It frustrates me to see organizations and destinations
throw away good money on advertising and communication material that is
unfocused and misdirected. Advertising is a creative interpretation of a brand
designed to create a specific response. If the underlying brand is weak – or
worse, never got adequate attention in the first place – it’s like trying
to build a structure on a foundation of quicksand.
It takes research, analysis, and a creative perspective to
define and differentiate a brand, which ultimately gives focus to the
advertising, promotions, even pricing, not to mention keeping the whole team focused on delivering the brand promise.
A solid brand strategy is so critical to success that the
strategic work of defining and strengthening it is more of an investment than
an expense. Sure, a one-off ad may yield some inquiries, but a strong brand
has lasting advantages.
• It has value like other business assets. For-profit
corporations are assigning a monetary value to the brand so that it shows up on
• It aids with recognition and recall. What was the name
of that shoe that Michael Jordan always talked about? Of course we all know
• It desensitizes customers to price. Like millions of
people every day I buy my coffee at Starbucks when I could spend half as much
at a convenience store.
• It leads to customer loyalty. I, for one, have been
buying from L.L. Bean for more than 20 years. It's a brand I trust and the purchasing experience is always good.
• It's the only way to advance from brand awareness to
Now that's an investment worth making.