Another flaw in the human character is that everybody wants to build and nobody wants to do maintenance. – Kurt Vonnegut
It amazes me that so many organizations don’t understand branding. They think branding is their logo, their TV ads, mailouts and handshakes for the cameras. Your brand is everything associated with you.
Like the websites you don’t maintain. Like the information you don’t update. Like the branding that is actually unbranding.
There are lots of examples but I’m not going to say or link to specific organizations because they are simply examples of what too many others are also doing – or, rather, not doing.
One site currently has a mention on its home page about a “planned maintenance period.” There are no dates referred to and, to make matters worse, it has been up there for about a year. That’s some long maintenance period!
I’ve tried contacting some organizations (using contact page information that is online). Very few respond, even with an auto-response. I wonder what impact that has on your brand?
One site spoke of a being in the running for 2009 award then linked to a page with information about the 2008 award. Again, what does that tell your customers about you?
I know of a newsletter that had major issues (meaning it was a waste of time and money) but at least had the benefit of taking only about an hour or less to set up and send. Now that it has been “rebranded” it takes eight or more hours to set up, has all kinds of special links to track usage and so on (which replicate a system already in place that does it more easily and quickly) and is primarily made up of old news content and products, products, products.
Utterly useless as an effective newsletter for either the business or its customers, it requires even more work and money than before and it all goes into the digital garbage because the branding is all about looks without substance.
In other words, the branding is really unbranding. It makes the company look bad.
Who dreams up this stuff? Who thinks their web presence isn’t important?
Why do they think that spending oodles of money on revamps and other marketing ventures is more important than maintaining the areas where customers actually go and try to use?
Myself, I would pour the money into anal-retentive people – the kind with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) – and let them be as nit-picky has they can be about what is out there representing me and making sure it’s accurate, updated and, most important, useful for my customers.
And I’m pretty sure if I did, I’d cut my marketing budget in half.