In the April issue of Target Marketing, I wrote about 26 verbs that sometimes get in our way when we’re building brands that we want our customers to be passionate about. Now that I’ve transitioned my Brand Matters column from print to digital, I’ve decided to give you 26 more!
Use this checklist as a reminder to review your brand practices. No doubt, we all slip into some of these behaviors unintentionally. I encourage you to take some “Stop & Think” time with your brand team and have the necessary and fierce conversations about your latest offerings and evaluate them through these lenses:
Aggravate: What is niggling at you that might be perceived (big or small) as an annoyance to your customers?
Boggle: Are you giving your customers too many choices to consider?
Cannibalize: Might you be threatening your own market share in some way?
Doubt: What areas of your offering raise concern for your customers? Value perceptions? Price parity? Benefits? Competitive differentiation? What will you do about it?
Embarrass: What was your OOPS or DO OVER with this latest offering? Have you fixed it for next time? What is your post-mortem procedure for reviewing these things?
Forgot: Look over your offering carefully … what might you have overlooked by mistake?
Grovel: Are you asking your customers to do too much? Who is working for whom? How will you rectify that?
Inundate: Offering too much? How will you know what is “just right?”
Juggle: How many messages do you want your customers to absorb? How will you limit those or prioritize them strategically for maximum impact?
Know How: What special insider knowledge do your customers need to know to do business with you? Is that fair? How will you inform the newbies?
Loathe: A hard question for sure … but what don’t your customers like about you?
Mimic: What have you done that is totally UNLIKE your competitors these days?
Negate: What are you doing that detracts from your brand?
Obstacle: What hoops might your customers have to needlessly jump through to do business with you? How will you find out?
Pester: Are you asking your customers questions you intend to do nothing about? Why bother?
Quibble: What terms do you make your customers fight over In relation to your offering? Is that really necessary? How do your competitors handle the same issue?
Reverse: Is there any aspect of your offer that reverses your brand promise even in some small way?
Stagnate: In the last 12 months, what have you decided to do differently to stay relevant to your customers’ changing needs?
Taunt: How is your brand teasing your customers in negative ways?
Underestimate: Have you taken your customers loyalty for granted in some way?
Vex: What keeps you up at night about your customers’ behavior in relation to your brand? How will you solve this puzzle?
Water Down: Have you diluted your brand message in some way by too many stories? Too much information? Too little focus?
[E]Xit: What was your parting message to your customer? Brand enhancing or brand detracting? (Brand neutral doesn’t count!)
Yank: Are you pulling your customers toward your brand or away? How?
Zipped: Great brand stories are meant to be shared. Have you zipped your customers’ lips by not creating a shareworthy experience?
Take a look at these “what not to do” verbs. Create your own list. Let me know what happens!