From Cutting Edge to Blunt Instrument:
Keep your brand sharp
I had the opportunity to spend five days at the M Hotel* during a business conference in Atlanta. I used to envy those who stayed at M. It was the edgy, hip, cool hotel that left other accommodations in the dust.
When the M Hotel hit the scene in 1998, the Yankees were World Series Champions, Denver Broncos were Superbowl champs and the Chicago Bulls were kings of Roundball.
In the media, Bill Clinton did not have sex with that woman, Apple was encouraging you to “Think Different,” and Frank Sinatra moved on to that big stage in the sky.
The M was where cool people stayed, “happening” events were held and trendsetters tippled while lounging on chic, designer sofas.
Fast forward 16 years. Is the M maintaining its brand style? Meh, not so much. The cutting edge has dulled. When your brand position is on the bleeding edge, you need to push the envelope to keep your brand story alive. The M missed.
The short-story: branding isn’t a set-it-and-forget-it initiative. Keeping your brand fresh, relevant and aligned with your positioning at every touchpoint requires auditing, editing and updating. Protect your investment in your brand. No one wants to slip from brilliant to boring.
* Name changed to protect the innocent.
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