Done badly and it results in something only one word can describe.
Before the word and the new video that exposes it in all its glory, the following confession explains everything.
Her name was Randy (last name omitted to protect the innocent).
I‘d spent weeks planning my “big intro.” Almost all of that time was focused on ME. What I would say? How might it go? How would she respond? What would I say in return? Would it be amazing? Would the world ever be the same?
NO time was spent on understanding her. Her interests. Her needs or wants. Her expectations. Nope. It was all me, me, me.
I was terrifyingly mesmerized while my wits became frozen with trepidation anticipating “the big hello.”
As you can imagine, the final moment was awkward — an emotional meltdown along with the accompanying disastrous results and feeling of total humiliation. In short, your basic normal teenage catastrophe.
Yes. I’d gotten to experience my first sampling of life’s all-you-can-eat buffet of this delicious morsel: Anticippointment. (That by the way is the worst word in branding as you’ll see in the video below.)
It’s the perfect word for such disasters I’ve defined as follows: “That horrible outcome to something you were sure was going to be awesome.”
Anticippointment: Dumb Habits That Don’t Die With Teenagehood
Then the time comes when we graduate teenagehood. We leave pimples and awkwardness behind.
You’d think nearly all of the old habits go their merry way, while we focus our efforts on new goals. Career. An espresso machine. A car. A family. A bigger car. A bigger espresso machine. A house (with a nook for that bigger espresso machine and garage for that bigger car). And on and on….
Yet some of those blind alleys of stupidity still manage to lurk in the shadows. It seems excitement still can overshadow something so basic: Understanding (which a little good homework and insight can completely remedy). Heck, more brands today still make the horribly common mistake of talking about themselves WAY more than their customers. Just look at today’s commercials. Each of those “about us” pitches is the adult equivalent of a teenage pimple.
So why do we continue this same trend of too little prep yet guns blazing when approaching a brand or a rebrand?
I don’t know why. All I know is that they still surface.
I help clients move through these phases of denial. The fear. The sweaty palms. The weak knees. The self-consciousness. And more.
Sometimes these branding projects or rebrands end up resembling youth career counseling more than design and strategy sessions.
Yet, whatever it takes to get there and replace these lapses in judgement with understanding, is time well spent.
Clearasil for the Soul
So in honor of this weird period we all have to face as we grow up, I wrote and directed this new video that helps at least recognize some of the signs and what I have now called, “The Worst Word in Branding.”
Think of it as Clearasil for the soul. Enjoy.
Want some more understanding? Here are five additional rebrand case studies you may find of interest:
- Botanical Bakery: How a Napa Valley Company Ignored Tradition (and Tripled Sales)
- Accessory Snobs rebrand: How the Wrong Logo Nearly Destroyed my Marriage
- Coco Polo Chocolate: Chocolate Makeover t the Fancy Food Show
- City of Osceola: 12.3 Billion Reasons Tourism Branding Makes Sense (the branding of a city)
- Glob Colors: Oscar Night, Prom Disasters and Rebranding