Brand Managers spend countless amounts of time, money and effort creating detailed marketing and tactical plans for their brands. Hours are devoted to workshops to determine the brand’s essence, core values and personality. The briefs are written and distributed to agencies across the land who’ll beaver away to create a need, and then ultimately satisfy the eager public with a nice, big launch. All is well. Or is it?
Introducing the typo. A single word spelt incorrectly. All of those hours undone. Imagine you’re a carnival planner. Surely as a consumer you’d think twice about going to the carnival if you saw this sign? Or what if your local police force sent an email to you about preventing break-ins – would this garner your trust? Even though there’s a school of thought (note the spelling here) that suggests language evolves through typos, these mistakes are pretty extreme. But they happen.
In one of my first lectures as a marketing student, I was told ‘everything communicates.’ At first it seemed obvious – after all, that’s what we wanted to do. However, I learnt that ‘everything’ even included times when we weren’t saying anything – “why the silence? Is it a bad brand?” – and when there were typos.
‘Everything communicates’ is a philosophy I have stood by, and it continues to work well. It’s a benchmark for all marketing strategies and tactics, and can simplify a sometimes unnecessarily complex discussion.
In the world of celebrities, individuals have become brands. And it’s not just celebrities. Arguably every professional wants to look after their own, personal brand. So what about that hasty email to a client? Or that brief sent over for their approval? What could they say about your personal brand? A single typo can undo all respect your client has for you – now you’ve got no attention to detail, no interest in double-checking anything for them and a lack of pride.
It may seem like over-kill, and it probably is, but it could be worth thinking twice about where that apostrophe really should go next time you hit send. You’ll be doing a world of good for all of your brands.