And if you believe in the Easter Bunny, you’re sure to find a ready-made brand strategy that will fit a company just like yours.
First thing you do? Stop your external search. Look in the mirror. It’s right there.
Ever since I heard about (and then read) All Marketers Are Liars by Seth Godin several years ago, I’ve been convinced that as time passes and collective memory fades, everything old is new again in business — especially in marketing. He beats on the same drum in his post here. Good stuff, as always.
Good marketing has always been about creating word of mouth, stories, and legend. Today, with so many people able to spread word of mouth so quickly and easily, it’s more powerful than ever. Exponentially. Companies with the marketing gene, like Apple, have always known this and are always exploiting it their best advantage.
Just as every generation assumes that it invented sex, each wave of new marketing people want to believe that an “identity” is something you go out and buy and put on like a trendy new pair of shoes. They soon discover that their brand is not their shoes. It’s their feet. It’s not the belt, it’s the waistline. It’s not what you put on your head, it’s what’s inside of it. A value proposition isn’t a pitch, it’s the information you present that’s relevant and compelling to a buyer. Cosmetics don’t conceal the real deal. A brand, like character, stands for something. It can never stand for everything. If you try to make it do this, it will stand for nothing. This is part of reason why great, visionary leadership is so rare. There’s a natural inclination of the heart to be liked. To be everybody’s everything so as not to offend or alienate any one of them. It’s a losing battle so stop fighting it. You stand for something…or nothing at all. Same as it ever was.