I’ve been experiencing all of the fun, yet hard work, that is tile demolition. As it turns out, putting down tile isn’t all that different than making decisions about your brand.

Buying a new-to-you home inevitably comes with a long list of projects and to-do items to make the home yours. When my wife and I bought our new-to-us home, there were things we knew right away that we wanted to tackle and take care of.

The carpeting in the dining room, for instance was one of those things. Carpeting in a dining room when you have an 11-month old is hard to handle. So that had to go.

But, just ripping up the carpeting in the dining room and replacing with wood flooring seemed like much too small of a project. Enter the demolition of ~180 square feet of ceramic tile in our kitchen and entry.

Now, for anyone who has demoed tile before (I had not prior to this experience) you may know that this is not an easy one-step process. Sure, there’s the smashing and demolition of the actual tile (hello, Mr. Sledgehammer). But, then comes the tearing up of the concrete board, or subfloor below, and the scraping of any last bonding agents to smooth out the floor in preparation of the new flooring.

Not easy. It’s lots of work.

Throughout the demolition process, the thought occurred to me: when you’re making decisions about things like tile flooring in your home, you had better be pretty certain you’re going to love it. Because that stuff is about an 8 on a scale of 10 of indestructible once it’s installed. Tile isn’t like changing paint colors or switching out carpeting after a few years. It’s there. To stay.

Not entirely unlike the picture you paint of your bank or credit union to your customers or members…or prospects.

Marketing campaigns are much like paint on walls – easily changed out. They give you a nice flavor for what your bank is all about, but rarely do they cut to the essence of your brand.

My colleague wrote last week about his recent experience at a Huntington Bank branch location. These experiences – the very real interactions customers, prospects, have with your financial institution – are the tile that get cemented into place. They’re hard to remove (if they’re bad experiences) and keep people happy if they’re good.

Whenever my wife and I make decisions about home décor, one of the things we always consider (beyond our liking it) is if other people will like it, too. Essentially, we’re looking at resale value.

You have to do the same thing. Your brand and customer service may look good from the inside looking out. But is it the same from the outside looking in? Are your staff members laying down tile that is going to be loved by everyone?

You have to think before you tile.