How To Cure WhirlyBrand!


Ed Roach

Is your brand in a whirl? Many a CEO have ignored the signs and are afraid to contact their brand doctors. Some fear the embarrassment of having admit that they have long ignored the obvious and suffer from denial. Many simply have no idea why they are suffering and are just confused and anxious. If you are uncertain, here are a few things that might alert you that your brand is suffering from WhirlyBrand:

Symptom: Your business completely blends in throughout it’s category. There is nothing to distinguish you.

Diagnosis -WhirlyBrand: People confuse your company with that of your competition? I’m afraid you’ve become – a commodity.

Treatment: The dreaded “D” word – differentiation. Yes, you have to discover what it is that used to make customers love you. Why were they willing to pay more for your services as compared to today’s situation where you have been reduced to a price and easily replaced. You must discover ways to put your company back on top defining you as the leader in your category. What makes you absolutely different. What is your difference that no other company can lay claim to. Nobody said this was going to be easy.

Symptom: Your staff are withdrawn, they seem uninspired, gloomy.
Diagnosis – WhirlyBrand: You’ve played it safe for so long, your most prized assets, your employees are disillusioned by the company. They no longer understand what it stands for. They too have lost their direction. Your company is no longer attracting great talent.

Treatment: You’ve got to give the team something to live for. As the visionary, you must step up to the table and inspire them again. Develop a positioning strategy that has the competition shaking their heads. Don’t carry on business-as-usual. Get their input and carry out their recommendations. It will empower and motivate them. They will become super advocates – they are a part of what makes your company great!

Symptom: Your brand image is all over the map, even you are confused by what you represent.Diagnosis – WhirlyBrand: You have multiple versions of your brand logo. Your corporate colours change depending on use. The blue on your signs is different than your stationary and website. Your brand image is very similar to the current leader in your category. You have multiple brand icons, none of which are exploited to the benefit of the company.

Treatment: You’ve been playing follow the leader for too long. Identify icons and images that compliment your brand values and personality. Develop a brand strategy for your brand image components. Make sure that nobody goes against this strategy and even assign a person to patrol its use. Your have got to take back control of your image.

Symptom: Your at a loss for words at networking and sales opportunities. This sudden loss for words has you nervous and concerned.Diagnosis -WhirlyBrand: You don’t quite know what you stand for. Your company has a mission statement, but frankly it is milk toast. It says the same cozy things most mission statements say. You can list off all of the things you sell, if given the time, but you don’t have a compelling position.

Treatment: Develop a statement that says exactly what you do that distinguishes your company. It must be compelling enough to ignite conversation. Perhaps it is in the form of a question. Whatever the structure the cure here is to compel.

Symptom: Your personal brand conflicts with that of your company. You are never called upon for your opinion. You feel withdrawn.Diagnosis: WhirlyBrand: You haven’t defined yourself as an expert in your category. People around you may like you but don’t necessarily consider you to be an expert at anything in particular. You’ve lost your edge.

Treatment: Assert yourself. Start doing speaking engagements on your area of expertise. Write articles, “start a blog”, engage people with your wisdom. Define who you are and what you stand for. Ideally it is an extension of your corporate brand, each complimenting the other. Don’t assume people know what you do – tell them!

Don’t panic if some of these symptom sound awfully familiar. If your company has WhirlyBrand – take notice, it is serious. If it goes unattended it can be terminal. BUT the good news is WhirlyBrand can be cured. Once you’ve had a brand physical, you will then be on the road to recovery. Nobody has to suffer from this troublesome malady.

The cure does take determination and resolve, but the best news is, NO RUBBER GLOVES ARE NEEDED IN THE TREATMENT!


  1. I’m glad you enjoyed the article and thank you for the plug on your site. I often try try and write with American spelling, but this time I seem to have forgot. I noticed that some of my diagnosis leads are not their own paragraphs which they were when I posted. No big deal other than it is inconsistent.