[Cache – #124]
Based on some delightfully warm greetings I had recently received, I once said that the #1 way to build your brand was simply to welcome people warmly.
The flipside is that to damage your brand, simply be rude to people, which far too many organizations practice as a fine art.
But there is a middle ground, a way of alienating your supporters more slowly: by relating to them with apathy. By making the sale and then pretty much ignoring them. This is what appears to be in progress (not deliberately I’m sure) at the beautiful Artscape Wychwood Barns, a former set of repair barns for TTC streetcars transformed into “a 60,000 sq. ft. multifaceted community centre where arts and culture, environmental leadership, heritage preservation, urban agriculture and affordable housing are brought together to foster a strong sense of community.”
Take a look at this photo, which shows placards, prominently displayed at the Barns, upon which appear the names of especially generous donors.
Except that something is missing. Namely a multitude of letters from the names of a sizable proportion of donors. So we can all take a moment and honour the generosity of people like “Low ng”, “P. Tay “, ” i i Sto k” and “Kath een arpe”. And just imagine for a moment the disappointment these Artscape supporters feel when seeing their names publicly displayed in tatters.
Apathy after the sale: Jay Levinson, the genius behind more than 30 bestselling Guerilla Marketing books, says that 68% of business loss is caused by it. Or as Ted Matthews would put it, the Barns is suffering from a classic case of Dead Plant Syndrome: if you notice that the plants around your office are dying or departed, it’s a sign that other areas of your brand may have lost their lustre as well. So take a very close look at the rest of your operation.
BOOK: Brand: It Ain’t the Logo is now available at all TARGET stores in Canada.
NEW: interview on CBC Radio One about unhappiness with Microsoft Windows 8
TV: BNN interview re. Lance Armstrong’s brand (starts at the 3:30 mark, after the ad).