Thursday, May 22, 2008

Do you suffer from Brand Cringe?

Image from skampy

Nike. Apple. This is not for you and your ilk. You are the ones known as ‘creative opportunities.’ Every creative wants your brand in their portfolio. There is no cringe, just competition for your patronage.

No, this is for all you category-number-threes and -fours. It’s for you financial brands. Or you B to B’s. Or, gasp, you CPGs. You form a gigantic group of vital, dynamic businesses otherwise known in the creative department as the bottom 99th percentile of all brands you’re dying to work on.

There are thousands of brands in this catch-all that get incredible counsel from their agencies. But there are so many more that are potential victims of Brand Cringe.

(And no, budget doesn’t make anyone immune. Agencies will do a quick, mental Boston Consulting Group number on you, and consign you to the Cash Cow quadrant. Harsh, but true.)

Ask yourself the following questions to see if you have Brand Cringe.

Are creatives fighting to get on your business, or off it?

If there are layoffs at your agency, are any of your creatives the first to go?

Is the conversation about your brand centered around what has to change (the logo, the name, the style, the customer) instead of what has to be magnified?

Do your creatives define a successful communication by how little it shows of your actual product?

Any interest shown in your business - is it professional, or passionate?

Examine your responses to these questions and you’ll have a sense of your creative partner.

(a) A highly engaged lateral thinker, walking arm in arm with you to success, whose passion for your brand is such that it even buoys you through the inevitable down days.

(b) A treader of the waters, going through the motions, a tad embarrassed to be seen in public with your brand. A carrier of the dreaded Brand Cringe.

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