This post is one in a series on our biggest brand strategy secret here at Distility: That most bad brands can be traced back to a failure of exploration, a failure of commitment or both.
This diagram sums up the way most brands go wrong, and what it takes to get to the holy grail of the authentic brand.
Clients who come to Distility with a fragmented brand are usually fed up with time wasted, opportunities lost, and the general inability to get their team aligned around a unifying “story” “message” “idea” or what we eventually have them calling a “brand promise, position and personality.”
The fragmented brand breeds from any one of these scenarios:
- A creative culture that doesn’t know how to promote, manage, or – when required – kill ideas
- A rush culture that can’t create the time for brand marketing collaboration and consensus
- Team members who re-invent the brand when it isn’t asked or required
- Leadership that encourages the brand being everything to everyone, and neglect the potential of a focused brand strategy.
- A lack of an overall business strategy that precisely defines the target customer, what they are being sold, and what competitors the team must differentiate against. How can you commit to a brand without clarity around these fundamentals?
The fragmented brand is the most chaotic and frustrating for the team. There is lots of energy, which is fantastic, but it just creates confusion. In trying to be everything to everyone, you end up doing nothing well enough to really stand out. You may find your audience or stakeholders struggling to buy into a story told by multiple voices. Moreover, your own people may feel they don’t even understand what kind of team they’re a part of – and wonder why they are even part of it at all.
You don’t want to be this brand. Every marketing spend is just a point in time event, providing you with no build-up over time in terms of brand awareness, consideration and loyalty. What truly differentiates a brand in the marketplace is a purposeful, committed, and shared understanding of how the company needs to be perceived to achieve business success. To Distility that’s an authentic brand.