Brian Creath

The Economy Is Ready To Grow. (Is your brand?)

In Brand, Brand Relevance, Brand Strategy, Business strategy, Corporate Marketing, Marketing, Messaging, Positioning on May 5, 2009 at 4:26 pm


By most accounts, including the recent address to Congress by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and a report by Charles Schwab’s chief investment strategist, the economy is about to start growing. By any measure, that’s good news for business, and even better news for the business of marketing. But before we dust off old marketing plans and begin to assess current budgets, let’s take away some learning from the recession.

As attention turns to marketing again, companies first need to admit that the business world has changed. Dramatically. And with it, the landscape that every brand now faces. In our new reality, brands cannot simply shout hollow promises; they must provide real value. Value, that can withstand the test of customer discussion and feedback. Social media has forever changed the ‘contract’ that companies have with their customers. Customers that don’t like your product, service or brand now have a forum through which they can instantly tell you — and others.

Today’s brand must hold true value, defined on the basis of long-term human benefit, rather than short-term shareholder value. Value, that an organization can honestly deliver on every front — from marketing and sales, through customer service and behavior, to management objectives and actions.

It’s easy to see that the tactical world of marketing has changed. From the death of the newspaper industry to the rise of social media, the communication paradigm is in transition. But before you address this obvious media shift, I implore you to study the relevance of your brand. Before you throw an old, inside-out promise into a new, outside-in world, your brand and its messaging will need a few tweaks. Some brands, more than others. Please, before you spend a nickel on execution, re-stage your efforts based on this strategic reality. Your customers, and your shareholders (in the long run), will thank you.

Is your company ready? Are your brands? Is your message? (By the way, if you need a bit of strategic assistance, I know a firm that can help.)

While I’m working on my next post, I hope you’ll read about how Cohesion helps organizations build stronger messaging to increase consistency, lower cost and drive growth, here.

  1. It’s good to hear that the powers that be (at your end) say the economy is about to grow. As then, in time, that growth cycle will come on out here. And then, we’ll have a all of sudden flurry of “brand launches/re-launches” with the ‘promises’ etc (as you mentioned).
    Hopefully businesses (read–clients) would stop, look, LEARN ( the lesson of this downturn) and then get into creating and delivering VALUE on a continuous basis. Not just quarterly to get stock prices up.

  2. […] we look to economic recovery, it’s critical to remember: Metrics are not the overarching context through which marketing […]

  3. […] we look to economic recovery, it’s critical to remember: Metrics are not the overarching context through which marketing […]

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