Are you Franken-branding? Patchy plans produce unpredictable results

Cohesive branding

Remember reading Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein during your formative years? Or maybe you’ve sat through Gene Wilder’s Young Frankenstein so many times that you have the lip sync down cold. No? Okay, heres the 10¢ take-away: Build something out of a bunch of bits and pieces, some of which may not be what you think they are, and you end up with a hot mess that is unpredictable, not the result you had hoped for and possibly even be dangerous.

Sure, the argument can be made that the wildly enthusiastic, young Dr. Frankenstein had budget constraints and, in his effort to get “something” out there to make a name for himself, he had to take the parts he had at hand, cobble them together and hope for the best. But as we can see, that was just a bit optimistic. Something isn’t the right thing and actually squanders resources that could be used towards achieving real success.

In branding, we see the same scenario many times. We need to make our brand relevant to potential customers. Budgets are tight. Expectations are high. Results are desired immediately. Which tactics will be the magic bullets to advance the brand: web sites, social media, vlogging, blogging, tradeshows, direct mail campaigns, enewsletters, customer appreciation events…?

In the rush to results, it is tempting to run headlong toward every new thing that everyone else is buzzing about. But, channeling your inner Dr. Frankenstein and patching together elements is not an effective substitute for a plan. Before you know it, you’ll have a monster on your hands.

So, take a step back. Regardless of the size of your organization, consider two very basic questions:

First,what is the goal for elevating the brand? It should be definite and measureable, for example, a target percentage of new customers added to the lists, a defined uptick in media hits, new visitors to the web site, or other metrics. All can be indicators of whether your marketing efforts are helping the brand stand out.

Second, what tactics will most efficiently put the brand in front of the target audience? Keeping in mind the goal, identify the best method to impress your audience. Get ’em where they live. Exposing your brand to the appropriate target-rich environment, using media appropriate to the demographic, reinforces your brand image and is an economical and effective way to get the attention you desire.

When you’re getting down to the nuts and bolts of any aspect of marketing and branding, it’s always a careful balance of time, reach and money. Don’t short-circuit your results with patchy Franken-branding programs. Using your goal as your guide will deliver monstrous success.

Do you need help building your brand? Contact ALLE.