Awww...Your Brand Is Just Too Precious.
Are you celebrating your brand or suffocating it?
So much goes into building a brand, not the least of which: money. Depending on your company's size, it could mean anywhere from thousands to millions. Billions, even. Now, I don't know about you, but if I build something that cost millions to create, I'm not only going to coddle it, I'm going to think seriously about locking it in a double-walled titanium warehouse with 24/7 armed surveillance.
It stands to reason that you're protective of your brand. But pampering it beyond reason can lead to less than optimal results. Babied brands run timid ads, launch safe social media posts, and tiptoe around any message that might possibly under the right circumstances and hypothetical situations ruffle a single feather of just one potential customer.
To break out of Babied Brand Syndrome, think of your company's brand as a high-end sports car. You had it custom-built and there it sits, gleaming like a jewel in your garage. Will you leave it there? Roped off from human contact, let alone the ability to drive it? Or, will you rev it up and let 'er rip down the twistiest tarmac you can find? It takes a little courage to get behind the wheel and step on the accelerator, but that, after all, is what that machine was created to do.
So unleash your brand from your own clutches. It's built to be pushed; it's built to be celebrated. Let it shine. Let it speak out. Let it get creative and reach people, interest people, captivate people, and, yes, maybe even annoy or unnerve a few people. At least it has a pulse, and is quickening the pulse of others.
How do you get your babied brand out of the coddled zone and into the fast lane? Here are a few thoughts:
Often, advertising and marketing dollars are focused on the implementation of the campaign: the ad buys, the printing, and other production-related expenses that come with any substantial communications effort. That's natural. The bulk of the cost almost always comes at the end, not the beginning. All the more reason to invest a little more in the concept development and creative on the front end. Go ahead, spring for a few more hours of development time. Another couple grand in the ideation stage might extend the thinking just long enough to spark a million-dollar tagline, a priceless visual, or the next social media sensation.
Customers are People, Just Like Your Brand
Maybe it's just the nomenclature: "consumer," "customer," "the target." After a while, the people to whom you're selling stuff can become faceless blobs which you mercilessly bombard with "messaging." Babied Brand Syndrome only encourages this approach, because it's "safer" to rely on repetition than originality.However, as advertising legend David Ogilvy once stated, "The customer is not a moron, she is your wife." Breaking free of the babying means speaking to the people who might buy your product or service from your brand's unique and authentic brand personality. Haven't developed your brand's personality? Well, baby, it's time you consider it.
Channel Your Inner Entrepreneur
Every business person has at least an inkling of entrepreneurial spirit. If you founded your company, you have heaps of it. If you're in any director- or manager-level position, you have plenty. At the core of any entrepreneurial endeavor is a tolerance for risk. For some, this characteristic carries over to marketing and branding; for others, however, it's not as easy. If you're in that camp you must consciously tap that dormant drive to take a chance in order to make great rewards a possibility.In other words, there are times when it's beneficial to throw the baby out and the bathwater, and start a new risk-accepting, creative-encouraging brand development process. That time may just be today.
Want to talk more about unleashing your brand? Feel free to CONTACT me anytime.
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