I was reading a good article in the Huffington Post that explains in understandable English what’s meant by the term “fiscal cliff.” It is explained this way:
“This whole situation is the result of an ongoing fight in Washington over how to improve the economy (in the short term) and bring down the national debt (in the long term).”
The cliff is the government’s obvious inability to agree on a solution.
And while this is of importance and interest to each and every business in America today, there are actions we can each take to manage our own immediate business affairs to help avoid and sidestep our own “fiscal cliffs.” Actions we can take to manage our own company’s financial solvency, starting with our brands.
The fact is stable companies do not depend upon external reasons and governments to set their fate and future prosperity. Instead they plan, anticipate and insulate their own ecosystems to foster growth and thereby shield themselves as much as possible from external factors by managing and anticipating those factors. In other words, steering the way things go and making those work for them. It’s like Dan Kennedy once said, “One man’s garbage is another man’s treasure.”
Defying Gravity is a Good Skill When Near a Cliff
So when it comes to your business and your branding, failure is an option. Really.
Done haphazardly, it can backfire, miss the target and lessen one’s marketshare (remember Netflix? They still haven’t recovered.).
How can this failure occur?
- By not having a criteria for the brand,
- By not knowing the objective of why and when you’re making changes,
- By not doing a current and accurate assessment of the marketing climate one is competing in,
- By remaining ignorant of market shifts that can lessen the value of one’s offering, and
- By treating the process as a subjective internal discussion and failing to look outward.
The Road Map to Help Steer Clear
Of Your Personal Cliff
For the above reasons, I guide clients through a sequence of steps that:
- Determine why we’re making any changes now (what problems will it solve? What effect do we want it to have and what message should we convey?),
- Establish the problems with the current brand situation,
- Isolate where others are doing better, and
- Ascertain where we can shine. lead and capture market penetration.
And all that is done before a creative pencil is put to blank sheet of paper. But why?
Branding Does Not Have a
Built-in GPS (without you)
Because to skip the above step is why rebrands fail. And disappoint business owners and those responsible for any branding or rebranding.
A brand isn’t like a suit or a car where one simply picks one’s favorite color, tailoring, style and finishing.
A rebrand isn’t merely “cosmetic” where it’s only a matter of “likes” and “dislikes.” Those types of discussions occur only when the above exercises have been skipped or poorly done.
A properly choreographed rebrand is an important step that the leading brands of the world know and use.