Wednesday, March 16, 2011

5 Mistakes That Keep You From Revitalizing a Dying Brand

The most important thing you can do to revitalize your company, agency or personal brand is to change your perspective: Look at things from the outside in.

Most people are not marketers by trade and instead get stuck in the usual way of thinking: inside out.

("Me me me, it's all about me.")

You would think such people, being self-absorbed and defensive, would be great at branding but the opposite is true. Their egos keep them in failure mode.

Mired in their own perspective, they can't come up for air enough to look into the fishtank from outside.

Marketers know to keep their eyes on the prize: The customer. The brand exists in the customer's mind and there alone.

Here are 5 signs that you're not looking at things objectively:

1. You see negative feedback as an attack always, and before the speaker is even finished with the first sentence, you interrupt to defend yourself.

2. You defend the status quo, even if you know it makes no sense, for whatever justification (too complicated to fix, no money, whatever).

3. You close off possible channels of interaction with your employees and customers, making excuses and feigning ignorance of the myriad simple and free tools out there to do this. The simplest one being, of course, a basic "Hello."

4. You shoot the messenger who warns you of a possible crisis or problem looming.

5. You ignore or avoid training and continuing education opportunities because "I'm too busy doing real work" or "Our situation at Brand ABC is unique and nothing out there would apply."

If you are having trouble with this and want to change fast, a suggestion - think about G-d. Not religion, but the Infinite power of the Creator. If you don't believe in a Creator, then simply contemplate something incredibly vast and outside yourself. Nature is good. The vastness of the sea.

The point is, make yourself small. Squeeze tight into a little crack in the wall. Then observe all the things going on outside. You will find that your ability to appreciate and understand reality grows the less you think about yourself.

And the more in touch with reality you are, the more you will be able to build your brand.

Good luck!