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Can a Brand full proof itself?

Dscn5313_3Today was great, my wife let me sleep in, I still couldn’t keep my eyes open past 9:30am but hey, that’s better than 4:30am.

When I woke up Heidi & Brighton were ready to go shopping (for veggies). And Heidi was putting on Brighton’s pink army fatigue hoodie (my favorite thing she wears). Brighton loves it. I think it’s because I wear hoodies more than anything else, and I usually have my hood on. So Brighton asks me to put on her hood and she goes to put her hands in her pockets and the left one goes in but the right one won’t fit. Looking very frustrated she looks at me and says “BROKE”. I investigate and realize that she was right. The hoodie was manufactured with a mistake. The pocket on the right was smaller. (It was still so cute to see her walk around with her hood up and one hand in her pocket.)

So it hit me. I got that feeling. You know, that feeling like “WHAT A PIECE OF JUNK” “I WILL NEVER BUY FROM THEM AGAIN.” Yea, that feeling hit me. And the answer hit me to what my friend Eric Spence, a Christian Brand Strategist in Canada asked me.

“How can a brand full proof itself to get through the deep recession that’s hitting America?”

Well the answer is in the hoodie. Lets look at:

There are many different approaches to marketing out there, but they can be broken up into three categories.

1. Copy driven marketing that focuses on the pain that their product or service can solve. And most of the time the service or product is useless in reality.

All about the quick sale. Get in and out.

Buyers remorse, disappointed expectations from clients.

Bad word of mouth. Statistics show that people who have had a bad experience with an organization tell an average of 13 people that “you stink.” Ok lets do the math here. If 1 person tells 13 people, and those 13 people tell 3 people, well you get the point, ts “reverse marketing” or should I say “mass destruction.”

2. Design driven marketing. The reason organizations usually start this is because they where so far the other way that they thought that people who have a fresh website or business cards do better. And the design houses they choose think this way also.

Best design out there. All the bells and whistles.

The message was never uncovered, either the target market and the goals of the effort. Although people say nice things the ROI (return on investment) goals don’t get met. Good design is a great interrupting factor but if not followed by a strategy it ultimately is a disappointment.

People get drawn in, but ultimately get confused or disappointed when the outside imaging doesn’t match the inside reality. I had a Pastor tell me the other day that Lee Strobel wrote about a billboard for a Church that intrigued him, so he went to find out it didn’t line up with what was projected. This Church made it into one of his books.

3. (BEST SOLUTION) Holistic approach that takes all the pieces into consideration. This is surgery and takes a patient and experienced brand strategist that knows what there doing, because it requires that you get down and dirty.

Uncover what the ministry or businesses desires are. What has God called them too. What is the 20 year picture they want to achieve

Is the vision realistic for your offerings and area? What are the problems that the people who interact with the organization see. (Most leaders miss this view because they’re to close. Think about when your at a restaurant and the food tastes bad, the waiter comes over and asks, and most people say fine.) And lastly what does the employees say. This takes and outsider because of the “I don’t want to hurt your feeling and loss my job part.”

Build a brand identity and communication plan that’s accurate on who you are and what you offer. Build a culture by empowering those around you to buy into the big picture.

Managing growth, and the smile that seems to get stuck on your face because you notice your making people happy and they tell you they’re referring friends.


The staff quality increases cause moral increases, work becomes fun and over all value increases. Coke’s brand equity was estimated in InterBrand’s top 100 brands in 2006 at 67 billion dollars and their brick and mortar value was 35% of that. This is because people will keep buying Coke even though they pay a premium of about 100% compared with store brand.

So the answer to how can a brand insure itself through the deep recession the US is heading for? Their is no fool proof brand, but the next best thing is a brand that is authentic, knows how to deliver and can simply communicate to it’s target.

The sad part is this is not achieved overnight. But you want to start researching, stop by my friend Anaezi’s site. She is the founder of ReBrand 100. ReBrand 100 is a yearly competition who selects the worlds best branding and rebranding efforts on challenge, strategy, design and results.

Clients We Have Helped

  • RZIM
  • Billy Graham
  • ECFA
  • Younglife
  • Moody