Tuesday, February 19, 2008

When the Brand Specialist Can't Stay "On Brand"

So, I get a phone call yesterday from a woman who has been referred to me by a very close friend, confidante, and advisor. She proceeds to tell me that she's heard that I have a wonderful personality, that I'm easy to work with, that I have lots of influence in Dallas, etc., and that she has been told that I am the perfect person that she needs to have on her team to expand her company.

"Great!," I say, "When would you have time to meet next week so that I can learn what your marketing needs are?" "Oh...," she says. "I have marketing covered... I need a sales executive to close deals on online banner advertising for my firm." HUH?!?

Okay, I ask you, dear reader, am I not doing my job in correctly communicating EXACTLY what it is that I do and how I can help startup and small companies move to the next level? Even as the years go by, I still find myself having to "fight" to maintain a strict focus on my mission statement and set of solutions... without deviating or wandering over into the sales arena (there's good money to be made there!)... or the finance arena (I have a degree in Economics, though)... or HR-land (but, I have great people skills!).

No! Stay on task with your core competency. Yes, smart marketers evolve their brands over time to keep them relevant (no more buggy whips!), so if you are determined to make a change, I offer the following 10 all-too-common mistakes to avoid:

1. Navigating without a plan.
2. Not trying on your customer's shoes.
3. Not planning ahead for implementation and adaptation time.
4. Not calling the call center.
5. Forgetting that people don't do what they say... they do what they do.
6. Basing a rebrand on advertising.
7. Strategy by committee.
8. Believing you're too small to rebrand.
9. Not leveraging existing brand equity and goodwill.
10. Refusing to hire a branding consultant without industry experience.

No comments: