The Reason Why Brands Fail…
After 15 years of marketing brands, literally, from the ground up, I’ve got one thing to say: listen to your marketing team.
I cannot tell you the amount of times I sat in board meetings with start-ups to existing world-wide brands, and shook my head in disbelief at what I was hearing. From, “I-don’t-need-anyone-telling-me-how-to-sell-my-own-product-cuz-I’m-the-one-who-invented-it” to “I think my product will just sell itself” (because it’s so much better than the rest), I have heard it all.
After all, that’s why marketing companies exist: to help sell your brand, whether it’s a service, a celebrity or a product. The basic principles of marketing still apply, regardless of the product. Any additional success is completely determined by who you have on your team. Just like sports, you must have a solid network of people ready to take your brand to the Superbowl. And the people on the team that suck? Well, a good coach always knows what to do with those.
But in reality, unfortunately, there is no coach. And often, marketing experts are left at the mercy of the people who are paying them (hmm, kind of like sports…). And often, the people who are paying them have way too big of an ego to let them do their job. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why most people, services, brands and the businesses behind them fail: ego.
So if you are an artist, a company selling cheese-nibs, an organic farming co-op, a start-up IP-based operation or even a non-profit, here is my advice to you:
1. LET people do their job that are trying to help you.
2. GIVE people room to breathe and express themselves, even within your own organization. You never know who and how the next best idea is going to be born.
3. LISTEN to others who are respectable, have real-time experience in what you are trying to achieve, and can show you their results.
4. BE TEACHABLE. You don’t know everything. No one does. If you stop being teachable, you have stopped growing as a human being and your existence will suck until you become teachable again.
5. Make sure you have the RIGHT TEAM. One wrong person on your team can make it or break it. Don’t make excuses for people’s shortcomings. GIVE them ONE opportunity to fix their mistake(s). If they do it again, and you keep them on the team, you are not going to the Superbowl.
That’s it. That’s my advice.
Take it or leave it. I got paid to do that for twenty years. The people who listened are still getting paid from their dividends.