Don’t Dilute Your Brand, Don’t Confuse Consumers
Here’s a basic, but all too common Achilles Heel for marketers that will smother great strategyor creative work every time. Check out the picture below, it’s of the marketing content accompanying a fairly high-end piece of music equipment that caught my eye in a store recently.
How many logos do you count?
I count two logos, one for CUSTOM AUDIO ELECTRONICS and another for MXR. But, in reading the certainly painstakingly crafted copy, it ends with the proud statement, “high performance and quality that you can only expect from DUNLOP, the world leader in...”
This is a textbook example of brand dilution or fragmentation; there’s three different brands vying for attention and, in the end, no indication of which one is actually behind this marketing or the product. It might seem like an amateur mistake, but ask yourself just how rock solid your brand presentation is across all your products/services, campaigns, industries, materials etc. Well?
Here’s the thing, consumers simply don’t know what they don’t know. There are certainly exceptions (Apple, Coke – I’m looking at you guys, nice work. Call me.) but you have to assume a potential new customer wouldn’t be able to spot your logo from a line-up or, at very least, would be pretty confused if it was lumped in with those of other brands.
Try this instead. Do an informal audit of your marketing content (whether on the campaign level or even a seemingly puny product description):
First, think like the consumer. To grasp how important consistency in brand presentation is just put yourself in the shoes of the consumer (in this case, me). I, for one, was stumped and didn’t buy the product. I looked into it for this post, of course, and it turns out to be a specialty line (Custom Audio Electronics) owned by a sub-brand (MXR) of the parent company (Jim Dunlop) … sorry, but who would possibly know that!? Think like a consumer!
Then, ensure you’re making “the ask.” Whether it’s a big pitch, interviewing for a job or marketing a product, so many times we simply forget to say who we are and what we’re asking for. Sound stupid? Try looking for the ask in your latest PowerPoint or one given by a colleague. Your chances of finding it are only fair at best.
So, to wrap this up what do you think the back of that card might have on it to really confuse the consumer? How about a different set of logos and maybe completely remove the one featured on the front – sound good? Unfortunately, that’s dead on the money – here’s the back of the product card.
All apologies to the marketing team over at Jim Dunlop: But next time think like a consumer, introduce yourself clearly and ask for my business.
As Marketing Communications Manager, Luke Meyers handles all aspects of marketing, branding and market research for McMurry. Before McMurry, Luke worked in fundraising and development for the Visiting Nurse Service, one of the oldest non-profits in the country.