Your Brand Image is Everything and Nothing at All


Brands go through great lengths to create an image, feel etc. Often their advertising and marketing is targeted to give them this. Luxury. Sports. Hipness. Delicious. etc. But go to any BDA (Big Dumb Agency) as George Parker calls them and you will be told ‘Oh we can give you such and such Brand image just pay us’.

But that is false. All Advertising and Marketing can do is get you to try something or go to  store or restaurant. That is when you become naked as a brand. Do you live up to that image?

1] Tiger Woods was in all those Buick Commercials. He ran from his wife in a Cadillac.

2] Saatchi and Saatchi convinced JC Penny that their award winning Everyday Matters campaign will change the image of the brand. Until you went into the same old store.

3] Applebee’s is the place for community and friends to eat great food. Until you try their food.

4] Kia Soul with the Hipster Hamsters which I LOVED! But then I see no one under 50 driving vehicle for some bizarre reason.

How often do you get disappointed after you try something new like a car, or an airline? Or that restaurant or the mechanic and were let down.

It doesn’t matter what your Brand image is if your product or service doesn’t live up to it.

Because Image is Everything…except when it is nothing.

Focus on your product, your service, how you present your real business. Not some image that will be blown up the moment you get a sale or them walking into your store.

About Howie Goldfarb

Howie Goldfarb

Also playfully known as the Chief Alien of Blue Star Strategic Marketing, Howie Goldfarb relishes his role as an industry outsider. With 20 years of Sales, Marketing, and Business Operations experience founded Blue Star Strategic Marketing to serve as the objective and strategic adviser of brands to help them grow and thrive.

His Degree in Finance givess him a CFO’s view to marketing, bringing a dose of reality to the confusing world of jargon, spin, and hype. After a 14-year career in direct B2B industrial sales Howie decided to lighten up his dreary work life and move into consumer advertising and marketing. Now he champions up and coming Consumer Brands.

Formerly an Angelino and New Yorker, he currently lives in the Green Mountains of Vermont and is still seeking his first moose sighting. His passions are his family, community, art, music, and the outdoors, He tries to cook, has been known to hunt Fiddleheads and loves the Vermont Fresh Network and other sustainability initiatives like farm to table and buying local.


Hear, hear!  Smart marketers know that a brand is not a logo or a television ad. Brand is the cumulative experience with a product or service. The logo and ads are part of it yes, but also the customer service, what you hear about it from third parties, what it smells like when you walk in a door, who else is there... 

I love the disconnects you call out here! Especially Applebee's and JCP. When you fail to fulfill your brand promise, you are in trouble, like you note above. Oh, and smart marketers also know that your brand is not what you think it is. You have to continually talk to your customers to see how *they* perceive you and take it from there. Thanks for the opportunity to think and write this evening!