Branding initiatives fail for various reasons, but more often than not it simply comes down to poor decision making. Hence the phrase, “A camel is a horse designed by a committee.”
Avoid Large Groups
Small groups committed to the entire branding process will allow for faster & better decision making because of a shared journey. This group together becomes an expert on the problem, the objectives, the strategy and can quickly identify the right solution. The ideal size is roughly around 5-8 people from diverse functions of the business, not just marketing.
Large groups, on the other hand, suffer from group think (making irreverent & poor decisions) and coordinating meetings with them can be like herding cats. Big groups prove true the old idiom, “a camel is a horse designed by committee.”
I love democracy and I love America, but in a branding conversation equal say can hurt rather than help. There needs to be a clear leader to cast vision and drive the right decisions for the group.
Avoid an “Us vs. Them” Mindset
Branding work is the result of how well the agency and client work together. It often comes down to how much the client truly trusts the agency and, likewise, how much the agency trusts the client as experts in their business. It is a two-way street. The best work is done in collaboration with mutual respect and trust on both sides.
Avoid Selling Upstream
Rarely can a big change, like a rebrand, be made from the bottom up (sorry to be a dream crusher, but it’s true). Usually, someone up the food chain, not part of the process, will swoop in, disagree with a fundamental strategy, and derail everything. There needs to be a mandate from the top for change, commissioning the work to be done, and an agreement with the business problem.
I hope avoiding these pitfalls can help you make better decisions and create more inspiring work. Of course, you can always hire us to help.