Wrestling with Semantics is a Losers Fight

Often times in running a business that relies heavily on branding,  positioning and the ability to sway opinion in your favor, we spend countless hours tweaking our message.  We spend days agonizing over how the message is presented visually and how it’s written.  Trying to get to just the right word,  the right photo,  the right change to the logo to elicit a positive response and take us from being option B to option A.  In the marketing world it’s a everyday fact of life.  It is essentially what advertisers do.  Well i’m here to tell you that maybe there’s a better way.

What if the issue isn’t in the message and how it’s delivered but rather in the core perception of the business or product.  If that is indeed the case,  is it even possible to sway an opinion from “not interested” to “i want that”?Or is it possibly a fools errand.

If the problem lies in how you do things and the product you produce, it doesn’t matter how many different ways you portray yourself, the end result is always going to be a failure, especially in a socially connected world of today.   Whether you operate a service related business or sell a product,  word gets out fast and can spread like a brush fire.  Gain a reputation for burning out employees, and managing your business poorly and soon you’ll find it near impossible to find talent.  Become known for swindling customers out of their hard earned money and selling product that comes apart when it leaves your store (see used car salesman) and suddenly you have no customers.

So getting back to my original hypothesis,  is it a complete waste of time to constantly tweak your message when your offering is a mess?  Absolutely. You can put a fresh coat of paint on it but that doesn’t make it any better,  it’s just paint.  You have to fix the core issues.  If your issue lies in not being able to hire new talent because your reputation for burning them out is legendary, then you need to resolve that.  Hire enough personnel to handle your workload, or hire more efficient team.  If you’re known for not being able to manage relationships within your business or developing a culture of any kind then hire a quality C level position who is good at developing a culture people love and get behind.  And finally,  if you can’t seem to produce a quality widget product offering,  it may be time to look at your business goals,  do an assessment and find where the problem areas are in production, so that you can increase quality of output.   Changing the words on your website to let people know that you now offer “in-house” snow board training in most cases won’t sway a decision,  at least not with a customer or employee who already knows who you are and where you came from. The consumer is a lot more savvy than they used to be.

It’s not about words or graphics it’s about the deeper connective tissue.

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