A bit about brand (yes, brand)

There’s a change in the wind. Several articles in the past couple of weeks have called outright that there needs to be a brand rethink. I couldn’t agree more!

Both were in Fast Company magazine – one here and the more recent one here.

I’ve been highly critical of the way the “marketing approach” to brand is applied in many organisations – even the idea that it can be “created” suggests a far greater level of interaction than typically occurs. But maybe things are changing.

In general, both articles still nibble at the edges of what needs to change, but the fact they are even getting written and shared means maybe people are starting to see that the marketing/advertising approach to brand isn’t returning dividends.

The article here in SmartCompany highlighting that young generation don’t recall or connect with organisations and their “so-called” brands is yet another wake-up call. And while I think it’s a deeper issue than message consistency – although heaven knows most organisations have the attention span of a two-year-old when it comes to their messaging, the fact is it’s not working any more. People are hyped-out, overloaded and disappointed on a daily basis.

It’s never been more important for your organisation to build whatever you are doing from the ground up not the sky down.

That’s the only way you can deliver a seamless and authentic experience across everything you do: One that customers will remember and, maybe (if you are lucky), talk about. That’s the only way you avoid making promises you can’t keep. That’s the only way you capture people’s attention for the right reasons.

That’s the only way to have a brand – and, really, having a brand is okay. [Bob] might be too big an ask – the idea scares a lot of people. Maybe you don’t have the kind of will or discipline required to take things to the corners of your organisation. Every time.

But even if a brand is your goal you can’t treat it like a campaign. If you apply veneer and paint layer on paint layer every time the mood strikes you (or a new agency is hired) it is inevitable that you WILL bury who you really are from view.

And that is what those young people who don’t remember or connect with organisations by name are reacting to.

See you next week.

Michel is an independent adviser and advocate dedicated to helping organisations make promises they can keep and keep the promises they make – with a strong, resilient organisation as the result. She also publishes a blog at michelhogan.com. You can follow Michel on Twitter @michelhogan


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