Selling buzzwords, not brands

Please note that this post was originally published on September 13, 2011. As a result, any external links or videos used may no longer be functional.

A recent article in AdWeek addresses a point I made in earlier posts:

That is, marketing consultants are disserving their clients by creating a bewildering profusion of processes, words and diagrams that accomplish essentially the same thing — identifying the brand essence.

The latest contributor to the chaos is Ogilvy & Mather’s “The big ideaL,” which the agency explains this way: “Put simply, it is for brands to commit themselves to and then identify themselves with some cause of enduring importance. So that the qualities of a brand are no longer passed on merely through positioning, tone of voice, a visual identity or a big idea. But through its actions and words in support of something bigger than all of these.”

Like Disruption, Bang!, Swarm, Lovemarks, HumanKind and other agency process papers, “The big ideaL” adds to the jargon that makes branding seem complicated to understand and execute.

AdWeek says, “Agencies frequently turn to buzzwords and gobbledygook as they try to distinguish themselves.”

Why? Consultant Hasan Ramusevic told the publication, “A process is comforting. It indicates (to clients) that you can do it over and over again.”

What it may indicate instead is that marketers can make their clients’ branding as confusing and off-putting as their own.

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This entry was posted in book reviews, brand essence, client-agency relationships, simplicity.

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