Nov 30

Are People Just Fatigued of Your Brand?

Many “social media experts” will tell you to be everywhere. Leave comments on every post pertaining to your industry. Go to every meetup. Network with every professional. They tell you you can’t sleep to network and market yourself effectively.

I know people like this and I generally feel sad for them. I sleep quite well (ten hours if you let me), hang out with friends, and actually prefer going on vacation instead of every marketing or 2.0 conference imaginable so as to “brand” myself with this. Not only is networking everywhere pretty soul-sucking, being everywhere for anyone is actually dangerous for a brand. Now why is this?

It’s the same reason why actors should be choosy about the projects they are in. It’s the reason why Starbucks is now having to disguise itself as local chains to avoid public backlash. Scholars are calling this phenomenon “brand avoidance”. We see one face or one brand so frequently in too many places. I think the less technical, teenager-esque term for this is “trying too hard”.

Saying “no” to a speaking engagement, event, or networking event does not mean you’ll disappear into obscurity forever. On the contrary, it means that when you do show up, you’ll be more interesting because you’ll have had time to actually build things and/or learn. Being a “snob” of sorts will afford you the time you need to build a brand based on your merits, not just on your connections. People will also not get as sick of you as they are as they are of the five pound box of Honey Bunches of Oats that they bought from Costco four months ago.

Think of Apple. They go to absolutely no events, never leave comments on blogs, and yet people literally plan their days around their product launches. It’s not about being everywhere–it’s about being in the right places at the right times.

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  • http://www.medxcentral.com medXcentral (Jim)

    Hmmm… I understand your well written points and I can agree on many levels. However, I’m not sure it applies to brands who are not established.

    My instinct is suggesting there’s a blend between ambitious networking to establish a certain level of brand recognition and strategic “snobbery” social networking once established. (though I don’t like that term)

    Seems to me snobbery will cause a certain amount of attrition within a network. If the network is too small, snobbery could cause a critical loss of momentum.

    I agree with you though on your point about not being at every event or chasing down every blog post at all hours of the day. That will burn out both ends of the candle sooner or later, IMO.

    Just thinking out loud here with you. Your thoughts on this?

  • http://michellesblog.net Michelle

    Hi Jim,

    This is a very good point. Early on, it’s important to get out there on your own and get a feel for things.

    I do suggest following “a mentor” of sorts who can sort you through the ropes. This could be a company you emulate or a person you follow. I see too many people get burned out.

    Attrition can be okay though. Not all customers are worth your time. If your audience varies too much, you can often lose focus and therefore value.

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  • http://www.online-strategy.net Oscar Del Santo

    Interesting angle. At the very least it highlights the imnportance of time management and strategic thinking when it comes to marketing.

  • http://www.RegScheepers.com Reg Scheepers

    I really enjoyed this post. I love bloggers who dare to contradict “conventional wisdom”

    It’s actually the first post of yours that I’ve ever read and I’ve added your blog to my RSS. Got here through Jason Cohen’s tweet.

    I wrote an article I think you’d also find interesting about an experiment Ford did when they realised their branding was actually pissing people off more than anything else. Not sure if your blog allows links, but here it is anyway: http://www.regscheepers.com/2009/05/25/thoughts_on_branding/

    I certainly look forward to your future posts.
    .-= Reg Scheepers´s last blog ..How to Become a Make-It-Happen Person – Part 2 =-.