Kill Your Brand (For a Few Minutes)

The death of your brand: have you ever thought about it? Have you considered the implications of its demise, for better or worse? What might be lost in the marketplace of ideas, products or services if your brand no longer existed?

Excuse my pessimism, but it might be time to think about your brand’s vanishing act.

We often hold post-mortems on projects, events or campaigns to determine what went right and wrong. Then we go back to our desks, the criticisms and accolades tucked into a corner of our brain for use next time around. We may also discuss the “banana peels” leading up to a campaign or event – where might we slip and how we can avoid it.  But have you ever brought your team and customers together and asked them this question: If our brand no longer existed, what would you miss most?

Go ahead: envision the death of your brand, or, worse yet, of your company or agency. Imagine its non-existence.

Would customers revolt? Would they be screaming on social media in a Veronica Mars/Arrested Development sort of way to bring your brand back? If you’re a PR firm, would your clients’ reputations go downhill fast and would their own companies hit a wall because your firm is no longer counseling them?

Would customers send you letters begging for you to bring the brand or product back to the marketplace? Do they need your product so much that without it they are a wreck, either emotionally, physically, academically or financially?

With your product dead, would customers flock to your competitors and get on with life just fine?

Would there be a deafening silence: no one complaining, no one missing the uniqueness of your brand? Worse yet, no one even noticed you were gone until they read the obituary?

Before you make the next move with your brand, have your employees and customers fill in the blank: If this brand went away, I would _____________.

How they fill in the blank may be the key to your survival.

– Diane Schwartz