Brand Building vs. Brand Killing

by Jim Stein

Sometimes you just have to say, “Hey, by doing that, we’re killing our brand!” If you don’t, you’re not paying attention. Your brand’s meaning and power change every day. Do good things for your brand and it builds in power and meaning. Allow bad things to keep happening and your brand becomes tarnished and weak. It’s so important for your company’s long-term success that we’ve decided to create a list of brand building and brand killing actions and decisions that you, as a manager, can do a lot to control. This list is by no means all there is, so you should fill it out, score your company by using the Brand Impact Formula, and then add more brand building and brand killing items to the list.

Brand Impact Formula

Below, first read the Brand Building Actions (left hand) column and place a checkmark next to each item that you’re currently doing properly. Next, circle three items in this column that you’d like to improve on. Then, read the items on the Brand Killing Actions (right hand) column and place a checkmark next to items that you need to change to stop killing your brand.
Now, to get your Brand Success Number, divide your sum in the left column by the sum in the right column. Example: Suppose you checked 9 “good items” that your company is doing in the left column and 3 “bad items” that your company should change in the right column. Your Brand Success Number would be: 9/3 = 3. (Obviously, for the purpose of this calculation, convert a zero to a 1 so the zero doesn’t “wipe out” the total.)

How did you do? The idea is for you to take action over the next month to add good item checkmarks and remove bad item checkmarks. Then, recalculate your Brand Success Number and you’ll see it grow. Do this periodically to make sure you’re adding many more brand building items than brand killing ones.