Monday, February 12, 2007

Solutions Anyone?

The February 12 issue of BtoB magazine includes a piece I authored on (big shock) branding. The article looks at the perils of positioning B2B companies as "solutions providers"—something that's still far too common in our beloved B2B space.

You can find the article here.

While you're at it, visit Industry Week's site to see a sidebar piece I contributed to on (ready for this?) branding. For some reason, the editors saw fit to include my photo in the print edition. Fortunately, reason prevailed on the online side.


Gary Link said...

Wow, I thought I was the only one who was sick of "Solutions" ! It's become like "Motherhood and Apple Pie" in politics - everyone supports it, but to say so means absolutely nothing. There's another aspect of the word "Solution" as a vague, positive term which bothers me, too. It carries with it the faint echo of Hitler's "Final Solution", a euphemism which, standing alone, sounds as innocuous as the answer to a mathematical problem. I bet if B2B marketers seeking distinctive branding would associate the hackneyed "Solutions" with the terrifying sameness exemplified by a eugenically purified master race, instead of a trendy and overused catchword, we wouldn't be hearing about "Solutions" at all anymore. And that would be the very best "Final Solution"!

Mike Stefaniak said...

Thanks Gary--great comment!

Sadly, the march to solutions has also crept into consumer marketing. There's a joint in town here called "Dinner Solutions," which I guess prepares everything you need to cook a meal so you can cook it without the prep time.

I'm waiting for Depends to be rebranded as "Adult Incontinence Solutions," Miller to reposition their beer as "Reality Solutions" and Ford to stop selling cars and start selling "Transporation Solutions." Wait--they're already not selling cars...scratch that last one.