And how not hiring an experienced branding professional can cost you.
On this particular day I found myself sitting in a meeting with people that I considered both successful and intelligent.
I listened carefully as they spoke passionately about their company and the products they produced. They had an intense pride for what they’d accomplished, who they were, and where they were going. I was inspired.
Then, in the blink of an eye it all came to a screeching halt, as I sat there with a stunned look on my face.
And what was it that sent me into this state of disillusion? Well, it was the realization that this successful company had chosen to trust their branding efforts to a guy by the name of Joe. No last name to speak of – just Joe.
Come to find out, Joe was the guy who designed their logo, built their website and was responsible for the ground-breaking campaign of 2012 featuring a Half-Off Monday Madness Sale!
To be honest, it was difficult to argue their success, but for certain, it was not due to the advertising prowess of Joe. No, this company’s brand ran much deeper than that. They had a great product in a small community with a good family name. They were successful in spite of Joe. How do I know this? Well, that’s why I was in the meeting in the first place.
You see, as this particular company expanded to new markets, they found their name and reputation meant little to the markets they were moving into and what seemed to have worked in the past, no longer did. Unfortunately, Joe was not up for the task.
I could go on about this account and how we chose to position them, but that is not the point of the story.
Truth is, pretty much anyone with a laptop and the latest series of “how to” books can call themselves an agency or designer. Unfortunately, the glaring differences between an experienced professional and a guy named Joe are often discovered after the check has been cashed. Sure, you’ll pay less for Joe – that’s a given. But as they say, “you will always end up getting what you pay for.”
Believe it or not, there is a science to effective advertising, marketing and strategic branding, and it rarely comes from reading a book. It comes from experience. Experience in the classroom and on the job that helps companies and individuals deliver messages, sell products and establish brands.
Having a great product and excellent service is an essential part of successful branding, but at some point, you have to find a way to translate those elements into your messaging and marketing efforts.
In the end, I am pretty confident I could pull off a triple by-pass surgery if I really had too. After all, I have watched plenty of episodes of Grey’s Anatomy – but for now, I think I will stick with advertising.
Michael Russo, Creative Director
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