Know Thy-Brand

Isn’t it a no-brainer to know thyself before your tell others about yourself? In the context of a product, service or brand, it’s about learning everything you need to know – from attributes to USPs and strengths to weaknesses – before even considering a marketing effort.

It really pains me to see the lack of knowledge and understanding that permeates the corridors of marketing departments. It is disheartening to come to terms knowing that marketing or brand executives do not take the effort to live and breathe their assigned portfolios. It has become so rotten, that almost everything is done to please the bosses instead of pleasing the targeted consumers.

Are SWOT analysis’ even conducted by companies these days? Maybe the fears of discovering the threats and weaknesses mix trigger a phobic reaction. There’s a serious lack of responsibility and a high tendency to make assumptions. Briefs these days do not even come with requisite information. Wait a minute… hell, there are sometimes no briefs at all.

At the very least, the absolute bare minimum, a job order (instead of a ‘brief’ since they are pretty much non-existent) must outline these points:

–      Who are we talking to? (psycho & demo)

–      What is the objective? (what’s the purpose of this communication)

–      What is so interesting about what we have to say/sell/give? (USPs)

I bet many marketing “professionals”, handling key accounts, would not be able to furnish the above without referring to their superior or Google. No doubt, there are many talented marketing and brand people out there whom I’ve had the pleasure of working with. And I must say I’ve learned tons from them.

But there are this I-Know-It-All, I’m-Better-Than-You and Do-As-I-Say bottom dwelling creatures that make me want to puke. But then again, I would not even waste my energy on throwing up for them.

Please, take the effort. Learn, ask questions and take the initiative. And don’t act smart if you don’t know what you’re doing, we notice you know?


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  1. I stumbled upon your site today, read through everything written so far and agree completely. Your sentiments about the advertising industry in Malaysia are dead-on. I too stumbled into advertising with a small ad agency and just kept at it.
    We do a lot of work with government agencies and the politics are mind-numbing. The habit of neglecting to tend to a brief and then pushing the ad agency to produce within a ridiculous timeline lest we get ‘blacklisted’ is rampant.
    I’m not complaining about hard work. I do enjoy the work. I just do not enjoy politicizing and inefficient people threatening us to deliver when they messed it up with their own meandering to begin with.

  2. Hey Charlene,

    Congrats first of all, as you are the 1st to leave a comment on my blog.

    I really appreciate your thoughts and glad that our feelings towards Malaysian advertising are mutual. I’m positive that there are many more tired, disillusioned and frusturated agency folks out there just like us.

    Well, we can keep our head down and pretend not to see or hear anything. But I have been doing that for far too long and needed to vent before I lost my sanity… hence the creation of this blog.

    Al least now I know I am not alone in this, and that’s why your comment means a lot to this poor old soul. Thank you and keep up the good fight.

    Till the next time… cheers!

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