I interviewed myself, and agreed with everything I said.
AlterErnie: What’s so great about writing a blog?
Ernie: It’s therapeutic.
AE: How so?
E: I vent about things that bother me in the otherwise awesome business I’m in. And after four decades of doing it, I have a lot to get off my chest.
AE: So why a blog for automotive OEM suppliers? Why not a blog about golf or shoes?
E: Won’t deny it, I love golf. Shoes, too. But automotive OEMs are serious companies that make serious contributions to the process of moving people and stuff from one place to another. And I’ve done a lot of branding work in this industry. I speak from experience.
AE: What’s the world need more of?
E: Well-written, well-designed brand standards manuals. And driveable par-4’s.
AE: What’s the most important quality of great brands?
E: Consistency, stick-to-it-iveness, perseverance.
AE: What’s the biggest mistake brands make?
E: Saying too much. Say less, and the audience will remember you more.
E: Try to remember these words in order: “Petunia, Mozambique, Beyonce, spare tire, Elvis Peacock, Turkish pistachios, Rainman, quarter panel, Superbowl XXI.” Hard to do. But if I asked you to remember “Turkish pistachios,” no problem. If you’ve got just one thing about your brand you need people to know, don’t make the mistake of telling them two. Tell them the one thing over and over again.
AE: Ok, California pistachios or Turkish?
E: Turkish. They’re smaller and sweeter.
AE: It seems like a lot of what you say on your blog isn’t necessarily automotive OEM supplier brand-specific. It could apply to any brand in any industry.
E: A shrewd observation. You’re much smarter than you look.
AE: Gee, thanks.
E: I’ve worked on many brands in my career besides automotive OEM suppliers. The same mistakes brands were making years ago are still being made today, in all kinds of industries. Brands of all kinds, big and small, trying to say too much, and show too much in their marketing and advertising. Brands changing their identities way before they should. Brands looking like they’re stuck in the ’90s. It’s hard to get any brand momentum that way.
AE: Times have changed, though.
E: But the rules of good branding and marketing haven’t. Keep it simple. Respect the time of your audience. Get to the point. Stay the course. Create good, strong brand guidelines and follow them religiously.
AE: I couldn’t have said it better.
E: I know.