The best brands provide a consistent customer experience that reflects their core value proposition. Everything they do (and how they do it) contributes to the same image of the brand. Unfortunately, many companies fail to recognize the link between the customer experience they generate and what they think their brand stand for. Take Clublink as an example of a brand that clearly fails this test.
Clublink, in Canada, has an interesting offer for golfers — with one membership you get to play multiple courses. It succinctly represents the offer with a straightforward tagline: “One membership, more golf” that plays directly to the idea that with Clublink you get to have multiple great experiences and are not locked into a single course or club. Each course is unique.
In 2011, Clublink made a significant change in how it offered food services across its 34 properties in Ontario and Quebec. Now, all clubs will share the same menu (with a small limited club-specific section). The common menu approach is no doubt cheaper and more efficient (and may even result in more even quality) but it does so at the expense of having unique club experiences.
While chain restaurants have established that there is considerable value in being able to offer the same experience everywhere (even in other countries), sameness is what the Clublink brand promise rejects.
So golfers who travel to another course in search of a new experience no longer get the same new experience that they would have had in previous years. The golf course itself is the only unique element. Too bad because the food and beverage services are critical parts of the total club experience, especially when you travel.
Some people will no doubt love the same menu across clubs while others will dislike it. Nevertheless, from a brand consistency point of view, the move clearly takes away rather than adds to the brand.