Brand Matters: Clean Sweep
Perhaps you’ll even uncover some sacred brand cows that get broken (positively) in the moving and reviewing process. Management expert Peter Drucker counsels, “It’s easier for companies to come up with new ideas than to let go of old ones.” Letting go is what a rummage sale is all about. All the physical and emotional energy around this activity will help your brand move from good to best.
Regain Your Focus
Brand rummage sales often happen with new leadership. New leaders see the brand junk a bit more clearly. They come on board ready to take action. When The Home Depot’s new CEO, Frank Blake, took the reins, he focused on returning the company to its roots and selling noncore businesses like its Expo division. Recently, in a press release this summer, Blake announced three areas of strategic focus: customer service, product authority, and productivity and efficiency driven by disciplined capital allocation. Rummage sales allow room for more of the best things.
Two of my clients, a women’s apparel company and a financial services firm, recently appointed new presidents. In both cases, these leaders wasted no time uncovering what was holding these companies back. By implementing a new brand fit chart, the women’s apparel company was able to let go of items that no longer represented the brand well. By eliminating products that no longer worked, it was able to showcase those that did with more provocative selling space.
The financial services firm held a collaborative interdepartmental strategic planning session and discovered each division was working too independently of one another. This method served the organization well for years. But in today’s customer-centric business arena, this company had to shed its silo approach and embrace a more unified, cross-departmental marketing approach.
But rummage sales also can work when existing leaders decide they just can’t keep doing things the way they’ve always done them. Another client of mine, a specialty children’s clothing company, realized that the two co-owners were not delegating, were not mentoring any successors and were not as in tune with their customers’ changing needs as they liked to be. So we had a rummage-sale-fierce conversation of sorts and are developing an action plan to tackle these issues one at a time.