In 2000, Wallpaper announced that the corporate status symbol for the new millennium wouldn't be the latest pricey watch or wildly expensive brief case, but time.
The theory was that if you can't take a vacation (much less lunch), you hadn't climbed very high on the corporate ladder. Busy was going to move from being a badge of honor, a sign of being indispensible, to a sign that one couldn't effectively delegate or manage one's time well.
It seems as if this is just one more way the first decade of the millennium was a failure. As the Great Recession bore down on business, busy moved from pervasive to pandemic, leaving marketing and communications especially ravaged. Digital and mobile messaging are of course the lead catalysts, and the result can be catastrophic for brands. If you don't recall KFC's coupon debacle this article recounts the disaster.
Howard Mann, the author of Your Business Brickyard, says it best: "More megaphones don't equal a better dialogue."
I see a rush to digital communications, and it is justifiable. Meanwhile, in addition to the virtual land grab, c-level executives seem to be holding fast to traditional tactics as much as budgets will permit. Yet on both digital and mass media fronts, inferior customer service or parody product lines stymie marketing efforts.
There are three factors that impact your brand:
In this hostile economic environment, a brand has to deliver all three sides of the brand triangle to succeed. Preference for a hospital with outstanding clinical care and the soundest of marketing plans erodes completely when a nurse having a bad day delivers a perfunctory comment to a patient's family member.
Delivering all three aspects of the brand triangle is extraordinarily difficult. It demands attention to detail, and places as much importance on internal branding as mass marketing. In short it, takes time.
Let's give up busy for Lent. Let's slow down and consider the changes we need to make organizationally or operationally to support our brand promise before we get back to the business of marketing it. Otherwise, our next failure to live up to our marketing promises will find its way to Facebook.