David Ogilvy once said and I paraphrase, the advertising business is infected with people who have never sold a thing in their lives. Dude!

To build on David’s thought, the branding business suffers from what I call the brand-babble syndrome. Incessant use of words – coin of the realm, if you will — that sound good but have nearly completely lost their meaning.

I don’t know Scott Davis and I’m sorry to use the video featuring him but here is an example of brand-babble. Please note, Prophet is a smart and successful branding company (Hell, they hired Charlene Li) and I’m sure Mr. Campbell is a great guy. Let’s just say the video editor was an intern and approvers were on vacation. Click here to play.

The only thing of substance here is the idea that brand is owned by everyone in the company.  However, he doesn’t say the word strategy, just brand, so the point is diluted.

The brand strategy business is infected with words like “transparency,” “pivot,” “authenticity,” “transformation,” “voice” and “customer journey.” At the end of the day it’s words like these that cause many customers of brand strategy to not know what they’re getting. Or what they are signing up for. Brand-babble is the enemy.

(For an example of a real brand strategy framework, sans brand-babble, email Steve@WhatsTheIdea.)