August 26, 2008

You've Got A Brand Problem!

In observance of "Worldwide No Blogging Week" The Ad Contrarian is -- you guessed it -- not blogging this week. Instead we'll be posting some oldies. Here's one.

There was a time in America when every problem was a "communications" problem.

If you couldn't get along with your husband, you probably weren't "speaking the same language." If your kid was incorrigible, you just couldn't "get through" to him. If your boss didn't like you, you "weren't on the same wavelength." There were no problems of substance, just problems of communication.

Of course, sometimes your husband is just a pain in the ass, and your kid is a nasty little shit, and your boss is an overfed bozo. And all the communication in the world won't help.

Today we have the business equivalent of this. However, instead of communication, the problem now is always "the brand." So if your product is crappy, or your stores are dirty, or your service is lousy, or your business strategy is stupid you, my friend, have a brand problem!

Call in the branding consultants. Pay them a few hundred thou and let them study your brand for a few months.

They'll give you a big fat report, filled with charts and graphs and the latest up-to-the-minute buzzwords and bullshit.

It won't make your product any more appealing, or your stores any cleaner, or your service any better, or your business strategy any smarter. But if someone upstairs asks what you're doing you can make a nice little PowerPoint presentation.

Babbling about the brand is so much more fun than solving the problems.

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