I’ve been watching a company slowly kill its brand identity for the past two years, and I can’t take it anymore. I have to get this out in the open, so please forgive me while I vent. However, it is a valuable lesson for anyone in marketing. Here are the brand-killing missteps I’ve observed:

  1. They no longer have a consistent voice. The original investment they made in developing an appealing identity has been squandered by infrequent communications that are unrecognizable as belonging to the same organization. In the most recent mailer I received from them, I had to hunt to find who it was from, and I was challenged to determine the core message.
  2. After a decade of utilizing a strong brand mark, they dropped it in favor of a visually weaker logo that disappears on the printed page and other applications.
  3. Their website reflects the previous brand, and the homepage imagery has not been updated in three years. I lapse into sarcasm here: Why would they want anyone to come back to their site for new offerings?
  4. They have forgotten who they are. Without a clear understanding of why they succeeded in the past, they are floundering in communicating why they’re the best solution for their customers now. Of course, recognizing and adapting to change can be a good thing—but becoming distracted by the latest marketing “winds” can kill consistency.
  5. The marketing communications that once gave a unified appeal are now disjointed and don’t follow a plan. The brand’s promise is diluted by the lack of clarity and media focus. When an organization goes off the media radar, it makes customers wonder if they still exist, and allows other competitors to gain market share.

I trust that in some way this rant was constructive, and can be a lesson in keeping the marketing train on the track. If nothing else, I feel better.