Thursday, September 16, 2010

10 Branding Cracks To Avoid

A brand by its nature has to be strong and stable. Owners of the brand have to be ever diligent to ensure its authenticity. Stake holders have an enormous impact on this stability. Stresses from the marketplace place a hefty strain on it. Lets have a look at some of the cracks that can form that if left unaddressed can result in brand collapse.

The Inconsistency Crack:

Take a look at all of your collateral materials. Are they consistent in brand image and message? Are all of the brand logos the same? Are all the colors part of your overall brand palette? Inconsistency cracks will cost you money.

The Authenticity Crack:

You say you are service oriented, - in reality you don't deliver. This is a crack that will soon be a chasm. Authenticity cracks can disgust a customer faster than almost any other type of crack. If you want to destroy your hard-earned reputation, allow this one to fester and grow. To patch this crack, you've got to walk the walk.

The Personality Crack:

Like the authenticity crack, the personality crack refers to the brand personality accurately reflecting the tone of the brand. If the Apple personality were to take on the personality of the PC, it would no longer resonate with its target audience. The relationship you share with customers, reflect the personality they have come to admire and embrace. Throwing this in disarray, forms a personality crack.

The Confidence Crack:

In branding, you must be ever diligent in pushing it forward. Letting the economy happen TO you, is allowing the confidence crack to weaken you. The tough times are the true test of your brand. Adhering to your brand values and pushing yourself forward fixes this type of crack. Ignoring it will take you down FAST!

The Learning Crack:

If you want to see this to go from a hairline crack to to a full blown canyon, stop looking for ways to grow your skill-set. Be curious, always be open-minded. The first time you heard the phrase, "social media" did you check into it to see if it held some value for you? Avoiding this crack means that you have to be tireless in your R&D.

The Culture Crack:

Does your brand image truly reflect the culture of your audience. If say, your logo looks as if it were designed for the 1970's, then it's time you had it updated to reflect the culture of today. If your image is supposed to look mature (in years) then you are being true to your audience. Contrary to your culture is the culture crack.

The Positioning Crack:

You've held a leadership position for years but the competition has copied it and broken it down. It's time you had a re-look at it. Positioning cracks form when it no longer differentiates you from your competition. Positioning cracks have a demoralizing effect on your sales staff.

The Stress Crack:

You know that there's problem, but you either choose to ignore it or at the very least try your hand at coming to terms with it. This is the time to look for outside assistance. For a few dollars you can benefit from a wide range of experience QUICKLY. Stress cracks can knock you off your feet if you're not careful. Depending on your management structure, having you under the weather turns control over to the stress crack.

The Rumor Crack:

Every organization has to communicate with its stakeholders. Rumor cracks form when you allow heresy to inform. Rumor is rarely, if ever true. When these cracks grow they make it difficult to lure fresh talent to your firm. These cracks also reduce the value of your company if you are looking to sell. Rumor cracks form a perception of failure regarding your brand. Rumor cracks are the dark side of business.

The This'll Never Work Crack:

Procrastination is the seed of the "this'll never work crack." If your brand is a true entrepreneurial brand, you are accustomed to risk. This crack works its way into your mind and works to keep you from ceasing opportunity. Doubt is the hairline version of this particular crack. It works to break you down and pass the concept to a competitor.

Once thing about cracks is that they are not isolated in their existence. They work to grow and join up at some point. It is at this point that they are at their strongest. It is the point of no-return as a groups of cracks ultimately cause the brand to crumble and fail.

It's time to pick up that mortar board and start filling those cracks. The longer you wait the bigger they get.

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