Say No to Focus Groups

You NEVER build a brand using focus groups. Period.

If creative services come into your local focus group and “sell” you on a logo or slogan by explaining what makes it so great, are they going to be there to sell it to everyone who ever sees it?

If a logo, slogan, or key marketing message has to be explained, toss it. If it’s generic, toss it. If it’s more than seven words, toss it.

Focus groups invariably come up with slogans that are generic and designed to make everybody happy. “We have some- thing for everyone.” And, by the way, you cannot do branding by public consent. Period. You will never reach a consensus.

This is why you build your brand on feasibility, not just local sentiment. Isn’t the goal to separate yourself from the other 60,000 communities in North America? You can’t do this by being all things to all people. You MUST find your niche and promote it like crazy.

How to do this? You ask locals what they think the brand should be (once they understand what branding is) and then you run those ideas through the “Feasibility Test.” (See Feasibility article) This takes the politics out of the branding process and bases your brand on feasibility. At the end of the day, isn’t your brand about marketing your community? As a great place to live, work, or visit?

Beaumont, Texas uses “Rich With Opportunity” as their brand tag line. While this might make locals feel good for a week or two, does it say anything about Beaumont that doesn’t apply to virtually every other community in North America? Isn’t your community Rich With Opportunity?

Simply say no to focus groups and “feel good” slogans and tag lines.