Just recently, I was in a meeting with one of our more advanced clients in regards to understanding the importance of a clearly defined brand and how applying that understanding to the daily rigors of business makes a significant difference to the company's success.

We were discussing how they distribute their product and how they should communicate to their different audiences. As we were walking down each of these paths, I noticed that the brand was no longer the filter through which we were viewing these problems and potential solutions.

I will expand on the communications issue a bit more to illustrate what I mean.

It is my experience that smaller changes and issues seem to be much easier to put through the brand filter (easy being the key factor). When larger issues such as the use of technology to communicate to your customers comes up, many drop their brand filter and start applying filters from those who have nothing to do with their brand and/or business. They look at Seth Godin and say, “if he is successful at reaching thousands of people via his blog, we will start one two”. They look at CNN and say, “their app is so successful, we need one too”.

This is wrong thinking and probably why working through the problem is so frustrating and unclear. It is imperative that ALL decisions are run through the brand filter. This creates a focused and consistent impression in the minds of your customers while saving valuable effort, time and money in planning and execution.

To finish the story I started above, once we realized this diversion and refocused on the brand, the decision became crystal clear. There was no question what we needed to do.


I’m interested to hear what you think about this. Is your brand leading you to incorporate such strategies or is a strong outside force pushing you into an area your brand has no business being?

Andrew VanderPloeg
Andrew VanderPloeg Guest Blogger, Consultant

Andrew served at Bark for over 20 years before recently taking over the role of Vice President of Marketing & Communications at ShareWord, one of our favorite organizations.