Every January, a large number of people kick off the new year with a list of resolutions. Some plan to lose weight, others pledge to drink less (good luck with that), and others expect to transform into a better person. Typically, most resolutions are broken within about two weeks.
Companies and communities, too, often look at January as a time to set goals for improvement. At Brand Acceleration, it’s a time when we get numerous calls for new logos, web sites, brochures, and even new names. The urge to refresh or start over is often overwhelming.
Perception is reality
Unfortunately, there are some things that even the best branding and communications firm cannot change. You see, the secret to brand success is not with a killer logo or web site. It resides in the way you do business and interact with people. If you’re passionate about meeting and exceeding customer expectations, your brand will soar. On the other hand, if you show a blatant disregard for customer expectations, even the most beautiful logo or web site won’t fix the problem. We’ve witnessed numerous companies and communities that have horrible reputations due to bad management and arrogance. As one of my former bosses used to say, “You can’t shine Sh**!”
Seeking professional assistance
I often receive phone calls from people asking if Brand Acceleration designs logos or web sites. I explain that while we do provide those services, we are first and foremost marketers. Our passion is in understanding the needs of our clients and developing marketing strategies that grow the brand and generate results.
Our desire is to be the absolute best at branding and marketing communications in the economic development, architecture, engineering, and construction industries. For our team, this responsibility requires us to make every effort to dig in and understand the needs of such audiences as site selection consultants, real estate professionals, university presidents, hospital administrators, and others.
I don’t care how clever or beautiful a design firm’s portfolio is, if their work doesn’t connect with the target audiences and grow the brand, then the effort will fail and the budget will have been wasted.
I was once in a situation where several firms, including mine, were invited to do presentations to a prospective client team, hoping to get their economic development web site project. It was quite awkward, having each of us sit in the back of the room while, one-by-one, we went to the front to pitch our services. It was especially awkward listening to people talk about how creative their designers were or asking questions to which they should have known the answer. One person even inquired about the prospects for additional business. I, fortunately, was the only person who discussed their industry and audiences. Happily, we got the business; Sadly, I was somewhat ashamed that designers and web site builders attempted to put themselves out as brand professionals in a business about which they knew nothing.
In the branding and marketing industry, as in any industry, each day is a new beginning, a new opportunity to reshape opinions and to better serve the needs of our clients. For each of us, it’s an opportunity to be better than we were the day before. Use each day wisely.
Best wishes for an outstanding 2013.
I’d love to hear from you. Feel free to share your thoughts and personal experiences below.