Sure, there are people who know the right ways to build a strong brand, test it, communicate it, and build the kind of brand value that might be the best investment you ever make.
But methodology is for sissies, right? Mavericks in branding, as in everything else, can always do things their own way -- and reap the rewards!
If you’re not one for the tried-and-tested, here are nine guiding principles -- focused exclusively on the negative -- that will help make 2016 full of . . . um . . . excitement?
Don't talk to your customers.
After all, what do they know? You have dreams, and letting your customers wants and needs get in the way of those would be sheer nonsense. Forge ahead!
Don't get senior management in alignment.
Teams are for weaklings. It’s much better to hire bright, capable people and then keep them guessing what the plan is. Or better yet, working against each other on their own independent ideas. Feel the excitement building?
Don't communicate to your employees.
Why would an employee want or need to know what your brand stands for? These are simply the people who interact with the customers and represent the company on a day-to-day basis. Don’t confuse them with ideology!
Don't develop the business case.
Working out the most profitable areas for your business amounts to a lot of monkey-motion. Just pick what you stand for out of thin air and then spend a fortune promoting it to all the wrong people. That’s the ticket!
Don't develop a launch plan.
Better to leak your new logo and concepts sporadically and confuse your customers and employees. Plus, this gives you the opportunity to second-guess the decisions and leaves everyone free to go off in their own directions. Chaos rules!
Don't speak with one voice.
Again, unity is for eggheads. Having lots of different messages in the marketplace gives you got lots of ways to play your hand. Integrity not working for you? Try Innovation. Because we’re not worrying about authenticity, you can indeed be everything to all people.
Don't develop graphic standards.
After all, who wants to be recognized? Who wants to seem consistent? It’s so much more clever to keep the people guessing, and it keeps you on your toes.
Don’t measure and re-evaluate.
Why would you start listening now? Really, the best idea is just to keep throwing money around -- and sticking to your own opinion. After all, what could go wrong with a good brand? Look at Sears! Oh . . . right.
Don't develop a brand that's authentic to you.
HUGE waste of time. If another company is doing well with their brand, just copy it -- that’ll work. Nobody can tell the difference, right?