Can you have great branding without great thinking?

What follows is a condensed version of a true story.

A few days ago, a friend of mine emailed me an article written by a student of a Canadian business school. In short, the student was disheartened to see that its school has decided to link its brand image with an outdated symbol of technology in one of its important communication channels. One of the main implications of that act was that the school was out of touch. 

So, the student decided to do the reasonable thing: they approached the faculty and the administration for some explanation about what looked like a case of… well, let’s be kind and call it a case of “marketing-jet-lag.” To the student’s surprise, apprerently not a single person among the faculty and administration was willing to consider the possibility that linking the school’s brand image with an outdated symbol of technology may be a bad thing.

My 2¢:

a. The people at most big organizations are all being paid to be consensus. The student didn’t know that.
b. When you ask people to explain the why behind their actions, often you’ll find that they really don’t know.
c. Can you have great branding if you don’t have great thinking?

Oct 14, 2013