During a jog this morning I was listening to a podcast series by ‘The Marketing Guy’, Jay Ehret – called the “Marketers Roundtable”. They brushed on this topic a bit and it lead me to this post. My thoughts…

There has been a lot of talk about who actually controls you brand, especially with social media in the realm; folks have been leaning towards the acceptance of your customers controlling your brand, because you really can’t control it anyways.

I think there is a little give and take on this.

You can’t totally allow the consumer to dictate or define what your brand stands for. Not all customers see your brand like everyone else does. They create their own use and how they see you individually. People will always talk about your brand, whether it’s good or bad. This doesn’t control your brand, its merley dialogue. Where the control, or brand representation, comes in is how you respond to those messages. Your actions, your demeanor, your attitude is what dictates your brand. It’s a personality, it’s how you live and breathe.

Your brand is going to be hated, loved, and felt somewhere in the middle. By altering it, one way or the other,  to gain acceptance by those who don’t accept your brand, it’s most likely going to disrupt your loyal customer base. Just like human relationships, not everyone is attracted to everyone. They usually gravitate towards a certain personality. It’s up to the brand to hone in on the loyal customer base to please them and flourish that relationship, others will proceed, you just need to establish a loyal foundation.

A brand comes from the inside out, you the organization controls your brand.

Don’t be influenced to do otherwise. If you do this, you’re altering your personality to ‘please’ everyone, thus resulting in an ‘artifical’ relationship. You’re basically putting on a good face.

For instance, back to the human interaction (relationship), when two people are about to enter their marriage life as one they do so because they were gravitated towards eachother because of who they are, to both the good and the bad. In this sense, the good by far outweighs the bad, therefore a few mishaps is ‘life’.

We don’t enter this stage of our life with the mindset of thinking that there is potential in this person, so what the heck, – “I can just create or mold my significant other into the person I’ve always imagined I’d be with”. This doesn’t work, it may work for a while, but the controled partner will soon reach it’s boiling point and will have had enough. They’re not being themselves and they’ve lost touch of who they really are – it’s a fictitious relationship.

So, to end, your brand’s relationship with the customer, in a sense, mimics that of a human relationship.

It really can’t be molded by your consumer. They must be loyal to your brand because of what your brand stands for – they must gravitate towards it naturally. This, of course, is done with the assistance of marketing and advertising. If your brand is continuously changing to please everyone, you send mix messages and alleviate all loyalty. You can’t trust or be loyal to something that is constantly changing.  Products and services are always going to change, but your brands message must remain constant.

What’s your take? Who is in control of your brand?

Would love to hear your insight in the comments below.

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