The danger of not evolving your brand

Last fall I was hired to help jump-start marketing efforts for a service organization.
Let’s call it Acme Inc.
The goal: to get new business by reaching out more effectively to the business community.
In short, here’s what I did:
I studied their target audience.
I studied their product.
I studied their customer touch points.
(BTW, I was surprised how complicated and impenetrable their customer touch points were.)

One of my first goals was to simplify their brand’s language.
SIMPLIFICATION is one of my specialities.
Simple is smart. Simple is honest. Simple is engaging.
(Simplicity is not about dumbing-down or giving people a lesser experience.)

So I conceptualized some simple, marketing innovations for Acme Inc.
The kind of innovations that did not required a huge financial investment.
But most innovations, including the marketing kind, are by definition disruptive.
And by disruptive I mean simply that they require change from the status quo.
And delivering change from the status quo is what I thought I was hired to do.
Interestingly, the very people who hired me soon proved me wrong.
For some reason, they were not willing to implement any new ideas. Not a single one.

So at the end, there was just sort of quiet.
The above development was far from ideal but unfortunately not entirely unpredictable.
Many organizations like the promise of change, just not the actual execution of it.

The danger of not evolving your brand and ensuring its freshness is perhaps best explained by this Chinese proverb: “If you don’t plan for the future, you’ll get one that shows up.”
Said differently, I think that brands are a lot like people.
When you stop evolving your brand, it shows.

I think marketing is fundamentally simple.
And for some brands, the truth is just sort of quiet—as in unmoving.