Here’s an amazing video that shows how marketing is changed over the years. You will quickly see that things are far more difficult than they used to be. There are a lot more avenues, competition, mediums, messages, cultures, languages, and ways to do just about everything.
Every company whether they realize it or not, is putting forth some sort of brand. I think most people think that branding is related only to Nike, Coca-Cola, Apple or IBM, but this is not the case. Every company has a brand. Every business has a brand.
What is that brand? It’s not just the logo, or a trademark, or comprehensive identity package. It’s been described as “a gut feeling as to what your company represents”. (1) Because there’s so much competition in the world today one of the most important things for anyone doing any kind of marketing is to be authentic and real. Even the mere whiff of being inauthentic can lose a sale, the customer or a permanent reputation.
It’s also important to remember who you are. Remember that it is impossible for you to please the whole world or provide everything they need. I have seen numerous companies, large and small, lose site of this issue and cause them to branch out into all sorts of products and services and thereby dilute the message.
One of the latest of these is Google’s new foray into digital telephones. Haven’t they learned the lesson of Microsoft? Microsoft was very profitable once they stuck with producing the software that ran the hardware produced by IBM, Dell and several others. But greed knows no bounds. They’ve now immersed themselves into so many products that profits are way down.
A long time ago, General Motors establish several brands that each meant a specific thing. Chevrolet, Oldsmobile, Buick, Pontiac, Cadillac, etc. all meant something different and were created for a very specific audience. Over the years this drastically changed and you could hardly tell one brand from another. I presume this was all done in the name of cost savings but it cost them the company in the process.
Never change your brand. I don’t care what it is, don’t change it. You can certainly improve upon it but don’t remove it from its essence, from what it is and who it’s meant to serve. As soon as the company changes its focus from creating something useful into something that is only profitable, a few drops of poison have been added to its drinking water.
It’s that darn word “profits”. Yes of course a business must make profits or it cannot survive, but the way they get profits that will maintain a company for the long haul is a far different strategy than the one that gives some quick profits at the expense of their future.
As soon as the focus changes only to profits its death is certain.
If you’d like some advice on establishing your brand and creating a profitable mark for the future, please fill out the form to the right and let me know what you’re looking for. Let’s build a profitable niche together.
(1-The Brand Gap, Marty Neumeier)