Jumping Someone Else’s Train

Not only do we like our lines, we enjoy hopping on bandwagons as well (with a tip of the hat to The Cure for the title). The explosion of “green” everything is the simplest example. But there are several others such as mini PCs, widget/gadget design templates, content management companies, weight loss formulas and plans, and social networking and bookmarking sites.

Sure, each tends to put its own spin on the idea and often jumps into the game either to avoid being left behind or to siphon off some of the business. Heck, we saw the same thing in the mid- to late-1990s with malternative beverages and hard ciders. Only a few of those remain, mostly as novelties.

Bandwagon brand management leads you down one of two paths: either you are going to the quick, short-term hit or you are little more than a “me too!” Regardless, you are failing the brand if your moves are not based solidly in deliberate strategy. And chances are, unless you are doing it better and more effectively than everyone else, you are going to invest a lot of time and money for little, if any, payoff.

When you’re managing your brand, beware of whose (which) train you are jumping on. Because they are doing it simply is not reason enough. Put together a solid business case with solid, verifiable data to support it. Do the work up front, and it will save you wasted resources down the road.

Now, excuse me while I pop open a Zima.

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