Banished brand – “Wisconsin, Live Like You Mean It”…or maybe you don’t…

Wow! The state of Wisconsin – the state where I was born and still live – spent $57,000 recently to develop a slogan and logo to promote state tourism. And now they’ve trashed it. Why? Who knows. But my guess would be that somebody, somebody “important” – maybe a whole *bunch* of somebodies “didn’t like it.” Good grief.

I actually had an opportunity to meet the state’s “brand manager” recently and, from a communicator’s standpoint, thought she definitely knew her stuff. But, as a communicator, I also know that knowing your stuff doesn’t really matter when the rubber meets the road as they say. What matters is managing the decision-makers or input-givers into the process – and worse, those who wait and throw barbs after a decision has been made. The weed-layers.  I think the state of Wisconsin has just fallen victim to the weed-layers. And shame on them (the weed-layers, that is)!

Trust me – working with a group of any size, whether it’s a small mom & pop business, a large for-profit organization, an integrated healthcare system , or – Egad!! – an entire state…to come up with a name/slogan and logo that all will embrace is a thankless task.

As earlier blogs of mine have indicated – I believe (and this recent situation just supports my belief) that far, far, too much time – and money! – is spent contemplating the *perfect* name, the *perfect* logo, the one *right* brand image that will mystically make our organization or product “successful.”

It’s not about the slogan, folks. It’s not about the logo. It’s about what it is you actually deliver. Delivering, I think, must be harder than developing slogans and logos (apologies to my communication brethren who, like me, have felt the pain of the naming/branding process…). Honestly, I’ve struggled getting a roomful of committee members in one organization to agree on a name/logo – imagine the possibility of getting the multiple constituencies that represent a state to do it!!!

Bottom line – IMO – let the communication people do their work. Leave the word-smithing and the color-picking to the communication professionals. The rest of you – focus on the important stuff. Like actually *delivering* on your “brand promise”  – whatever it may be.
(Oh, and by the way – *you* don’t define your brand, your audience does. The best you can hope to do is manage their perceptions over time based, again, on your actions – not your slogan or logo.)

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One Response to “Banished brand – “Wisconsin, Live Like You Mean It”…or maybe you don’t…”

  1. lpophal says:

    “Holy cow”? Was that a double entendre? 😉

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