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If You Want To Trash Your Brand … Here’s a Good Way To Do It

Any chance that you’re tone deaf? Maybe you should follow Paul McCartney’s example.

A brand anthem expresses to your customers the core values related to your brand and products, much like a vision statement expresses the core values of your company 


Are you trashing your Brand Anthem?

A few months back, I was sitting in an exceptionally beautiful church on Easter Sunday morning.

There were garlands of fresh daffodils and orchids draping the sanctuary.

Easter lilies were everywhere, consuming the floor of the chancel and the empty spaces on the altar rails. Small children were dressed in their Easter finery, sitting awkwardly in their new suits and dresses anxiously awaiting the Easter Egg hunt following the service.

Time for the Processional Hymn

Christians everywhere know that the hymn, “Christ the Lord is Risen Today” also starts the Easter service and marks the procession of ministers and laity down the aisle to the altar.

It is unarguably the best known Easter hymn, a holiday staple like O’ Little Town of Bethlehem, Joy to the World and other holiday songs at Christmas.

I pretty much know that Easter hymn by heart … sang it every year as a child … and can’t imagine an Easter service without it. I was happy to see the words printed in a special bulletin for everyone to follow.

The lyrics are timeless and nearly 300 years old

Getting an audience is hard. Sustaining an audience is hard. It demands a consistency of thought, of purpose, and of action over a long period of time. ~ Bruce Springsteen

So, you can imagine my surprise when the traditional lyrics (written by John Wesley in 1739), were sung to an entirely different tune!

At first, I thought,

“that’s impossible, I must not be listening closely enough, because no one would change that tune, would they?”

It was a little harder to tell in this instance because the booming pipe organ and a brass quartet were breaking the sound barrier … but still, could that be possible?

Would someone really have changed the tune?

Right pew. Right seat. Wrong Song!

Yup! Someone did.  It was the right song but the wrong tune.

Someone … somewhere … presumably to be fresh … innovative … creative? … decided to arrange a totally different tune for one the most traditional hymns in modern Christendom!

Is it a big deal? I suppose not … well, YES!

In the scope of things, it’s not a big deal, I guess, but while I enjoyed the Easter service, it was never quite the same after the first hymn.

Just that one small change threw me off-balance.

My mood was never quite the same just because of a wrong song that I rarely think about except at Easter, but it took only that one little hitch in the service to negatively affect my experience.

Actually, I still can’t believe it.

Does this same thing happen in your business?

Do we think that we’re “freshening things up”, being creative and innovative when we change the tune of our anthem?

What are we doing to our customers when their expectations of a favorable experience with our brand and products goes awry?

Missed expectations can be BIG MISSES

Every day, our mood is affected by countless interactions when our expectations are not met.

That’s why we’re so disappointed when our favorite restaurant serves a dish cold … when a movie we’re excited to see turns out to be a dud … when the cold rain intercedes in our child’s first beach excursion.

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Likewise, when a new chord overwhelms our anthem … it can powerfully … and negatively … affect the reaction of our customers.

When you attempt to update the music and your customer loses his place and can’t follow the lyrics … you’ve lost.

Follow Paul McCartney’s example

If Paul McCartney refuses to sing “Let It Be” to the tune of “The Saints Go Marching In”, don’t try it yourself.

Be consistent.

Keep singing the same tune so your customers know it’s you.

If you’re going to change your tune so your customers don’t recognize the anthem, change the anthem.

Otherwise, don’t be surprised when they walk out wondering what happened to that favorite song you used to sing.

Question: Is everyone in your company singing the same tune? Why not share your thoughts and leave your comment below? Visit our Facebook page to share your thoughts and comments.

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