Overcoming Common Brand Problems – 41

Brad VanAuken The Blake ProjectMarch 30, 20094082 min

Today we’re adding a new entry to our list of Common Brand Problems, though the problem itself is quite timeless.

Common Brand Problem Number 41:
Branding decisions are ego versus analysis-driven.

Analysis: We have seen this happen many times. One company acquires another one and forces its name on the acquired company’s products when the acquired company’s brands have much higher awareness and positive associations than the acquiring company’s brand(s). Or, the CEO doesn’t care what the research says or what his experienced chief marketing officer says. He wants to do it this way. Or, a new marketing VP is hired and changes something just to put his own mark on it regardless of whether the existing logo or tagline or marketing campaign was working well or not. Or, he does not want to back down on his decision regardless of what the new research study says because he would look like a fool if he did. Better to “bury” the research study than to look bad. Or we have even witnessed top managers sabotaging each other’s marketing decisions and approaches just to gain “the upper hand.” It’s all about maintaining control and the perception of invulnerability.

Key Point:
Buddhism and other religions focus on transcending the ego. Many psychotherapists help their patients do the same. Maybe you should suggest to the offending party that he might enjoy exploring Buddhism or seeing a therapist – or maybe not. At least always try to bring the conversation back to the facts and maybe subtly influence the offending party to think that the most logical course of action was his own idea for which he will receive much admiration.

Click here to explore 40 other most common brand problems.

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Brad VanAuken The Blake Project


  • Scott Gould

    March 30, 2009 at 5:24 am

    Oh boy!

    This is too true – dealing with this at the moment.

    I love your suggested therapy root – always convince the client that the logical idea was their idea!

    Thanks for the encouragement to know others go through this too!

  • Brandon R Allen

    March 30, 2009 at 6:04 pm

    Damn! Good luck overcoming that one. There are too many so-called leaders who can’t see what’s right in front of them. Letting go of ego is too hard. Buddhists also practice non attachment which means letting go of what we have so that we can make the best decisions and not have our judgment clouded by our own selfishness that we disguise as facts.

  • courtney lambert |twitter @cjlambert

    April 3, 2009 at 12:26 am

    Yes yes yes, the worst outcome (common to retailers in particular) is the dreaded “dual brand”. We’ll just stick the store ‘labels” together and paste them on the bottom of all marketing communications. This is followed by lots of backslapping about synergies and balance sheet corrections on marketing spend. In reality, both brands have just experienced the kiss of death.

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