Out-walk the zombies

Posted on Mar 30, 2010

Zombies in the movies are, we must admit, terrifying, but mostly for their apparent lack of personal hygiene. You do not want to sit next to one on the bus. They’re also famous for staggering clumsily out of the graveyard toward the screaming ingenue and her pretty-much-doomed boyfriend. It is quite apparent that these stiffs are stiff: they have not been doing yoga while buried.

So, as long as you don’t panic, escape seems relatively simple. Walk briskly.

It doesn’t even rise to the stress level of “I don’t have to out-run the bear. I just have to out-run you.” A steady 4 mph should leave the undead in the dust.

Likewise with your business competitors. Many brand stakeholders regard their competitors with exaggerated respect, and this can lead to bad decisions that leave you frozen in place. We’ve often said you don’t need to outspend people you can outsmart. In times of great change, if you can adapt your strategies and tactics to the changes in consumer decision making, your brand will be walking briskly away, taking market share from the zombies.

What do you think?

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8 Comments

  1. Cowperthwait
    April 6, 2010

    What’s a starter example of a zombie consumer brand? It’s funny (to me) that when I try to think of a faded brand, I can’t, on account of its being, you know, less memorable.

    In B2B, meanwhile, young brands are eating the zombies’ lunch (but figuratively, not literally, as what the zombies actually eat for lunch is people, and we don’t actualllllly want to trade that for a pudding cup). See what interactive agencies are doing to the big old media houses….

    Reply
  2. John Gude
    April 6, 2010

    The Zombies don’t need to have it. They get fat, complacent, happy, basking in their market share and are easy to pick off. Why? Because they are lethargic, and they don’t know how to think strategically or smarter. Given a good strategy and perhaps a parity product or service, you can roll right over them, their share, their money and with relatively modest resources. You can do it locally or on a broader scale.

    Look around you. You can see lots of examples. Think Detroit for starters.

    Reply
  3. Josh Kaplan
    April 6, 2010

    I deal with musicians and film makers a lot. More often than not, my clients wait around for someone with a lot of money to help them out. Whether it is a label or studio, they wait and wait (much like a Zombie waiting for Armageddon) to be discovered.

    With the right team, which includes a branding expert, pr firm, manager and lawyer (of course) they can go about 40mph rather than 4mph.

    The old models in a lot of industries are dead. Those that think ahead and progressively will succeed. Those who wait are destined to dance on a remake of the Thriller video.

    Reply
  4. H.H. Rodkin
    April 6, 2010

    There is life for everyone, and if not why then do firms still own and sell things like Mrs. Butterworth syrup, Mama Celeste frozen pizza, Mrs. Paul’s fish sticks, and heaven knows what else.

    Reply
  5. BB
    April 6, 2010

    You always play to strengths – if you play someone else’s game you’re going to lose because they are better at it.

    Finding your strengths and adapting them – quickly – in a changing market is key – and – you always need to be on your toes looking for what will work NOW – established brands have a hard time doing that because they have “proven” formulas an “market share” – so – it’s a perfect time to pounce on business and wrestle it away.

    Reply
  6. Carol Franczek
    April 6, 2010

    I’m not sure that Zombies know they are Zombies. They get really busy focusing on making their initial sucess really efficient and then when a new idea comes around that doesn’t fit into the efficienct structure, it has no place to go but in the circular file. When I talk with Zombies, they’re always surprised by simple questions, like how long have you done something that way or what are the key assumptions that you operate under and what if you broke them? If a company is willing to challenge their models-both business and mental, then they can break out of their bandages and breathe new life into their companies.

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  7. Robert Portogallo
    April 7, 2010

    I just want to comment about the new look of the Killian Branding website. I like the soft color scheme as well as the content. You can visit the site without getting overwhelmed with information.

    As for zombies I must say that I come across them almost on a daily basis. Many of them are colleagues of mine that feel that doing business the old way is the only way. Customers need a choice on how they want to do business, not how we as business owners want to do business.

    Reply
  8. Tim
    May 17, 2010

    The best advice I have heard is ‘make yourself obsolete’. If you do not someone else will.

    Reply

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