Tuesday, June 10, 2008

What makes branding suck?

Lack of reality.

I think we need to stop trying to live dreams and enjoy reality. Overpromising selling lines, “larger than life” CGI productions, unachievable aspirational values, and model casts.

Snap out of it!

Reality TV shows took over for a reason, so did ergonomic design, healthy food, and corporate social responsibility (CSR).

Yes when developing a brand, campaign, or a product; sky is the limit. This is why creative directors preach never killing an idea in a brain storming session.
It is good to dream, but we can do this on our own unless you are selling a dream enhancing machine.

A brand is meant to represent the company’s identity – applying this the other way around has proven miserable. Steve Jobs thought different, Richard Branson was a nonconformist, Google's founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin where true believers in simplicity and user-friendliness, Howard Schultz poured his heart into it (Starbucks), and P&G were boring.

Today’s companies, thanks to the expensive advice of corporate identity (CI) agencies, have been cross-dressing with queen outfits only to look rich and respectable.

I think the worst customer experience is when a brand promises something… and then they hear the CEO speak, visit the stores, or use the products only to realize that it was the CI and Ad agencies talking to them as opposed to the companies.

As lame as it sounds, my advice for everyone in the process of creating a brand or re-branding (which is the trend today) is BE YOURSELF. Promise what you believe in, and act as yourself. Customers can smell a fake a mile away, and they love reality. By selling what you love (I hate to use this term, it makes me sound like a consultant) it’s a win-win situation.