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    Why Your Brand is Failing to Convey its Message

    Written by Thomas Mayhew on September 1, 2015
    Brand DevelopmentWe’ve all heard the adage that first impressions are everything. You can, and certainly do, judge books by their covers and your brand is no different. Impressions are real, and so is the weight they hold when it comes to the direct opinions people develop of your brand.
    Whether your business sells to other businesses or to consumers, it’s still a human being that you’re appealing to, and brand development is crucial to gaining their business. You’re opening the door to a highly judgmental arena. The one thing people will remember, if nothing else, is how you made them feel.
    Here are some of the most important reasons why your brand might be failing to trigger a memorable feeling in people.  

    1. Attention Span

    There’s been a lot of buzz after a recent study concluded that this digital age has lowered people’s attention spans to less than that of a goldfish (8 seconds). This doesn’t mean we're getting dumber, but that we’re trying to compensate for a perpetuated access to endless content.
     By default this has developed a certain degree of ADD in online users.
    This knowledge of how people process information must be integrated into how you deliver your value proposition. You need quick and hard-hitting messages, but that’s only half of the battle. The other half is delivering a unique message – here’s a tool to see if yours is failing.

    2. A Clear Differentiation

    To expand on another recent blog post, 7 Steps to Creating a Unique Value Proposition, hopefully what you’re offering is something competitors are lacking. If not, fear not. The following is a take on the Differentiation Litmus Test, seen in Launch a Brand by MicroArts’ Peter Lee Getman.
    First define your brand’s message/position (if this isn’t easily done in under one minute, there’s your first problem). Write it on a whiteboard. Draw your logo above it. Now ask, “Do these two things in unison create a true statement?” If this isn’t a clear “YES!” you need a companywide come to Jesus meeting.  Now erase your logo. Replace it one-by-one with the logos of multiple, close competitors. Ask around. If the unison of your message and the logo of competitors don’t create a false statement – go back to the drawing board and redefine your messaging. 

    3. Appealing Against Pain Points

    The approach to pain points differs between B2B and B2C. Generally businesses buy from other businesses to increase profits, which usually involve some aspect of saving time or money. Insight into pain points of personas is one of the most valuable pieces of intelligence a company can acquire. 
    The common denominator is the fact that someone needs something you offer. What makes you the common differentiate is being able to appeal to a specific aspect of their human nature better than other people – for example freedom, immediate gratification or being in the “ahead of the crowd” club.

    4. Balance of Stagnation and Adaptation

    It is vital to understand one thing in this day and age – sitting on the bench too much will quickly get you kicked off the roster. Countless companies people have lived with for decades aren’t making the 21st century’s cut because it’s a different day and age, with a different generation, that operates on different norms and principles. They made the terminal mistake of thinking their product and brand was above adaptive laws.

    Few practice all four themes as well as Coca-Cola. After changing the recipe in 1985, they recieved harsh backlash from their consumers. By reverting to the "old" recipe, they leveled out and maintained physical branding. They gained the most noteriety by crafting their message to appeal to the highest levels of societal solidarity, like family values and random acts of kindness. Nobody has successfully mimicked their product or branding and they’ve kept the messaging quick and simple.

    Complacency in today's markets will get you knocked out of the game. But here’s the catch – you must be adaptive but remain consistent. This goes all the way down to your colors and the font of your styling. Changing things around will not solve your branding woes or reconfigure the company for sudden success. Doing this successfully requires an experienced understanding of brand-market balance.


    Want to learn more about how Marsden Marketing creates well-crafted brand identities for our clients? Check out our portfolio!

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