A Cup of Coffee to 2010’s Biggest Branding Takeaways

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Lest history repeat itself throughout 2011, there are many significant branding takeaways from 2010 that shouldn’t be overlooked.

Here are my Top Three 2010 Branding Takeaways. Please leave a comment below and add to the list of the Biggest 2010 Branding Takeaways!

1) Your Brand Must Be Backed By a Quality Product.

People will follow a great brand…unless (and until) the product behind the brand repeatedly fails to meet expectations. Not only will your followers leave, they’ll defect to another brand – your competition. Across today’s social media landscape, those defectors are more dangerous than ever. Negative comments, blog posts and short and swift articles will make your marketing efforts feel like running an uphill marathon in the rain.

Dell Computers is a fine example of what not to do. Using cheap Chinese components may have saved a few dollars in the short run, but the immense hit the Dell brand took will be felt in the company’s bottom line for years to come.

2) Communication Trumps Silence.

Transparency and accountability are what matters to your audience – and it’s what will keep them coming back for more. Avoid a problem or fail to address an issue, and watch your followers drop like flies.

After recovering from delays that were the basis for a negative Harvard Business School case study in 2007, and keeping passengers on a plane for 11 hours in February of 2010, JetBlue became the perfect example of how to recover from the inevitable mess-ups that come with running a business. Not only did the company’s ultra-vocal apologies and customer compensation save JetBlue’s reputation and bottom line, the quick and transparent response created a community of brand loyalists akin to Apple’s.

3) Relevancy Trumps Reach.

You can spend tons of money to paste your message on a highway billboard passed by thousands of people each day…but if the message isn’t relevant to them, it’s simply a waste of time and budget. If you’re married to some kind of “signage”, you’ll be better off finding the out-of-the-way side street that houses unique boutique shops frequented by the type of shopper that could also use your product or service.

The 2010 marketing automation industry eruption (expect the explosion to continue throughout 2011) is proof that customer intelligence is the way to get ahead.


Cheers to a fabulous year in branding – and here’s to great branding strategy in 2011.

Please take a moment to share your biggest 2010 Branding Takeaways below, and have a wonderful and safe New Year!