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Am I Leader Or Legend?

Never mind the faulty math, the Big 10 conference re-brands itself as six 'Leaders' and six 'Legends.'   Let's see.  I'm a Wisconsin alum so I should care most about...Leaders...and which teams are those again?

As an audience, physicians can be pretty tough.  But messin' with college football fans takes real courage, especially with such a questionable idea.  Somewhere a branding consultant is frantically shopping for a Kevlar athletic supporter.

Isn't it amazing how many re-branding efforts go comically awry?  I recently gave Drake University a D+ for their recent re-branding, mostly because that's the grade they gave themselves.  What grade should we assign the Big 10?  Maybe an 'F' for the math and an 'Incomplete' because I predict they'll soon ditch 'L-squared.'

What might have happened here?  Well, notice Commissioner Jim Delany's comment in the Tribune article linked above:
"I know us. I think what we did was right."
Lots of 'I's' in that statement.  My guess is it's evidence of some smart people inward-focused to a fault.  The first thing leaders should remember is that branding is not really about THEM, their opinions, their comfort zones or even their latent narcissism.

I define a brand as "that which an organization is willing to deliver and actually capable of delivering." Willingness and capabilities, no more, no less, are what connects an organization with the marketplace.   It's about what the MARKETPLACE wants, not what the organization's CEO WANTS them to want. 

Thinking about making a change, freshening-up your own brand?  What do they need?  What do you deliver?  Figure it out BEFORE you do something cringe-worthy, not after.

Update later today:  Word from various sports talk radio programs is that Big 10 officials expected the negative blow-back and have no intention of changing course.  Fine.  I'll simply pay them no more mind.  (See yesterday's post about brand breakups, below.)


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