14 Dec 2009
Gap analysis has been around for decades. Simply put it is the expectation of a brand’s current level of performance and where it wants to be in the future. The difference between the two is the gap analysis.
In Tiger Woods’ case the gap has become a chasm. However, it also begs the question as to whether his personal brand was built into something it was not. Testimony to this is the website www.tigerisgod.com which was taken down a few weeks ago.
What has this got to do with thought leadership?
Put it this way. If you are planning on using your thought leadership campaign to build you or your brand into something you are not you run the risk creating a massive perceptual gap problem – one which could be damaging to your brand.
Very few consumers stick with brands that overpromise and under-deliver. So be wary of the PR campaign or thought leadership campaign that sets out to build you into something you are not.
Align your campaigns to your values
I am a firm believer in aligning, in particular your thought leadership but also other campaigns like your PR and CSR campaigns to your company values.
These values should be the compass by which to steer your profile building efforts. But how often do you hear an advertising agency or PR company asking for a company’s values when designing a campaign?
True thought leadership campaigns need to be credible internally and across multiple external stakeholders. The more your thought leadership campaign relates closely to the issues, trends or hot topics across your sector and the more it addresses the concerns of your clients or customers, the more authentic it will be.
Today more than ever, consumers are looking for authenticity in the brands they choose. If you can achieve this there is far less chance that your campaign will create a gap between the perception of what you stand for and the reality.
A classic Australian example was a company called Firepower, a company which created enormous media hype around the promise of a fuel pill that would save motorists and transport companies a lot of money on their fuel consumption. It has gone down as one of the biggest corporate scams this country has seen – a brand promise that missed the mark by a country mile leaving a litany of court cases and red faces and designated the brand to the bottom of the corporate scrapheap.
I would love to hear from you if you have examples of similar companies or campaigns that have overpromised and under-delivered.
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