Being Brave Might Mean Honeysuckle

2011 Color of the Year

Toward the end of each year, I shudder somewhat at the thought of finding out what the trend color will be for the following year.  Last year it was turquoise and now this year it is honeysuckle.

Shudder you say?!!  Last year’s turquoise wasn’t too bad but the year before it was celery and the year before that it was pistachioCome January I will be contacted by various clients that are having their Spring golf outing and they will (yes they will) ask me what the newest color is for Spring so that they can get golf shirts for participants.  Unless it is a Ladies Golf Outing, I have spent the last three years shuddering when that question has been presented to me.

During the celery year, I learned to say “light green”.  That worked well with pistachio also.  Now comes Honeysuckle

First, most men are not going to know what color Honeysuckle is.   I have had so much fun with taupe.  What I have learned is that the “Mother” color for Honeysuckle is red.  So am I misleading my clients if I say a softer shade of red

The shades of colors, or I should say the names we give them, always becomes an issue with the gentlemen and the ladies it is the styles. 

Thanks to all of us out in the field, we finally instilled in the vendors that our female clients deserve equal attention to fit and style.  I don’t know about you, but only several years back when we participated in any charitable event, we always got the “adult” shirts, jackets, vests, etc.  Adult means “men’s”.

So I have filled you in ever so briefly on one of my 2011 changes that I will have to deal with.  Have you determined what is new in your industry and how you will have to adapt?  Love to hear your comments.

The Greed Generation

Branded as Greedy

A Lesson in Branding that really hits home!

Recently on an evening Cable News program, former Senator Alan Simpson of Wyoming, offered some suggestions as to how to correct the deficit.  When he ended his commentary he said we were a Generation of Greed.  So have we gone from The Greatest Generation to The Greed Generation.  Well we can have a different opinion, we can debate it, or we can be horrified at being branded as Greedy.  We could go on, but the negative Branding has taken place.  He is not wrong or right, he spoke rendering his perspective as he sees this generation, his perception reflects exactly what he (himself) has observed. 

For the past few days I have tossed these comments around in my mind and realized that this is the most impactful Branding example I could use to show how it can take only a few or a minority to negatively ruin a Brand.  Sen. Simpson didn’t harm our Brand….a certain few in our Nation did and he stated how he sees it.  This is exactly what can happen to YOUR company brand or personal brand. 

This branding of The Greed Generation was inevitable don’t you think?  We must have seen it coming.  BUT if you were like me, I was thinking “Well that is all those other people who are living above their means….doesn’t effect me.”  Well as you can see, it only takes a few to cause others to negatively Brand all of us.  Same holds true in your organization.

As an example, let’s look at our Nation as your Company.  We really only had a small percentage of people that caused some of the financial issues because of their Greed but look who takes the blame…..we all do.  That will work the same in your Company.  If you do not set a policy that is reviewed frequently, I say quarterly, with all staff that sets forth the Company’s Branding initiatives, you risk your competition stating what your Brand is. 

As I mentioned in my Quarterly Newsletter, The Hot Iron, there has to be a total buy-in by your staff as to how you wish your clients and the business community to view you.  Branding for some only means the logo and the colors of the logo.  It is so much more than that and the way one person speaks to another at any level, how issues are handled, effective communication, presentation of product and self, consistency and so much more than logo. 

When you identify an issue….address it immediately.  Negative branding can be turned around.  I say we can change that concept of The Greed Generation by addressing, realistically, what caused us to get to this point….but it takes courage.  Maybe we could then be branded The Realistic Generation.  With all these reality shows, I’m surprised that hasn’t been written somewhere.   

Taking some courageous steps toward protecting your Brand is imperative.  Tough to turn around once it is damaged.  Protect your business with kindness, consideration, caring, fairness, professionalism, honesty, integrity and give and take.  When you hear an alarm….pay attention!!  Don’t let your business be Branded by anyone else but YOU!!

I would be very interested in your thoughts.