5 Tough Branding Questions You Need to Ask — If You Have the Guts

OPEN logoIs your brand due for a come-to-Jesus (or your deity of choice) type of conversation?

Odds are, it is.

Who you are, why you do what you do (and it better not be for the money, for all that’s holy), and the type of customer you want — all these things can fall by the wayside when we get great at doing what we do. We can wake up one morning and take a look around our companies and brands and think, “Everything looks right, but something feels wrong.” In fact, this is a subject for a column I have coming up in Entrepreneur Magazine in April (be on the lookout for “I Hate My Brand”).

Branding is never a one-off exercise. Our companies, services, and audience evolve right alongside us, so we have to consistently take inventory of our brand so our businesses don’t end up looking like a rough drag queen on a 73-hour bourbon bender with one broken heel and mascara on the chin.

My latest column in American Express OPEN Forum offers 5 ballsy branding questions you should be asking. That is, if you have the guts. And I’m just as guilty as some of you — it took me way too damn long to get in the practice of giving my brand a regular dress-down (hence, my impending rebranding). Why? Because autopilot is easy. But going on autopilot is also the easiest way to let your brand get away from you.

Isn’t it time you grabbed your brand by the short hairs and started running it again instead of letting it run you?

Hop on over to Five Tough Branding Questions You Need to Answer. Odds are, your brand might be better for it. I know mine sure as hell has been!


I'm curious to see your new rebrand which, if the pictures are any indication, is going to be fantastic. My own "brand" is mostly "bland" which as you point out, is probably not doing me any favors. Just put my own picture out there which is a small baby step. Harder to do than I would have thought (I'm guessing you know of where I speak). Totally unrelated question - what is the AmexOpen forum? Am unfamiliar with this site....


An EXCELLENT article, as usual. My brand doesn't know EXACTLY who its customer is. It does, however, have a REALLY GOOD TAKE on who ISN'T my customer. Ah, the hard questions. Thank you, Erika, for your clear and consistent messages. Sometimes, it takes 100 times of hearing the same thing for it to get through!