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Branding, identity, the Red Sox, and the last thing

The reason a brand has to be “executable” rather than just design and a slogan is exhibited by our friends on the Red Sox.


Quick question: what is the Red Sox brand today (after losing a 9 game lead in September to get into the playoffs)? It’s something like: heartless, careless, incompetent, fat-cats, or losers.


The Red Sox have one of the great legacy brands, i.e. “identities” in the world, which simply reflects how recognizable they are. Everyone has heard of the Red Sox. But in many ways this has nothing to do with the other part of their brand, having to do with what they MEAN to the audience, and what they have DELIVERED.


Often lost in the branding world is the idea that, the last thing that someone experiences with a person, company, sports team, etc., is a critical part of their brand. That’s why branding can’t just be identity related, it has to be something that’s executed operationally.


So, the Red Sox still have their legacy brand in place today, but a potentially more important part of the brand changed from yesterday to today. They are now historically incompetent losers. It will last until they get to execute on something different next year, and try to deliver it consistently for their audience.


I have a suggestion for them to consider: killer instinct!

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Tags: brand, branding, cmo, identity, strategy


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