The Brand That Cried Wolf

Brand That Cried WolfI’ve been spend a bit of time reading on the topic of branding. I just finished Scott Deming’s “The Brand That Cried Wolf”. Here are a few of the quotes and stories that I liked the most.

Advertising as Awareness (p. 8)

Marketing as a System of uniting Businesses and Customers (p. 9)

Branding is the Process of Creating Authentically Unique, Emotional Experiences That Yield Evangelists (p.10)

In truth, branding is the creation and support of a powerful perception image of someone or something based on a unique, emotional experiences – so powerful that the perception or image becomes a belief. Therefore, I argue that the formula for professional and personal success lies in our ability to create the most powerful, emotional, memorable brand based on these unique experiences. (p. 10)

Be careful what you promise. When you make a promise, you create expectations. When you exceed expectations, you create a brand. (p. 29)

When individuals and companies don’t deliver on their brand promise, they fail like the hare (Tortoise and the Hare) in the story you just read and the young shepherd  in “The Boy Who Cried Wolf”. I call these companies Wolf Brands, like the title story you read in the Introduction, because they make proclamations and promises that fall flat. In so doing, they fail to unite the two aspect of their brand just described. Not only do they not deliver on their brand promise, they fail to create or maintain uniqueness in their brand category. (p. 30)

Verizon Story (p. 67-69)

Ben & Jerry even wrote a book: Double Dip: Lead With Your Values And Make Money detailing, among other things, their belief that the finest business in the world will, in the future, be evaluated by their values, not their products or services. This make sense in a number of ways. For example, we know that products are getting better and better. By and large, everything from detergent to cell phones does it’s job. So what distinguishes one company from another? It’s not the product that becomes the differentiator, it’s the company, what it stands for, and how it treats is employees and citizens. In the case of Ben & Jerry’s these values largely define who they are. (p. 79)

Interestingly enough (according to the 2006 Retail Consumer Dissatisfaction Study, conducted by Verde Group and the Baker Retailing Initiative  at Worton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania), a sort of telephone game phenomenon occurs when people start talking about their negative experiences. As the stories spread, people who are not directly involved in the experience  hear embellished versions of the actual event. With anti-evangelism the ripples (as in a rock tossed into a pond, and the ripples that result) don’t get smaller as they move out away from the origin of the story; they get bigger! “Almost half of those surveyed, 48%, reported they have avoided a store in the past because of someone else’s experience.” Contrast that with the percentage of people who actually had the negative experience and reported they would not likely return to shop at the location again: 33 percent! These are numbers everyone should consider each and every time they have the opportunity to create a positively memorable experience. It’s especially important, given the fact that you typically  won’t have any idea that you’ve created an anit-evangelist. That’s because you count on your customers to report their negative experiences to you. And the fact is, they don’t. (p. 125-126)


I Stand Before You, To Stand Behind You

When I was a kid, I had a wood shop teacher named Mr. George Meuser. His humor and quick wit were matched only by his handlebar mustache. He would frequently breakout into his rendition of this poem, although I don’t remember the “Ladles and Jellyspoons” portion.

For a long time I would frequently spend time searching Google to find the rest of the poem since I could only remember his first line. Initially, each search came up empty. Then, just recently, I search again and I found multiple entries of people looking for the words to the same poem.


Ladles and Jellyspoons

Ladles and Jellyspoons,
I come before you, to stand behind you,
To tell you something I know nothing about.
Next Thursday, which is Good Friday,
There will be a mothers’ meeting for fathers only.
Admission is free, pay at the door,
Pull up a seat and sit on the floor.
We will be discussing the four corners of the round table.

Author: Unknown

The other point that was interesting to me was the number of variations of the poem that exists. You can see some of them here, as well as the debate as to who was the original author.

I just purchased the paperback version A Rocket in My Pocket, Carl Withers, where it appears, according to Google Books, it has the original poem. I’m looking forward to reading that when it arrives.

I’m curious if you’ve heard of this poem and what version did you hear originally? Was it different from what is list here? Give me your feedback – I’d love to hear it.

100 Social Networking Statistics and Facts



Another one from Ultralinx that was worth sharing.


The Art of Getting Retweets | Infographic

A follow up to yesterday’s post on some of the science behind getting more retweets. You can see my tweets @TimPritchett


How to Get More Likes on Facebook | Infographic

Came across this on Ultralinx and thought it was worth sharing.


All Too Common Ways We Allow Our Lives to Suck

Not happy with your professional or personal life? If that’s the case, the problem isn’t your upbringing, or a lack of opportunities, or bad luck, or the result of other people holding you back.

