It Doesn’t Matter What You Think

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It’s at the very core of building a brand…

It doesn’t matter what you think. The only opinion that matters is your customer’s opinion.

What your customers think you are is what you are. And once made up, minds are seldom changed no matter how much marketing money you spend.

Marketers work hard to own “positions” in the mind of the customer, but it is really the customer who decides what position you own.

For example, when a well-entrenched brand like McDonald’s tries to change their position in the mind of the customer, it fails.

McDonald’s isn’t a pizza place, as they discovered after investing millions upon millions into the McPizza disaster of the 1990s.

No matter how much it tries to be, McDonald’s isn’t a coffee shop.  No matter how good people rate it’s coffee, it isn’t a coffee shop.

And McDonald’s isn’t Panera Bread or Chipotle. No matter how hard it goes after the emerging fast-casual dining category, it simply isn’t ever going to be that.

McDonalds is perceived by customers to be a kid-focused fast food restaurant that specializes in burgers. How much McMoney will they have to pour into marketing to change that perception? I don’t think there is a number large enough.

Remember when Garth Brooks tried to reposition himself as a pop artist? It failed miserably and nearly cost him his career. The list of country singers who have repositioned as pop artists is slim, as is the list of pop artists going the other way.

Once you’ve achieved a position in the mind of your customer, you are unlikely to ever change it.

The smart money is on embracing, celebrating, and protecting your position.

The marketing book Brand Like a Rock Star will change the way you look at branding, marketing, and positioning. By using examples from rock ‘n’ roll, you’ll see how legends like AC/DC, U2, The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, and Jimmy Buffett created powerful brands. You’ll learn how to put their core strategies to use in your business right away. Order it now with one click here, in paperback or digital download.

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The Three Biggest Mistakes In Rebranding

rock star image hugh mcleod compressed

You hear the word used in business all the time.


And millions of dollars and years of human resources are poured into the majestic “rebrand” to turn things around, only to have nothing actually change.

That’s because so many “rebrands” fall victim to the same three mistakes, over and over.

Mistake #1: Believing Anyone Cares

We are pretty busy. We have families and jobs and bills and stuff, and we don’t really care much about your (detergent/restaurant/airline/car/shoes/whatever).

You’re on the inside. You care.

Your customers are on the outside, and they don’t care. You may think they care because they are in your email database and they shop with you, but chances are extremely high their level of give-a-shit is lower than you can imagine.

Mistake #2: Believing The Brand Is Visual

When you change your logo, you don’t change your brand.

Your brand is the emotional connection that your customers have with you. It’s how you make them feel. It’s how you delight their soul with your product. And your logo can have an impact on that, but it is a small part of the brand itself.

Your brand isn’t visual. Your brand is emotional.

Simply changing the visual aspect of your brand doesn’t rebrand you. You need to change the way your brand emotionally connects with customers in order to fully rebrand your company.

Mistake #3: Not Considering The Marketplace

Your rebrand exists in a bigger world. Your rebrand will take place in a crowded market, surrounded by competitors and potential competitors.

When you choose your new name, look, sound, smell, culture, and DNA, you need to consider the cultures around you.

Your competitors help define you.

Target isn’t “affordable quality” without Walmart being “save money”.

Chipotle isn’t “fast casual” without McDonalds being “fast food”.

When you choose your new path, remember the paths of those around you and consider carefully how they define your brand.

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