August 2, 2023

Skunk in defense mode

Lately, I’ve run into the more-than-occasional skunk in my neighborhood. One night, a passing dog-walker warned me of existing boroughs they had casually encountered. In the first-person, I have run across foraging skunks on someone’s front lawn or late night in my neighborhood park. One “fella” had the nerve to raise his tail “warning style” in my direction, even though he was at least twenty feet away. I get it—defense mechanism. To be fair, this is written into his survival DNA. But the lesson learned from Pepe Le Pew… you should be JUST that cautious when it comes to your brand.

On a recent revisit to a client, I noticed that a third-party dealing had resulted in too-loose an interpretation of their branding package. The collaborator had chosen their own font for advertising the collaboration. Though sometimes it may be necessary to allow for wiggle room, you really need to give third-parties set guidelines. You don’t have to give them access to your proprietary assets, but you should reign them in on how to use your brand.

People counterfeit. Doppelgangers abound. You don’t want unauthorized facsimiles of your brand running around like skunks on a lawn. You should keep a tight leash on your marketing collateral, but be prepared to be flexible enough to adapt to a given situation, i.e. losing a business deal. But if an agreement can’t be actualized, then maybe the loss is beneficial.

In general, you want to be strict with your branding. There are liabilities to consider when an unchecked imposter is allowed to run amuck, unchallenged. Most people don’t pay attention to detail, but all you need is ONE to notice a glitch and result in exponential misrepresentation.

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