Okay, so you've done the research, developed the strategy, executed the creative, pulled off the launch, placed the ads and you're feeling pretty proud of yourself for building the greatest brand your industry has ever seen. Guess what - your brand is still vulnerable, and it may be in a place you haven't spent much time thinking about.
This morning we received an offer from Groupon
(incidentally a pretty cool site/service for Los Angelenos) offering us a hotel stay and extras worth $424 for only $150. (After today, you can see the deal here
for a few more months.) We immediately noticed this language in the offer:
"For $150, you'll get a romantic retreat at SeaCrest Resort complete with ocean-view room, wine tasting with appetizers, vineyard tour, bottle of wine, and $10 toward Marie Callender's..."
We don't know about you or your significant others, but Marie Callender's
is not typically how we like to end wine-filled romantic beach retreats. It's not that there's anything wrong
with Marie Callender's. It's just that as a brand it's not really the right accompaniment for a resort, a weekend or an outing purporting to be escapist, passionate or vinicultural.
[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="302" caption="Escapist, Passionate, Vinicultural"][/caption]
[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="271" caption="Marie Callender's"][/caption]
There's a lesson here for b2b brands and the professionals in charge of them. Do the partners, third-parties and ancillary products/services associated with your brand do it justice?
- If you want the brand to be seen as technologically advanced, you'd better make sure your salespeople don't show up to meetings running PowerPoint 2004 on Windows 98.
- If you want the brand associated with service, you might not want to co-market with TimeWarner Cable.
- If you want the brand to be known as dependable, giving away crappy bags that fall apart a week after the tradeshow isn't doing you any favors.
If you're serious about building your brand, then it's up to you to ensure that you surround it with other brands that present it to best effect.
It takes planning, it isn't always cheap and it often involves someone or something you can't directly control, but hey - if building great brands was easy it just wouldn't be so rewarding, now would it?