Corporate Eye

Can Your Brand Be Replaced?

Last week, I asked Does Your Brand Matter? where I talked about the tombstone test and asked you to analyze your brand and determine whether anyone would care if your brand disappeared tomorrow.  Today, I have another extension of that test with this question:

If you replaced your logo on your advertising, marketing materials, website, etc. with your competitor’s logo, would the message still apply for that other company?

This test is meant to show you whether your messages (particularly your brand messages) are too generic.  If another company’s logo could sit on your ad and the message would still work perfectly, then your brand message is not unique enough.

An important part of branding is differentiating your business or product from the myriad of others available on the marketplace and to make your brand stand out from the crowd.  If your message would work just as well with another company’s name and logo attached to it, then you need to go back to the drawing board.

Talk to your best customers and find out what it is about your brand that makes them choose it over all others.  That’s the message you want to communicate, and that’s the message that will differentiate your brand.

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Susan Gunelius is the author of 10 marketing, social media, branding, copywriting, and technology books, and she is President & CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc., a marketing communications company. She also owns Women on Business, an award-wining blog for business women. She is a featured columnist for and, and her marketing-related articles have appeared on websites such as,,, and more. She has over 20 years of experience in the marketing field having spent the first decade of her career directing marketing programs for some of the largest companies in the world, including divisions of AT&T and HSBC. Today, her clients include large and small companies around the world and household brands like Citigroup, Cox Communications, Intuit, and more. Susan is frequently interviewed about marketing and branding by television, radio, print, and online media organizations, and she speaks about these topics at events around the world. You can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google+.