June 19th, 2015
Judging by Fitbit’s euphoric IPO yesterday, gadget faddists are salivating — at the moment — for health metrics on their wrists. Given that these metrics already exist in their mirrors, bathroom scales, and waistbands, one questions the shelf-life of this bliss.
Physical fitness shouldn’t be an ephemeral, gadget-based fad; it should be a permanent, common-sense lifestyle. Alas, the required discipline is neither popular nor easy.
Go to the gym on New Year’s Day. Return 60 days later; here’s what you’ll see: most of the “resolutions” crowd will have evaporated faster than champagne bubbles. Result: according to the CDC, 35% of American adults are obese. Obesity causes diabetes, which is now so common and mainstreamed, it’s ostensibly worth celebrating, as in this Farxiga commercial.
It’s noteworthy that no similar fad, trend, or gadget portrays and soothes those obsessed with brand fitness — a small group. Otherwise, they would buy my fictitious BrandBand to determine what common sense already tells them. Right?
Common sense tells anyone with a brain that a bikini-clad girl on the beach, with a goat and talking horse, conveys nothing valuable, memorable, and repeatable about DirecTV’s brand — and won’t sell any subscriptions. Obviously, common sense ain’t that common.
DirecTV has brand obesity, which is not worth celebrating. And, the BrandBand can’t help. This spot epitomizes what CEOs shouldn’t emulate.
Parting Advice to CEOs
Do you need a high-tech BrandBand to tell you what your eyes, ears, and wisdom already know? If you think so, it’s time to reassess your brand — and its priority.
If customers, investors, and reporters can’t react to, remember, and repeat your company’s message in 15 seconds, you suffer from brand obesity. You will know this, one way or the other, if you spend a lot of time with them, instead of relying on social media.
Moreover, your brand is obese if you frequently hear: Tell me again what your company does and why it’s unique. You don’t need, and can’t buy, a gadget for this.
Technology can’t replace common sense, prevent obesity, or supplant discipline. Never think otherwise. Sadly, convincing your employees will be neither popular nor easy.
Finally, like physical fitness, brand fitness is mandatory for sustainable viability. Demand it!
POSTSCRIPT #1: Fitbit Races with Apple to Avoid Brand Obesity and Stay Unique
About the Author
Marc Rudov is a branding advisor to CEOs,
producer of MarcRudovTV, and author of the book,
Be Unique or Be Ignored: The CEO’s Guide to Branding.
© 2015 Marc H. Rudov. All Rights Reserved.