Brent Niemuth, President/CCO

Brent Niemuth, President/CCO

In the midst of this crazy political season, it’s frustrating to hear politicians talk about what they plan on doing, what their strategy is, how they’re more qualified to get things done…all without actually getting anything DONE! It’s just talk. They rarely execute any of these ideas. Unfortunately, this is also true of many brands today. Lots of great ideas, weak on execution. If I had to point to one thing that most brands fall short on, it would be their lack of execution on their brand strategy.

Let me explain. Many brands will hire an outside expert or agency to help them define a brand strategy and marketing plan. They’ll spend endless hours and a lot of money trying to craft a unique and compelling story. Committees are formed to evaluate the strength and legitimacy of the strategy. Everyone weighs in with their personal perspective and opinions. Big ideas are tossed around conference room tables and white boards are filled with bold solutions. People get excited about this new brand direction. This could really change things!

But then, when it comes time to execute the plan…to actually DO things…the momentum stalls. The strategy gets watered down. The design direction gets compromised and budgets get cut. Sadly, what actually gets executed doesn’t at all resemble the original thinking that got everyone excited in the first place.

Here’s the problem. Execution is all in the details, and EVERY detail matters. Every photo, every ad, every email, every catalog cover, every website update, every tweet, every kerned headline—every single decision matters. This is what separates the great brands from the other 90%. They get the details right. Their execution is flawless.

Here are three simple things to consider to improve your brand execution:

  • Branding is a craft best practiced by craftsmen. Is your internal team up to the task? The people who are responsible for communicating your brand (your greatest asset) to the outside world need to be specialists, not generalists. If you don’t have these talented people on your staff, bring in outside experts.
  • Do a brand audit. Gather all of your marketing materials, catalogs, promotions, brand identity, coffee mugs with your logo on them—whatever you can find—and spread them out on your conference room table. Is everything cohesive and as it should be? If not, fix it right away.
  • Establish your Brand Police. If you don’t have a small, designated team responsible for constantly reviewing every single piece of brand communication that leaves your building, you should. Better yet, make it ONE person. Let’s call them the Sheriff.

Finally, consider this. All the great thinking and creativity in the world doesn’t matter if your customers don’t actually SEE it. If they don’t see it, it never happened. Remember, consumers base 90% of their decision making on what they SEE. They’re not privy to the great thinking and strategy sessions held behind closed doors. They don’t get to read the creative briefs or marketing plans. All they know is what they see. And all too often, what they see is not a very good representation of what the brand aspires to be.

It’s time we stop talking about what we want our brands to be and start BEING it. It’s time to focus our attention on flawless execution. We can’t just do some of the things right. We have to do everything right! You can’t build a great brand halfway.

If you need help identifying ways you can improve your brand story, or need an agency that excels at creative execution, give us a shout. We help top-tier brands around the globe bring their story to life every day through creative direction, design, copy, photography, production, printing and mailing. All the details executed flawlessly.

And while we’re at it, it’s time for our politicians to stop talking and start DOING. Yeah, right.

Need help improving your brand execution? Email me at brentn@jschmid.com or call 913-236-8988.

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