Why Do So Many Brand Programs Fail?

I’m a second-generation brand strategist who has been observing and producing branding programs for three decades. My dad had been a partner in an ad agency in Chicago for 25 years before I got out of college. I remember many Saturday mornings going with him to his Michigan Ave. office and watching him look over ad tear sheets, making strategy and copy adjustments that would be implemented on Monday.

So you see, branding is in my blood, so to speak, and I have a lot of experience on which to base my outside reviews. Here is one simple thought on simplicity.

The Web has made everything very easy to review. And control.

Google it. Go to Amazon. Look for it on eBay. In seconds you can put your computer pointer on anything with a few clicks.

Is this a good thing? Probably, but it has its consequences.

It’s easier to switch brands today than ever before. There are so many FREE OFFERS everywhere that when someone asks for payment or an opt-in, people turn away and look for someone who doesn’t require that sort of upfront commitment.

Is this a good thing? Once again, that depends on how well you have adjusted to this new market reality. If you are having trouble with your sales, you can find someone to help you with your self-confidence to build them back up. But all of this connectivity has created such ubiquity that it’s really easy for your brand to get lost in the shuffle.

So what can you do? When in doubt, move away from what everyone else is doing and do something new. Be different. Be unique. Be sure. And most important, be simple.

Consumers will pay.

Buyers will pay.

But be sure to provide whatever it is you are offering in real-time, today, without the wait. Frankly, no one is going to wait for your lengthy and complicated explanation to make sense. They will simply click on until they find what they think they are looking for.

Tom Marin is the president of MarketCues, a national consulting firm. Tom serves as a senior advisor and change-management consultant with 35 years of experience. He has worked for some of the world’s largest corporations, as well as middle-market firms. Tom's focus is to plan and drive strategy shifts and strategic growth programs in the printing industry and a diverse range of market areas.
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