April 13th, 2009
Time is money and both are scarce in corporations these days. Pressure is up to connect to customers in untraditional ways and marketing companies and consultants push their clients into places they have never been to before, places they often don’t understand clearly and that they don’t have resources to manage well. I am talking about company blogs, twitter pages, flickr accounts et cetera. Each come with responsibilities – responsibilities first and foremost to your brand and the consumers that are exposed to it.
Today I read an article in the online edition of Forbes about the importance of the right, aspiring, positioning of luxury brands, especially during hard economic times like these. I read the article because the individual who wrote it is an Executive at one of the world’s leading branding agencies, so a brand I trust. I also lend Forbes my trust. The problem is that I spotted a typo half way through. Instead of ‘They’, it said ‘The’, which changed the meaning and made me pause for a second. It changed my trust in the article, my brand perception of the agency as well as my trust in Forbes. Could it be that editorials, even just short columns, are being written at the speed of blog entries, or maybe even faster? As I am typing this entry I clearly understand that it comes with the responsibility of representing the brand of Geyrhalter Design to everyone and anyone, a brand that I built over years through intense work, a brand that many individuals are nourishing 24/7 to remain in tact to aspiring and current clientele alike.
Consumers want brands they aspire to to consistently show that extra attention to detail. In your customer’s mind there is no difference to the way your brand gets communicated, may it be a 20 second tweet or a 30 second campaign, it is all about how it makes them feel afterwards.
When we received our edition of the latest hardcover ‘bible’ on Graphic Design, from the publishing brand Creatives have trusted and aspired to over decades, Graphis, I was greeted by a horrific mistake in the second intro paragraph, followed by a slightly amusing typo, if it only was not in our very own company name, as shown below. After thousands of brand interactions over decades, it only took seconds for us to decide that the brand has lost its appeal to us.
To further make my point I was greeted by the below ad in the online edition of the New York Times, one of the world’s most important and highly regarded papers, just minutes before writing this entry.
Do we really not take the time to evaluate how much these little mistakes or decisions harm our brand? Maybe the advertiser does NOT suit our brand. Maybe the – already much delayed – book should yet NOT be rushed off to China without proper proof-reading and maybe a leading branding agency should watch out for their own affluent brand while advising others on what to do with theirs.
The times are changing, we do a thousand things at once, but none of them to perfection.
Maybe we should strive for perfection again (even if we do not reach it), because emotional connections to brands are still being built on the foundation of excellence that leads to trust and last but not least to sales.