Stand by...

You're about to be redirected to

September 13, 2005

The brand nazis

The Church of the Customer blog has a strangely familiar post about the LEGO brand. It reminds me of the new ASAE & The Center brand. ASAE members are being encouraged to refer to the newly formed group as "ASAE & The Center" and not simply ASAE. I suppose the request makes sense, if only to the marketing department.

One of my marketing truisms is that you work with what people give you. For example, there's the famous story about a shirt company whose product faded when washed. They tried to explain away this flaw in the product, and spent gobs of money doing it, but couldn't change the marketplace's perception. Finally, the company embraced the fading. "Guaranteed to fade" became their mantra, and sales skyrocketed.

The city of Las Vegas spent years and millions of dollars trying to cast itself as a family friendly destination. Finally, they got smart and used to their advantage what the marketplace already believed about the city. Now in Las Vegas, "What happens here, stays here." Brilliant.

I once worked for a professional society of business intelligence professionals. Corporate spies, basically, but not nearly as sexy as it sounds. However, these professionals had quite a sexy market perception going for them. You could count on 2-4 stories in the Wall Street Journal about this kind of work every year. My dream was to capitalize on that well-known perception and make the association seem stealthy -- like Mission Impossible or James Bond. The idea was too radical and never got any traction.

If perception is reality, why attempt to change it? Why not embrace it? Does your association (or the industry/profession it represents) have a well-known market perception? Instead of trying to change the perception, why not put a twist on it and take advantage of it?

No comments: