Does your brand suffer from a multiple personality disorder?

multiple personality in marketing

September 13, 2019
Peter Griffith , President of Mentum LLC

One of the deadliest issues any brand can suffer from is presenting itself in so many different ways, people don’t know what to think.

We once helped a medical practice that had been in the same location for 25 years. When we asked people in the area exactly what the practice did, we never heard the same answer twice. In fact, some of the responses described services the practice didn’t even provide. It was not hard for us to turn things around and help double the medical practice’s revenue in a few short years simply by finding the one powerful attribute they could deliver on, then relentlessly staying on point with that message.

The signs and symptoms of multiple personality brands are easy to identify:

One of the first things we do with our clients is “the wall trick.” We find every example in which the brand presents itself. This includes all ads, brochures, social media posts, and the website. Plus, a lot of influential things most people don’t think about. We snap pictures of the lobby. We take screenshots of all online listings and reputations. We print articles and reviews about the brand others have published. We write out their on-hold message. Then we put all of it on a wall for everyone to view.

Our “wall trick” becomes an instant reveal of how disjointed a brand’s message may be and how badly it may be suffering from a multiple personality disorder.

If not corrected, the results of a multiple personality practice are disastrous.

If patients don’t know exactly whom you are or what you do, they get confused. They won’t care about you. They certainly won’t trust you. Which means they also won’t choose you. Or, if they have seen you in the past, they won’t follow up. They won’t come back. They certainly won’t put their rep on the line to tell others about you. All that is a ton of revenue taken off the table. Fortunately…

There is a simple cure.

The billion-dollar marketing insight that every Madison or Michigan Avenue ad agency I’ve ever worked with knows is this: Great brands are consistent. They find one attribute they want everyone to say about them, then never ever waver from telling that story over and over. Volvo cars are safe. Disney’s magic makes people happy. You’re in good hands with Allstate. How many versions of the same Coronel for KFC have we seen over the years?

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Here are some brands for which I’ve had to creatively find new ways to say the same things they’ve been saying for years. I can tell you, the consistency of these brands doesn’t apply only to their marketing but to everything they do. This includes PR, sponsorships, partnerships, whom and how they hire, even the way they design their employee badges. (Seriously, ask us about the difference a big-box pet store brand made doing that.

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What do patients think of your brand?

Take time to walk in the shoes of your customer or user. Try our “wall trick.” Think about how people who don’t work at your company see you. There should be only one thought, one set of words, or one image that instantly represents who you are. If not, your brand may have a multiple personality disorder. If you do, don’t panic. You still have the ability to reshape and control your identity. Great brands like Martha Stewart will tell you, “That’s a good thing.” And, as Nike has urged for decades, “Just Do It.”

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how do people feel about your brand?

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Ten years running, Mentum has specialized in healthcare marketing. But they also have strong vitals in other areas like food, beverages and education as well.

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