Brand = DNA + Actions + Customer Expectations

It's Cyber Monday. The Trade Media is frothing at the month, praising "brands" for losing money so that the Trade Media can make money selling clicks to vendors ... picking winners and losers as if this were a sports event.

It's people's careers that are at stake. No winners. No losers. People.

On Twitter, I've been experimenting with an equation that attempts to explain why companies change or explains why change doesn't happen.
  • Brand = DNA + Actions + Customer Expectations.
Cyber Monday is a classic example of how the Trade Media and Vendor Community impact what a Brand is.

By cheerleading 50% off promotions, we change a "Brand". How? We change customer expectations. When the customer expects 40% off or 50% off on Cyber Monday, the customer does not "have" to purchase anything on November 6. When the customer doesn't buy anything on November 6 at 20% off and instead buys on November 27 at 40% off, the "brand" makes less money. When the brand makes less money, various Actions are changed ... cut back on staffing ... squeeze vendors for money ... cheaper products ... and those Actions are then noticed by customers, further changing Customer Expectations. Worse, the changes impact the DNA of a "brand".

With a decade of Cyber Monday nonsense embedded in our DNA, many of us have changed our DNA. Many of us changed our Actions in response to Cyber Monday. As a result, Customer Expectations have been changed. The result is a change in what our "Brands" represent.

And we wonder why Amazon is crushing everybody?

A few years ago, a CEO told me that it was important to be "competitive" on Cyber Monday.

The CEO made no mention on being competitive the day after Cyber Monday.

We've been led to believe a lie ... we've been led to believe that it is important to not generate profit in an effort to get a day of publicity.

Be honest ... why is it unimportant to compete the day after Cyber Monday?

Our actions change customer expectations.

Our actions eventually change our DNA.

Then outsiders will beat us up because we're unable to "change". Either way, the outsiders get clicks that pay the bills at our expense.