Fruit bowls and brands: beware the buried blemish

one bad apple can spoil the whole brandAt the bottom of the fruit bowl, out of sight, a tiny blemish starts to fester. On top, everything looks beautiful and healthy. But eventually, an odor develops. By the time you investigate—and actually find it—it has spread.

Brands that are rapidly growing can find themselves in this fruit bowl. Small bruises—hidden by the hustle of daily work—can grow into pervasive problems that can spoil everything around them unless you act quickly.

Here are 5 examples of sore spots to watch out for:

  1. A disgruntled employee sewing the seeds of discord and whipping your culture into a negative frenzy.
  2. A customer complaint on social media like Yelp or Trip Advisor is left languishing and unaddressed.
  3. The missing link in your business process that slows production and interrupts delivery.
  4. The disengaged board member who doesn't know your purpose and vision, so he makes up a script of his own.
  5. The silos within the company that create an "us vs. them" mentality so people are fighting instead of pulling you forward together.Don't listen to Donny Osmond. One bad apple can spoil the whole bunch.

Act quickly. If caught early, all you have to do is remove the offending piece and do a light clean up.

But left unattended, the nastiness will spread to others within your circle and you'll have a lot of waste and some very distasteful work to do.

Don't ignore them. They will never go away on their own.

But if you catch them early, you're well on your way to serving up an apple-a-day brand.


If you need help freshening up your brand from the inside out, call Martha Bartlett Piland (direct) 785.969.6203.

tags: brand, culture, business process, silos, engagment

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