Posted by Andrew VanderPloeg
On my drive into work, I used to pass by a sign for a business that read “London’s rust proofing specialists”. I don’t doubt that other body shops and oil guard facilities in town would take issue with that statement, but then again, grandiose statements like that have become a mainstay in marketing.
But as bold as that statement is, that’s not what had the most impact on me as a passer-by. It was more the fact that the metal stand from which the sign hung, and even the sign itself, was covered in rust.
It’s a stark example of how organizational communications can dirty up the brand. But let’s be clear on the fact that inconsistent representation of a brand doesn’t always have to be that overt to damage the brand. In fact, it’s the subtle nuances of inconsistency, when reinforced over time, that are the things we really have to be on the lookout for.
For the record, that sign no longer exists...
...neither does the business it advertised.