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Avoiding Brand Burnout

By Kelly Farrell | August 25, 2016


Avoiding brand burnout. Is this a thing? In my experience, it is. And it causes problems that can lead to missed opportunities, bad morale, and a stagnant culture. And those can add up to a disconnect with your target audience and falling behind your competition.

This could be a really long blog. But I’ll keep it to the main points. Yes, you can burn out on a brand. And yes, your brand can burn out. The consequences might not always seem obvious, until the suffering sets in.

Experience shows that companies and organizations almost always burn out on their own brands long before their audience. You see your own stuff every single day. It can get boring. But if you’re brand is effective out in the world, where most people see it only occasionally, for seconds or minutes at a time, you’re good. There are plenty of ways to measure its effectiveness — online analytics, sales trends, surveys, and more, and lots of ways to make minor adjustments. Like Progressive does.

That doesn’t mean that a brand refresh won’t do you some good. Sometimes an update to a logo or a new direction in messaging is just what the doctor ordered. We have done this for many clients — small but significant touch-ups that can re-energize a brand on the outside and on the inside.

Another way to cool off the burnout is to empower more employees to promote your brand. We’ve seen this accomplished through fun, interactive social media promotions, and finding interactive ways for staff to be hands-on involved in how your brand works inside and out.

The other version of brand burnout is when your brand simply doesn’t mean much or stand for anything anymore, to your target market or your employees. Or it’s just wrong. We have witnessed this, too. Often, when working with a new client, the first step we take is a brand assessment. It includes talking to employees and customers. What we learn can be shocking. Bitter employees, angry customers, disinterested board members, no awareness in the target market, come out for air. Airing the laundry is a good thing in the long run and can help a brand avoid the total meltdown.

This kind of brand burnout demands more of a strategic, all hands on deck kind of effort, but it can really turn around a brand. Often we create a new name, logo, and primary messaging. But first we work behind the scenes to help repair culture, re-define mission, uncover core values, and to re-focus the vision.

It might take a little longer, but the brand is built to last. Smart positioning; performance metrics; a strategic and adaptable plan; and a bunch of new brand ambassadors, will keep the burnout away from your brand. It’s worth it, because it is one of your organization’s most valuable assets.


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Kelly Farrell

Kelly has a unique talent for uncovering what's special about her clients. It’s her specialty, and the heart of how designRoom approaches branding.Kelly learned design and branding while working in advertising as an Art Director, Designer, and Account Representative for several national/regional brands; Cellular One/Ohio, Northfield Park, National City Bank, and Mr. Hero. Her future, however, included a more passionate approach to the work and more direct engagement with her clients.In 1990 designRoom was born. One room. One designer. And lots of room to grow.Today, under Kelly’s leadership, designRoom is a national, award-winning branding and design firm. With her innate ability to see the right solution and her passion for helping clients reach their goals, Kelly is a fierce brand advocate for behavioral health organizations across the U.S.Her unique approach makes her a sought after national speaker on the importance of branding in behavioral health. Kelly focuses on how branding can unify an organization internally, amplify their unique market position, and help them move in a positive, sustainable direction.

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