March 27, 2012

It’s Darwinian. (Duh!)

Is your brand endangered?

Here are nine tests to see if you’re adapting for survival:
1. Have you shifted >51% of your media spending to online?
2. Could your tagline be used only by you, and not by your closest competitor?
3. Has your website been redesigned since 2007?
4. Have you introduced a new product line (not just a single product) in the past three years?
5. Are you using video on your website?
6. Do you have a YouTube channel?
7. Is your advertising ROI improving year-against-year?
8. Are you seriously planning to engage a new demographic or psychographic market segment (young/old/soccer moms/NASCAR dads/LGBT/Hispanic/whatever)?
9. Are you spending zero dollars on printed directories, e.g., Yellow Pages?

If you had 7 to 9 Yes answers, congratulations. You’ve greatly improved your Darwinian chances of success. (If you had three or more No answers, let’s talk….)

Organizations, like Galapagos finches, need to adapt and evolve to insure survival. We’ve seen many companies flourish in the new digital realities, deftly using social media, original content creation, findability strategies and interactive brand narratives to engage with customers.

Unfortunately, we’ve seen failure to adapt as well: clinging to old media, neglectng social connections, marketing by wishful thinking (MBWT), overspending on outbound messaging, text-heavy clutter on websites, failure to address the needs of key segments.

Since the whole organization is at risk, it must be the CEO’s responsibility to call for a brand audit: which processes, policies and personnel are adapting to change? Which are victims of institutional inertia? Have we re-thought the awareness and attitude differences between customers and prospects? How cost-effective is our dialog with our audiences?