In my presentation at Adaptive Path’s Mx Conference earlier this week, I mentioned that brands are dying. This turned out to have more of an impact than I thought. Helen Walters from BusinessWeek (who was in the audience) ended up interviewing me and posting a video of our conversation on her blog.
Why did I say it?
I often discuss Experience-Based Differentiation (EBD), a blueprint for customer experience excellence, in my blog (and in every other forum where people will listen). In my research, I track how large companies progress towards EBD. It turns out that they’ve actually regressed when it comes to the second principle of EBD: “Reinforce the brand with every interaction, not just communications.” Here’s one of the data points from surveys of large North American firms:
Why are brands dying?
It’s simple: Companies have let profits replace purpose. As firms optimize left-brain management techniques for squeezing out additional profits, they’ve lost something very important — their raison d’être. True brands are more than just marketing slogans, they’re the fabric that aligns all employees with customers in the pursuit of a common cause.
This quote from Mohatma Gandhi gives insight into how companies should think about their brands:
All compromise is based on give and take, but there can be no give and take on fundamentals. Any compromise on mere fundamentals is a surrender. For it is all give and no take.
The bottom line: Don’t let your brand slip away.