April 15, 2011 / 8:22 PM / 8 years ago

Management tip of the day: Define what your brand's against

A model displays a creation by Italian designer Susanna Liso during her Tartarughe collection fashion week show in Rome January 28, 2007. REUTERS/Dario Pignatelli

BOSTON (Reuters Life!) - Sometimes, saying what your brand stands for can sound generic at best. Instead, try putting a stake in the ground by telling your customers what you are against, says Harvard Business Review.

The Management Tip of the Day offers quick, practical management tips and ideas from Harvard Business Review and HBR.org (http:\\www.hbr.org). Any opinions expressed are not endorsed by Reuters.

“Most brand experts will tell you that your brand needs to stand for something, whether it’s efficiency, quality, or service. But many companies use similar approaches, which can lead to your attempt sounding generic.

You can put a stronger stake in the ground by telling customers what it is you are against.

Politics have shown that it’s far easier to rally people in opposition to a cause than for one. Being opposed to something — excess, bad design, mean people — helps people find something meaningful in your brand.

Don’t create a gripe-fest, however: once you have people on board, show them your alternative ideas and visions.”

-Today’s management tip was adapted from “What Is Your Brand Against?” by Scott Goodson.

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