I was perusing Facebook earlier when I came across this photo on the American Marketing Association’s page. There’s nothing remarkably special about this post, but it really got me thinking – how much power do we have over our own brands? I have to think that there is a great deal of validity in the claim that consumers are the ones who determine what our brands are, even if that’s different from what we strive to represent.
Sure, the company does the initial legwork in developing a brand—the business plan, the name, messaging, logo design and service offerings. But once you launch your company, your brand is in the people’s hands. Everything we do, from business practices to company culture and community involvement, can impact our brand definition. However, we will never fully control consumer’s opinions of what our brands represents. From day one, we are subject to scrutiny. Opinions are formed about your business each and every day, and depending on the positive or negative connotations associated with those opinions, your brand can turn into something it’s not. This seems to be an unavoidable certainty but the real question is how do you cope with this process?
Has your business engaged in proactive activities to remain positive in the public eye or have you given up the cause? I’d say if you’re marketing your brand then you’re still in the fight to achieve or maintain the image you’ve always wanted; if you’re not, the brand is probably a sinking ship.