Another Lesson I Learned About Branding By Screwing Up
by John McNeal, 2reveal
Last year, I felt compelled to form a group devoted to helping creative industry entrepreneurs expand their creative friendships while discussing challenging issues. Web professionals, designers, videographers, artists, illustrators, and writers all met and it was everything I hoped it would be. Now, with a few meetings under our belt in 2015, momentum is building for our Creative Community and it’s a beautiful thing.
Last week, in a hurry, I decided to pose a poignant question to the group geared to help them evaluate how they’re spending their entrepreneurial hours. I had a few other things to tackle before the end of the day, so I quickly wrote the message and sent it to our Creative Community email list.
The next day I heard Evelyn, our Director of Brand & Digital Strategy say something to the tune of “Oooooo” under her breath as she looked at her computer. Let me clarify: this wasn’t an “Oooooo, look how pretty those azaleas are coming in!” It was more like an “Oooooo, something in the back of the fridge doesn’t smell so fresh.”
She, too, had received the newsletter and was desperately hoping I had sent it to her alone, looking for feedback. There were a few typos and something I’ll call “a formatting issue” and, much to her dismay, I had already sent it to the whole group. I was embarrassed, for myself and our business. Even worse, I recently hired Evelyn to oversee our branding and messaging and, instead of allowing her to do her job, I took matters into my own hands. I thought, “Pffft. This is small. It’s no big deal.” What started off as a message meant to help entrepreneurs ended up a craptastic display, flushing a bit of my credibility down the toilet.
It takes a long time time build your brand and to build trust. All of what you’ve built can be annihilated in seconds. Thankfully, the message only went to 20 people, most of whom I’m friends with, but the lesson remains the same.
Every single decision you make, no matter how small, effects your company; whether it be a simple accident or an intentional choice. The 3d renderings from the architect advertising your real estate development might have been free, but in the long run, the quality of those images is costing you more than you’ll ever know.
I apologized to Evelyn and told her I would let her approve everything that is being published on behalf of 2Reveal (yes, even this blog post). You have “Evelyns” all around you. People and companies who would love to help you ensure every aspect of your public business identity aligns with your brand. Don’t be afraid to hire an expert and let them do what they do best. The thing you might not care much about is someone else’s passion. Your business will thank you for it in the end.
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