Richard Maun – Brand By Association

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Brand By Association

13 January 2019

Marketing experts love to say that it takes years to build a brand and seconds to lose it.

Gerald Ratner is often the go-to example of this. When he compared the longevity of his jewellery to that of a prawn sandwich, he was just repeating a joke he’d told before.

The first time he said it nobody noticed. We can all use humour to lighten the mood. However, the second time he said it, it was a slow news day and the press minced him.

I interviewed him a few years back for Future Radio and I must say that he was a thoroughly decent person. Polite and warm and easy to talk to.

With hindsight it probably wasn’t the best move of his to compare jewellery with shell fish and yet it’s easy to be wise after the event.

However, we do need to think about how our own brand is affected by the choices we make. Also how our brand is affected by the company we keep too.

It would be easy to wear a smart suit and think we were presenting an up-market image, when being photographed at a business event …whilst shaking hands with someone, well known for their dishonest trading practices.

What would that say about us?

Likewise, if a competitor-colleague asks us to work with them on a project, we have to be clear about our branding. Are we helping them, or are they detracting from us? If they make a hash of the project how could that affect our reputation? Why do they need us? Are we being flattered into something that’s going to cause us heartache?

All useful questions and all are good to ask.

We do need to think about how our brand is shaped by the company we keep, the image we project and the comments we make.

That extends to social media too. I wonder that Facebook would be a very different place if user generated content was linked directly to their business brand image. It might make people think twice about some of the things they choose to share.

Brand by association; this week we can all pay more attention to who we are working with and who we are standing next to at a busines networking event.

Prawn sandwich anyone?

Next week: Forecast Errors


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