The problem is you.

If our lives suck, we’re letting it happen. Maybe the problem lies in what we believe – and in what we do.


1. We mistake political gain for achievement.

Infighting, positioning, trying to look better by making other people look worse… playing politics can help get you ahead.

But if you win by politics you ultimately lose since political success is usually based on the impulses, whims, and caprices of other people – often other people you don’t even like. That means today’s success can be tomorrow’s failure – and that success or failure is largely outside your control.

Real achievements are based on merit. Real achievements can’t be given or taken away by anyone.

Real success is truly satisfying.

2. We’re afraid of sniping or sarcasm.

Try something different. Try something other people won’t try. Almost immediately people will talk about you – and not in a good way.

The only way to keep people from being snide, disparaging, or judgmental is to say and do what everyone else does. Then, of course, you live their life and not yours. And you won’t be happy.

See people talking about you as a sign you’re on the right track – your track. Your track is the happy track.

Not theirs.

3. We don’t try to be last.

Everyone likes to be first. But often it’s better to be last: The last to give up, the last to leave, the last to keep trying, the last to hold on to principles and values.

The world is full of people who quit. The world is full of people who pivot (even though pivot is sometimes just a fancy word for “give up.”)

There will always be people who are smarter, more talented, better connected, and better funded. But they don’t always win. Be the last to give up on yourself; then, even if you don’t succeed, you still win.

4. We equate acquisition with satisfaction.

Psychologists call it “hedonistic adaptation,” a phenomenon in which people quickly turn the buzz from a new purchase into their emotional norm.

That “Aaah…” feeling you get when you look at your new house? It quickly goes away. The same is true for our new car, new furniture, and new clothes. Soon they’re not special; they’re what we have. They become “normal.” In order to recapture the “Aaah…” feeling we have to buy something else. The cycle is addictive.

And so we’re never satisfied. We can’t be. That’s not how we’re made.

That’s why real and lasting satisfaction comes from doing, not having. Want to feel good about yourself? One way is to actively help someone. Knowing you’ve made a difference in another person’s life is an “Aaah…” that lasts forever.

Knowing you’ve made a difference also creates an addictive cycle… but this time in a really good way.

5. We’re waiting for that big idea.

Stop trying. You won’t hit the big idea lottery. And even if you did come up with the ever-elusive big idea, could you pull off the implementation? Do you have the skills, experience, and funding?

Maybe you do. Maybe you don’t.

Either way, here’s something you definitely have: Tons of small ideas.

You don’t need to look for a big idea if you act on your little ideas. Happiness is a process, and processes are based on actions.

Try your small ideas – as many as you possibly can.

6. We don’t ship.

We’re naturally afraid to be “done” because then our idea, our product, or our service has to sink or swim. And we’re desperately afraid it will sink.

Maybe it will – but if you don’t put it out there it can also never swim. No product can be successful until it’s shipped. No application can be successful until it’s released. No service can be successful until it’s out in the field.

When in doubt, ship it out. Then make whatever you produce next a little better. And ship that. And keep going.

You can’t feel proud until you ship. So as Seth Godin would say, ship – a lot.

7. We see our resume or CV as an end result.

Many people collect jobs and experiences in pursuit of crafting a “winning” resume.

That’s backwards. Your resume is a report card. It’s a by-product of what you’ve accomplished, learned, and experienced.

Don’t base your life on trying to fill in the blanks on some “ideal” CV. Base your life on accomplishing your goals and dreams. Figure out what you need to do to get to where you want to be, and do those things.

Then let your resume reflect that journey.

8. We wait.

For the right time. The right people. The right market. The right something. And life passes you by.

The only right is right now. Go.

9. We don’t collect people.

Walk around your house. Or look around your office. Look at your stuff.

Now have your extended family over for dinner. Or get together with friends. Look at your people.

Which is more fulfilling – your stuff or your people? Thought so.

You can love your stuff… but your stuff can’t love you back.

10. We don’t realize we’re already happy.

Close your eyes.

Imagine I have the power to take everything you hold dear away from you: Family, job or business, home… everything. And I do. All of it, everything, is gone.

Would you beg and plead and offer me anything to get that life back? Would getting that life back mean everything to you? Would you realize that what you had is so much more important than what you didn’t have?

Would you realize that what I just took away was pretty freaking awesome? Of course you would.

Now open your eyes. Literally… and figuratively.

11. We don’t call our parents.

Your parents give you love and support in spite of all your faults and failures. You don’t even have to work for it.

Who can’t use a little more love and support?

Original Post