Branding Won’t Solve All Your Problems

Seth Godin wrote today about a couple of big companies that have re-branded themselves recently, with some scepticism:

I guess the punchline is: take the time and money and effort you’d put into an expensive logo and put them into creating a product and experience and story that people remember instead.

Man with a megaphoneSad but true: many companies seem to think that by launching a new ad campaign, changing a logo or starting a blog, they can fix all of their problems.


Organizations need to remember that just because they shout something loudly, it doesn’t mean it’s true.

I had a brutal car rental experience recently, waiting hours for a rental car despite having a reservation. Not surprisingly, I was a little upset and my Twitter followers got to hear all about it. The first line of the car rental company’s response to me (after an email to their head office) included their slogan in quotes, right down to an inappropriately-placed period from their trademark.

The company has definitely created a story. It’s not the one they want people to hear, though.

Instead of messaging and bureaubabble (please don’t lead a paragraph with the word "pursuant"), I might have been a little happier if the response had included the words "sorry," "improve" or "won’t happen again." It included none of these.

You can’t brand your way out of a poor product or poor customer service.

Dave Fleet
Managing Director and Head of Global Digital Crisis at Edelman. Husband and dad of two. Cycling nut; bookworm; videogamer; Britnadian. Opinions are mine, not my employer's.