I travel to work with my Marketing Ninja, a young lad who is totally familiar with the new marketing methods, Social Media hook-ups and good principles of marketing. I have been around since the early days of the internet and have watched with awe as marketing has gone from being a fairly simple affair to becoming a techno-boosted science.

New marketing methods and systems seem to appear daily and keeping up with them involves a constant cycle of seminars, tweaks, news watching, technology adoption and endless amounts of cash flowing around. What still surprises me is the amount of companies- especially large ones – who ignore even the most basic marketing steps.

When we drive to and from the office, we keep an eye out for examples of Good and Bad marketing. Our focus of course is on the vehicles we see each day travelling up and down the highway, and we are quick to share opinions on the best users of the real estate on their vehicles.

Take today for instance. As I said I have been around for a while , so I know lots of companies, know what they do and what brand they promote, whereas my Ninja looks at everything with fresh eyes and is often perplexed by what we call ‘mystery marketing’. Mystery marketing is where you have to try and think what the company does and what their brand represents.

We have winners and losers every day and I thought it might be useful if we could have a summary of our findings on a regular basis.
Let’s look at Today’s loser – Chubb. We followed their company vehicle for a while – it was discretely branded Chubb, with a very small 0800 number. There was no indication of what the company did, so my Ninja was none the wiser. However a little ‘net research revealed the following ‘ Chubb, a wholly owned subsidary of UTC Fire and Security, is a world leader in the fire safety and security services industry. Chubb employs over 45,000 people globally and combines nearly 200 years of safety expertise with state of the art technology to provide fire safety and security solutions to more than one million customers around the world.’

Now I know all about Chubb, being from the ‘older’ generation, so I’m guessing that their marketing strategists are from the same era, assuming that everyone knows about Chubb. Well they don’t – there is a new generation out there who could be better informed about Chubb, but the company have assumed their brand is so well known that taglines or descriptives are superfluous to their promotional mix; and so another company misses the opportunity to raise the brand awareness.

We should take every opportunity to promote our brand positively to make sure that the message is at least reaching our target market. And that means consistent branding of assets, a visible and memorable company tagline and monitoring systems that tell us when our brand is being mentioned. If its a posiive mention, spread the word; if its negative find out the problem and then fix it.

In these days of ‘power to the people’ these days when a brand can have its reputation destroyed by concerted action by the masses spreading the word by Social Media, we have to aware more than ever that our brand and reputation is on the line every single day, and if you don’t promote, monitor and engage with your clients, your name will join the ranks of the forgotten.