3 – fifths of nothing

When I research, plan and write a marketing strategy for a client, that client always intend to implement it, and most do just that. Those that don’t – tend to think that having a strategy and action plan is enough.

When I research, plan and write a branding strategy for a client, that client always intends to implement it, and most do just that. Those that don’t – tend to think that defining the brand and having an implementation programme is enough.

So for those that don’t implement the strategy I ask – what are their intentions worth?

The answer is – absolutely nothing.

Intentions may matter to God (assuming there is a God – an assumption I am not prepared to make) but they do not matter to human beings.

In the case of the marketing strategy, the action taken after the strategy is drafted is as important as the strategy. In the case of the branding strategy, the behaviour of the team that interface with client is the brand.

Behaviour is everything and creating the culture that can deliver the required behaviour is essential. Intentions are of no value – particularly when it comes to quality, service and the delivery of value.

Of course the same is true of success in general. Many people intend to do what is necessary to achieve their goals and nothing more, when success is the result of action, not intention.

So why is it that some strategies are not implemented? Here are three of the many possibilities:

  • It is too complex
  • It is too risky
  • It is too expensive

All of these reasons suggest one thing to me – the research and development processes were not as interactive as they needed to be. A research and development process that is as interactive as it needs to be will address these issues before they arise.

Another three possibilities are:

  • A lack of time
  • A lack of staff
  • A lack of know how

Again these reasons reflect just one thing – the research and development process was not as interactive as it needed to be. These are the very issues that need to be addressed in the planning process.

Whatever the reasons, intentions count for nothing.

In branding, marketing and communication, and indeed business in general, behaviour – action – is everything. Your staff and customers will judge you on the basis of what you do, not what you intend to do. Your success will be the result of what you do, not what you intend to do.

In branding marketing and communication – the behaviour of the management must cause the behaviour of the staff to be such that it causes the behaviour of customers to be such that it delivers the commercial outcomes being sort.


  1. Intention will never take the place of behaviour.
  2. Interactive planning is essential if implementation is to occur.
  3. Behaviour is the key to success in branding, marketing and communication.

PS – if this seems obvious – why are you intentions more noble than your behaviour?

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