• As painful as the economic downturn was for most businesses, that unprecedented time of turbulence also created great opportunities for those of us who dared to think differently.

    I credit the first two quarters of 2009, arguably the scariest six months in Identity’s 14-year history, with changing our course of history in many positive ways. Instead of ignoring or retreating from reality or blaming the economy for our challenges, we took full responsibility for our future. We were not going to sit back idly and watch the “story” unfold. We were not going to break up our rock star team. And, we were not going to compromise on our core values or integrity.

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  • Brands can create a similar cognitive dissonance for customers when they stray from their developed personas or strategies. Brands have a tone, voice and texture that are all part of the customer’s experience. Over time, they create the same behavioral expectations we have of our friends and can give us that same off-putting feeling when they don’t act the way we feel they should. It may not be conscious, but there’s a gut reaction that something is not right.

    There is real pressure to be everything to everybody so as not to miss a single sale. However, the greatest value of your brand lives in focusing on that sweet spot—the one thing you do better than everyone else. Such consistency isn't driven solely by the words in a brochure; it comes from staying true to the business direction your brand embodies. Launching a seemingly random service, or a product that doesn't tie to your brand's persona, negatively affects perception.

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