January 14, 2012

MBWT, enemy of branding

MBWT is a crippling disease of branding: Marketing By Wishful Thinking.

MBWT strikes brands large and small, old and new. You see the symptoms everywhere: the urge to stand for more than one thing, the assumption that if you say it they will hear it, the stupider assumption that if they hear it they will believe it. Wishful thinking fuels the belief that old media choices still work today … and on and on.

We want to believe what we want to believe. Natural as breathing.

What’s needed is a dose of salts, as they used to say. A healthy skepticism about what the brand really means, who the prospects really are, what they really need, what the competitive environment is today – a kind of zero-based reboot of assumptions about goals, processes, channels, messaging, capabilities.

MBWT is easy, but that re-examination is hard. Deal with it.