This time of year, people all over the world make sacrifices, typically due to religious affiliation, and give something up for a set period of time (40 days for us fish eaters). Chocolate, candy, soda, fried foods – all items often on the list.

But brands, do they give anything up? We think they should. Here are a few things that drive us crazy.

  1. “Spam”. Not the investment-opportunity-in-India spam, but the newsletter-everyday spam. It boggles the mind that companies actually think that we read this stuff. It’s too much copy. It clutters our inboxes. And it doesn’t even really offer all that much. We’re not buying the “brand-awareness” POV either.
  2. Social-media cluttering. Yes, people are on Facebook and Twitter. And yes, they’re legitimate places to advertise. But, make sure you have a strategy going into it. Don’t just shoot from the hip. And beware of too-frequent updates. Like a broken window in Paperboy, this leads to unsubscribers. Bad jokes do too.
  3. “CHEAP! CHEAP!” Regardless of where you’re from, we’ve all seen local advertising. It’s understood that small-businesses are often not in the market for award-winning ads. But, that being said, you can make a good, simple commercial without making me CRINGE! CRINGE! Honestly, no matter your budget, there is always an opportunity for a good idea. As the esteemed Steve Kopcha of the University of Missouri School of Journalism always points out, good ads sell stuff.
  4. Txt. Unless your target market is a 14 year-old, we’d stay away from the “texting” speech. It’s not clever and, really, it just looks lazy. There are better ways to be “in” with that age group – paste Zac Effron everywhere and they’re yours. LOLz.
  5. Exclamation points. Don’t use them!
  6. Inconsistent brands. Yep, these drive us crazy too. One marketing piece looks like this, another one looks like that. Messaging is different from piece to piece. Please, make it stop. Reference the classic example of Apple Computer for a brand that keeps it consistent.
  7. Really complicated (for the user), fancy websites. All you’re doing is hurting the brand. Simplicity is king.

Are these all of our complaints? Absolutely not. Our goal was to write a blog post, not a manifesto. There were just top of mind.

Have a great week.

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