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Behind-the-Scenes Anatomy of a Brand Change

I’ve written before about name changes (see my blog here about the National Speakers Association changing its name to Platform and then quickly changing it back again), but I’ve never dissected the subtle implications and ramifications of a brand change.

AND, more importantly, I’ve never before shared why I changed from DUH! Marketing to Red Fire Branding. Today’s goal is to help you evaluate when your brand is or isn’t working. Fair Warning: this is a longer blog post than normal.

  1. Evaluate the Positives of Your Brand: On my side, there was definitely an upside to the name.

  2. Evoked fun and humor – It was 100% fun to give folks my card and get a chuckle

  3. Publicity was easy to wrangle – How hard is it to create a fun story out of a marketing misstep?

  4. My Content spread like wildfire – Before there was “viral marketing” and social networking, my content was shared via word of mouth and email forwarding

  5. Matched my Brand DNA – Yep, I am guilty of laughing and finding the lunacy of today’s marketing tactics

  6. Brand Recognition was high – I would get recognized on the road and even at valet parking with folks remembering my stuff.

  7. Take a Close Look at the Negatives

  8. Trademark was difficult to protect – Even though I had a registered trademark in many categories, patrolling it was expensive. I even sicced my lawyer upon Brandweek because they decided to start a Department of DUH! Marketing column right after they interviewed me! (Question: do I want to create content or pay lawyers to protect my content?)

  9. My Content was ripped off endlessly – Before content curation, I would find my exact words in print without attribution in major publications including Business 2.0.

  10. DUH was a little sassy….and pejorative – Ooops! Even my son got called into the principal’s office for saying “DUH” back to the teacher

  11. Meeting Planners assumed my talks were mean – Without even watching my demo reel, I was dismissed as the next Joan Rivers or Randy Gage of branding.

  12. Impossible to get hired by the companies you insulted – AND, here it is: the clincher: if you just have insulted Snapple, do you think they’re gonna hire you for their sales meeting?

The Bottom Line: Branding is all about how others perceive you; not what you say you are. Regardless of what I meant to convey through DUH, it was a DUH-saster because it negatively impacted my reputation. And, more importantly, it killed my revenue opportunities. If your brand isn’t bringing in the money, sponsors, donors, or clients, it isn’t working!

Share your thoughts, comments, and insights in the comments below.

Photo courtesy of Sarita Maybin
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