The NYPD "brand" got a serious boost yesterday from two random acts of kindness: one from an unsuspecting police officer and the other from a tourist who gave him some well deserved props.
Long story short: nice police officer buys homeless man a $100 pair of Skechers boots. Tourist captures it on camera and sends it to NYPD. NYPD posts it to their Facebook page and it goes viral. Strings of sharing and comments comes next ... and a press conference. (by the way, it's been really cold in NY and the homeless man was barefoot)
Yes, the NYPD has a Facebook page!
I think the truth is that we needed a little boost right now, and so did the NYPD. As many people are saying, in many ways this is the role of police officers every where ... to serve and protect. I've personally been helped many a time by a police officer. We tend to forget that.
All of this made me realize that the NYPD (and any other like organization) is also a brand. It has a mission and an audience and a way that it wants to connect. Plus an equity and an image that it needs to uphold.
The NYPD even has a tagline ... CPR: Courtesy, Professionalism, Respect. In this case, it doesn't hurt that the officer is quintessential NYPD. Classic ... now we know what this guy's personal brand is all about.
I also say "bravo" to the "tourist" for taking time out to acknowledge and put this officer on a pedestal. So many of us would notice but not do anything (and many of us wouldn't even notice). Proof again that brands are made up of people too.
What's your experience? Jim.
President, Cohn & Wolfe NA
Author, The Experience Effect series
Marketing Professor, NYU