12 Sins of Branding
Companies, like people, can go off track. A simple error compounds. The wrong attitude takes root. A poorly designed strategy is implemented. Perhaps the focus is just a bit off, sending everything off course. It happens.
What do you do if you are off track? How do you recognize the signs?
There are two branding experts that I turn to when it comes to branding and revitalizing brands: Larry Light and Joan Kiddon. They not only have the experience, but their advice is my favorite kind: practical and actionable. I’m not one for studying theories that I can’t immediately use.
I recently spoke with the authors about the troubling behaviors and attitudes that cause companies to mess up their brand. They have identified 12 ways that brands go awry. Their updated book on branding, Six Rules of Brand Revitalization, is a must-read on the subject.
“Arrogance leads to complacency which destroys innovation and leaves you out of date.”
The Arrogance of Success
How do you pull a culture out of arrogance, especially if they don’t realize it?
Often it takes a sense of urgency, a perception of an impending crisis. Change is difficult. An arrogant culture resists change until it seems that there is no option. Change or die. Dramatize the need for change. The most dangerous disease is complacency. Arrogance can lead to complacency. Complacency can keep your eyes closed to innovation and leave you out of date with your customers. The common expression, “Go back to basics,” is often used to defend resisting change. Going backwards will not guide marketers how to best go forward.
Culture change is led from the top. The leader sets the tone. Sometimes a leadership change is necessary. This is what happened at McDonald’s in 2002. The new leadership immediately dramatized the need for change. Jim Cantalupo, the new CEO, created a sense of urgency.
We recommend the four steps of Breaking the LOCK on Brand Troubles: Fix Leadership; then leadership can fix the Organization alignment. Cultural change is an imperative. Knowledge is a powerful force. Become a learning culture…
12 Branding Sins
1: The arrogance of success
2: The comfort of complacency
3: The building of organizational barriers and bureaucratic processes
4: The focus on analyst satisfaction rather than on customer satisfaction
5: The belief that what worked yesterday will work today
6: The failure to innovate
7: The lack of focus on the core customer
8: The backtracking to basics
9: The loss of relevance
10: The lack of a coherent Plan to Win
11: The lack of a balanced Brand-Business Scorecard
12: The disregard for the changing world
Is there one that is most often the culprit in brand failures?
As we say in the book, the Twelve Tendencies for Trouble are not independent of each other. These are all interconnected forces. A company that succumbs to one seems to succumb to more than one. There is no single culprit. Each of the Twelve Tendencies for Trouble must be avoided.