September 22, 2006
Yesterday I talked a little about apathy and that I believe it is the #1 killer in business today. I believe employees are apathetic today because they have no idea what their company stands for. Either the company has not made a brand promise or even worse yet — they have made a "safe" brand promise. You know the ones I mean:
~ The difference is our people
~ Your success is our success
~ Quality is job #1
My translation of those kinds of brand promises is: We have no idea why or how we’re different from our competitors so we’re going to say something safe. Who can argue with good service or quality? The problem is the business owner or marketing manager’s flawed assumption that either the competition has only hired morons and boobs or that the potential customer can actually tell the difference between an A- product/service and an A product or service.
At my shop we call those types of taglines or brand statements — weasel words. Why? Because they are so vague that they mean absolutely nothing to the consumer. So why bother?
Branding is for the bold. If you aren’t willing to stand for something concrete and make a substantial promise that makes you a little nervous — then don’t bother. Be bold or go home.
How’s that for being direct?More