If any of these scenarios seem familiar, perhaps it’s time to consider retooling your brand:
1. You can’t describe in one sentence what differentiates your brand from your competitors. When asked by your best customers what separates you from your main rivals (price aside), you can’t really think of anything besides the color.
2. When asked why you’re successful, you respond with a stock price. High stock prices are wonderful. They keep us all working hard and hopefully will win us bonuses. But what happens when the price drops? How will you withstand a devastating financial loss if you don’t have a strong brand to fall back on?
3. You can’t sum up your mission, vision and values in one sentence. Enough said.
4. No one can remember your logo. You fell in love with that “swoosh” design your brand consultants promised would turn you into the next Nike. Guess what? There’s only one great swoosh and it is Nike’s. Your brand needs something that is yours.
5. The value of your company is the sum of your tangible assets. Yes, this one is hard data. If your factories and buildings all burned down and your products vaporized, what would your company be worth?
6. People still talk about your founder, not your company. He retired 35 years ago and people still reverently look back at him as the genius who made the company what it is today. Well, what is it today? Your stakeholders should be looking toward your future, not your past.
(This piece was first published in Brandweek, prior to being taken over by Adweek in 2011.)