It’s time to start thinking about your brand as a living, breathing entity. You should be treating it with the utmost care and like any other living thing on earth, your brand should possess the ability to adapt over time.
If you don’t take the proper precautions to ensure your brand’s safety, it may end up like the dodo bird — extinct. Don’t let your brand become the dud of its environment.
More Than You Ever Wanted to Know About the Dodo
Before we dive into the nitty gritty details of why your brand could be failing, let’s talk about the dodo bird and why it offers a significant comparison in the marketing world.
If you’re not familiar with the dodo bird, let me enlighten you (clears throat).
A long, long, long time ago, there once lived a flightless bird that was easy to catch because of its tubby stature and unfortunate place on the food chain.
Historical findings suggest they lived on the island nation of Mauritius and thrived in their happy environment…until Dutch explorers happened upon their little home and ate them into extinction.
Not only were the happy little birds a great source of nourishment for the adventurers, but their eggs acted as tasty snacks for the dogs, pigs and rats that made their voyage to the island with the Dutch.
There is a good bit of speculation surrounding the date of the last dodo sighting, but records state that it was somewhere between 1507-1598.
Depictions and skeletal remains do not give us a lot of clues about the genuine nature of this feathered anomaly, but the dodo bird is a popular species despite the lack of knowledge on its short existence. Its claim to fame certainly isn’t centered on it’s supposed cuteness but rather just how much of a dud it was in the animal world. Sad … but true.
The Dodo and Branding
You may be asking yourself, “what does this have to do with branding?” Well, let me tell you.
Branding is one of the most important parts of any business. It’s your livelihood. Having a quality, well-thought-out brand is just as crucial as great customer service and a kick ass product or service. The image, message and overall vibe you send out into the world matters greatly to the lifeblood of your work.
When your brand is a dud, it will eventually take its place on the extinct list — right next to the wooly mammoth and the dodo. It won’t have what it takes to make it against bigger, strong and more prevalent brands. You will have wasted your money, time and energy on something that had the potential take you on a road trip to success-ville. Once you become extinct, there’s no going back.
The dodo was a happy, oblivious bird that was unaware of its place on the food chain. It didn’t have the physical attributes of nature’s toughest creatures. Unlike the dodo, you have a chance to begin your endeavors by building strong characteristics. You have the ability to utilize your strengths while working on your weaknesses. If something isn’t working, it’s time to take a closer look at what you could be doing to increase your chances of success.
Signs Your Brand is a Dodo
No matter how hard you try, someone out there will always be bigger and better than you. That doesn’t mean, however, that you shouldn’t try to be the best that you can be.
In fact, it should motivate you to work harder. You can’t settle for less than best — especially when your livelihood is vulnerable.
Sign 1: Your Brand Doesn’t Take Competition Seriously
Your brand will become extinct if those big, bad “predators” are taking all of the business. It’s important that you stand out. Make decisions based off of what truly works, rather than settling for subpar results.
For example, your website is one of your strongest marketing tools. In this day and age, potential customers will most likely visit your website before they even thinking of contacting you. The message and image you project will say a lot about your business. If you don’t have a quality brand and a killer website, you will lose potential clients.
The dodo went extinct because it did not live with immediate threats. As soon as humans visited the island, the dodo was eaten into extinction. Several accounts noted how the dodo was easy to catch and unafraid of its visitors.
With a shift in either one of these flaws, the dodo may still be trotting around to this day.
Until your brand takes the competition seriously, it’s nothing but a chubby, flightless bird on an island with some pretty big predators lurking in the shadows.
Sign 2: Your Brand Doesn’t Lean into Its Strengths
As much as we haggle the dodo, it did actually have some strengths.
Although it was easy to catch, scientists believe the dodo could actually move around quite fast. The dodo’s nearest alive cousin is the Ostrich, which can run up to 43 miles-per-hour. That tells us something.
Along with that, they also believe the dodo had an incredible strong beak.
I’m no scientist, but I imagine the dodo didn’t leverage those strengths because it wasn’t afraid of human beings — a key contributor to its extinction. Maybe if it would’ve used those fast legs and strong beak, it could’ve survived.
Are you leveraging your brand’s strengths?
- Maybe you have a die-hard fan base who would do anything for you. Are engaging and activating them to help spread the word?
- Maybe you’re a nimble company that can shift on a dime. Can you make a strategic pivot that would break the ankles of a larger organization?
Whatever your strengths, you can’t afford to not utilize them.
Sign 3: Your Brand Doesn’t Adapt
You may be swimming in a sea of uncertainty if you aren’t adapting. Your brand needs to be consistent with your message, but it also needs to possess the ability to evolve over time. Trends come and go. That baby brand of yours should easily take on whatever comes its way.
Juggling out of date materials with new content won’t cut it. Inconsistent messaging leads to disaster. A poorly designed website that lacks user-friendly features will only take you in one direction — extinction. Your business needs balance and should rely on strength building qualities.
Don’t Be a Dodo
Did one or all of these signs ring a bell? It’s time to adapt or go extinct.