateful for the help.

“You see,” explained the employee, “we’ve got the hamburgers. The customers don’t. They want them—we’ve got them. They have no choice. They’ve got to go through us. And you don’t want them getting ideas about who holds the power here. Just remember—we’ve got the hamburgers. Now do you understand?”

Then Charles takes this great story and applies it to Customer Service, as in this example:

A customer at a discount clothing store was annoyed that the clerk kept talking with a co-worker while checking out—and making a few mistakes in the process. Transaction finished, the employee turned full attention to her conversation. The customer turned to leave, she said, “You know, a simple ‘thank you’ might have been nice.” Not turning to look, the clerk said, “It’s printed on the receipt.” You got your burger, you should be grateful.

I laughed at the truth of it all.

But then, I got to wondering: how much of our Personal Brand is all about the burger and not about doing the work to prove our brand?

  • When asked to share your hard-won knowledge that supports your Personal Brand, do you share your knowledge or hold information back? Go learn about making your own burger.
  • When asked to help out a team member with something a little out of your Personal Brand area, do you support the team member or decline? I don’t do those kinds of burgers.
  • When marketing your brand, do you tell people you’ve done things you really haven’t done just so you can look like an expert? I have no burgers left, but that doesn’t matter.

Of course, burgers symbolize treasures to have, hold, or share. The consequences of having a treasure, holding a treasure, or sharing a treasure tell many stories about you and your brand.

Are you doing the things that support the story of your brand?

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