Why I’m Putting Branding Bricks on Hiatus

by Gregg on October 12, 2015

I’ve been writing Branding Bricks for five years this month, and by and large, it’s been a wonderful experience. I often think that the process of writing helps me learn – and indeed, because many of my posts are based on things that happen in business, and my reaction to them, I’ve been able to dive deeper into issues and better understand them.

But I was recently having a discussion with a good friend and colleague and I mentioned that I felt many of my posts of late felt a bit contrived – like I was just looking for something, anything, to write to keep this blog going. In other words, I felt like I was perpetuating its existence versus actually providing insight, which was the point all along.

Therefore, I’ve come to the hard decision to put Branding Bricks on hiatus for awhile.

It comes at a convenient time, because my day job is going to be really, really busy for the foreseeable future, and I need to focus on my work, which benefits the clients I represent.

But I also need to take a step back and determine the direction I want to take this blog. Because in my mind, it can’t continue to go the way it’s been going. That benefits no one, especially me. In short, I have to really rethink my strategy, my target audience and their needs, just like I would any other communications client.

But I also feel like I’ve got to do this for me. I’ve got to get back to the days where I would see something that just begged a Branding Bricks post, and I couldn’t wait to get to my computer and start writing. That usually led to rich discussions with colleagues along with some of the industry’s brightest stars, including David Meerman Scott and Marty Neumeier, among others.

Those were fun days, and I felt like this blog was making a difference.

I’m not sure right now what the future holds for Branding Bricks. I think it will return, though perhaps in a different form, maybe even a different name. I’ve got some ideas, but I’ve got to let them percolate.

So the key message here is farewell, for now, but not goodbye.

As Arnold once famously said, “I’ll be baack.”


Last month I wrote about how the situation involving long-time Subway ad spokesperson Jared Fogle had implications for B2B brands.

I was literally just now reminded of another reason why. Before I continue, if you’re a B2Ber, stop and ask yourself the following question:

Who’s managing our social media presence?

Here’s why: Fogle is facing federal charges for some very serious charges, which you can read more about here. For my own morbid curiosity, I went to @SUBWAY this morning and saw its post regarding the matter:

We no longer have a relationship with Jared and have no further comment.

Kind of a cop out, considering Subway profited off of Jared’s story for 15 years. But then I went to @SUBWAY over lunch, about an hour ago, and saw a cavalcade of some pretty offensive RTs. As quickly as I copied/pasted them into an MS Word doc, they disappeared, presumably deleted by a panicked agency rep or in-house social media person. I PDF’d them, which you can read here: SUBWAY retweeted 1 p.m. CT 8.19.2015

Can’t imagine how that happened. A setting that automatically RTs, perhaps? Perhaps.

But so what? I saw them and I’m guessing a lot of other people did. F-bombs and off-color jokes aren’t what you want associated with your brand, and you definitely don’t want that appearing in your Twitter feed, before they suddenly disappear like it never happened, in order to cover multiple derrieres. That’s not social media best practices – recognizing the mistake and apologizing for it is.

So if you’re managing a B2B brand, once again I ask you:

Who’s managing your social media presence? Do they know what they’re doing? And how do you know? Can you make them prove they know how the technology works and they understand social media best practices?

In our social, shareable world, brand perception absolutely depends on the answers to those questions.

P.S. I just checked @SUBWAY again to see if there was a mea culpa for the RTs, and here’s what was posted:

Jared Fogle’s actions are inexcusable and do not represent our brand’s values. We had already ended our relationship with Jared.



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