Brand Development. Toxic brand development interventions are sold by agencies which don’t know what a brand means in our current age. Applying passé thinking, brand development used as a way of packaging meaningless marketing and advertising activity, then just bombard the channels with ‘more’ in the hope that something by chance just sticks at your expense.

Understandably, senior management now has an increasing amount of scepticism around brand development and marketing activity in general, which makes my job tough soothing some seriously burnt fingers.

Comments from a recent meeting I had with a new prospective client. I was asked to ‘audit’ the previous brand intervention. The brand development had no positive impact on the top-line growth of the organisation. I was handed a magnificently produced corporate identity guidelines (incorrectly labelled as brand guidelines), in several languages by the MD.

 “James, we’ve spent eight months and a lot of money on a brand strategy and all that has changed is the guidelines the logo and tagline, a waste of time and money don’t you think?”

 “On the back of our new brand launch, as advised we upped our spend on advertising and other activities, replaced all of our collateral, how can sales remain the same, yet our competition has  gained market share after all this work, it’s a load of b******s!”

Brand development that’s not

Brand Development. In my experience, poorly applied, misaligned brand development interventions just expensively compounds and widens the gap between the brand and the corporate core identity. Many organisations, I feel, are simply not ready to deal with or anticipate identity obsolescence like they anticipate the obsolescence of service design, products or business models. I think you’re either irrelevant, a brand, or just another commodity at a price.

Despite the best efforts of management teams and agencies solution providers, I think many can’t adapt to shifts in the competitive environment because the required brand driven adaptive response is misaligned with the company’s core identity.

Look on the bright side, with so many organisations undertaking brand development so badly, it gives’s you even more of an advantage if you do things well.


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