You know I’m the least “brand conscious” person out there – when it comes to what I buy for myself. What do I mean?
I obviously know the value of a brand, how to protect it, and how to grow it. It’s what I do for a living for clients around the world, and talk about on CNN weekly. That’s not what I mean.
I’m talking about the brands we use every day. 99.999% of the time, I couldn’t care less. I don’t recognize a difference between Starbucks coffee and Dunkin coffee. I couldn’t tell you what designer made the t-shirts I wear most days. I do know what suits and jeans I like, but only because they look good on my when I’m at my thinnest. Most of the time, I don’t care. I want whatever it is to work, to be useful, and to do what I need it to do.
There are times when the brand matters. In some situations, the brand you’re using says a lot about you, and in most of those situations, it comes down to one distinction: Free or paid.
There are basic standards we want to regularly achieve. These standards change over time, as technology and society improves. When that happens, it’s usually time to reevaluate. But more often than not, going with the free version of things that are public facing, is detrimental to how people see you.
Example: firstname.lastname@example.org – Guys, it’s 2019. Gmail, while free, is a million times more professional, and for something like $4 a month, you can host your own domain website on the gmail servers.
Evite: Sorry, but no. If you’re inviting me to a launch event to promote your business, and you’re sending me the invite through Evite, you’re damming yourself before I even RSVP. Paperless Post does invitations SO much better than Evite, with a ton and a half of options, and it is NOT expensive. You can invite your entire contact list for a few bucks, give or take. The difference is noticeable, and believe me – it’s a little thing that makes a huge difference.
Corporate watermarks or logos on content you create. This one KILLS me. You download an app that helps you create amazing images to promote your brand, and you can’t pay the $19.95 a year to remove the watermark? Seriously? Come on. Be better. Support the app creator, and build a ton more credibility into your own content.
What other brand situations matter to you?