Three Simple Ways to Tell Your Brand is Stuck in Groundhog Day

Most companies spend time on their brand when they launch their business. They might focus on their logo and possibly a brochure, leaving the heaving lifting of messaging, value proposition and brand experience to a later date.

Fast-forward ten years. While their business has changed – significantly – many firms still have the same logo, same visual branding, and are still without a value prop or client experience plan. They’re doing the same thing over and over again, with the same messaging, wondering why they’re not getting different results. They’re stuck in a branding version of Groundhog’s Day.

The Groundhog Day movie provides some great lessons that can be applied to branding, and how to create a meaningful brand. After living the same day over and over again – some estimates put it at about 12,395 days – Phil (Bill Murray) learns secrets from the town’s residents, seduces women, steals money, gets drunk, drives recklessly, and gets thrown in jail. And he tries to manipulate Rita (Andie MacDowell) into loving him. After multiple times attempting suicide, only to wake and relive the same day, his experiences change him. He learns French. He learns how to play the piano. He befriends everyone in town. He saves lives and helps people. And eventually he is a changed man and wins the heart of Rita.

While originally panned, Groundhog Day is now considered a self-improvement parable teaching the need to look inside oneself and realize that the only satisfaction in life comes from turning outward and thinking about others rather than concentrating solely on one’s own wants and desires.[1]

Wowza! That is exactly the basis for a brand.

When we work with organizations to develop their brand and brand messaging, we often ask, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” “What is it that you uniquely do to help people around you – your clients and your community?” Answering these questions, along with 50+ more, provides the basis to create a meaningful, differentiated brand.

These questions, this outward facing consideration should be revisited every years. Your business has changed. The world has changed. They way we all buy has changed. As such, your brand must change. Has your brand evolved, or is it stuck?

Here are Three Simple Ways to Tell Your Brand is Stuck in Groundhog’s Day:

  1. You think a logo is a brand. Brands encompass each and every experience people have with you and your organization.
  2. Your collateral and website feature old, out-of-date photos – possibly including the same guy on the front page as your competition. Your retiree images are limited to just people golfing or following passive past-times. (Even worse, most of them look like they’ve been taken from a Cialis commercial.)
  3. You don’t have a value proposition that resonates in today’s marketplace – or no value prop at all. (Read this research by Mass Mutual regarding the need for a value-prop to succeed in today’s marketplace.)

If any of these points apply to you, or if you are ready to take your branding out of Groundhog’s Day, read Create a Magnetic Brand, Build Margin. (Yep. A powerful brand does build margin.)

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[1] Source: Thank’s Wikipedia! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Groundhog_Day_(film)

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