Great Brands Never Rest
Have you gotten caught up in “The Secret”? The buzz has been spectacular. More than 3.7 million books have been printed and more than 1.5 million DVDs have been sold. “The Secret,” as explained by Rhonda Byrne, its author and producer, is all about the law of attraction: Like attracts like. No doubt a savvy marketer and a very rich woman, Byrne makes it seem so simple. Ask, believe, receive and … voila! Everything is wonderful. There is little mention of discipline and action.
I don’t buy it. Sorry Rhonda. There are many detractors, and even books that were rushed to market to expose “The Secret.” There also is a book coming out this summer called “The Secret of The Secret.” All of this makes me mad. Such nonsense, such pyschobabble, such distraction. I don’t believe there are any secrets or shortcuts—in life or in branding.
I make the business correlation because I see it happening all the time. Companies think there is “a secret” to a competitor’s success, a formula they just need to master and then they, too, will be basking in the limelight. It’s simply untrue. Great brands, brands that really “get” their customers, work very hard—all the time. They are not easily distracted, they don’t take shortcuts, and they don’t look for quick fixes. They care about their employees and their customers; they care about the little things, and they prioritize the big things. They are true to themselves and to their promises. This isn’t glamorous, but it’s what sets the great brands apart.
Kevin Roberts, CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi and author of “The Lovemarks Effect: Winning in the Consumer Revolution,” speaks of attraction as well. He believes we’ve moved from an attention economy to an attraction economy. Roberts writes: “In the Attraction Economy, the consumer must be at the center. Never has being in tune with consumers been so important. The ear is one of the key marketing tools of this new century. That, and the understanding that people are attracted not by what they want, so much as by who they are.”
Andrea Syverson is the founder and president of creative branding and merchandising consultancy IER Partners. For 20+ years, Andrea’s joy has been inspiring clients with innovative approaches to branding, product development and creative messaging. She’s the author of two books about brand building and creating customer-centric products that enhance brands: BrandAbout: A Seriously Playful Approach for Passionate Brand-Builders and Merchants and ThinkAbout: 77 Creative Prompts for Innovators. You may reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.