Friday, September 15, 2006

Jack Trout on Marketing and Branding

One last tidbit for today. Forbes has a good reminder article, "Minds Hate to Change" about how difficult it is to change people's minds about a brand or category of products. Pull out your Perceptions reports and insert "library" in the article, wherever he talks about strongly-entrenched brands, such as Western Union, Xerox, Coco-cola...

Now I'm not trying to be a doom-sayer here, quite the contrary! It's the reality check we have to have every once in awhile about the library brand. One of best ways we can move the brand forward--toward the perception of currency, toward the perception of trusted electronic information, toward the perception of comfortable, easy, accessible, hospitable--is to just do it. Show, don't tell, as one of my colleagues always used to say.

But Trout raises an interesting proposition: When it makes sense, in the context of our communities (public, academic, special, school), to change our name to signify a brand change in the user's mind?

The label "information center" leaves me cold, even though I like what it's trying to do.


Chrystie said...

Earlier this week I had a conversation with someone about the power and pitfalls of a "universal" brand. Sure, it's great that everyone thinks the same thing when they hear "library". But it's the "there is no runner up" part that scares me. What to do when your brand is killing you? Is ours?

Jack Street said...

On Tuesday Jack Trout, interviewed Chris Anderson about his best selling book the Long Tail. What was most interesting was the discussion about the "old school" marketers, and traditional companies who are staring at the pages of the Long tail, wondering why it's a best seller and asking "what the heck do I do with this stuff." As producer of the program, I was a fly on the wall. Though I've read the book, followed the discussions online and read a few of the research papers; I found several good "Ah HA's" in the interview. Here's the link:

Let me know what you think..

Errol Smith