The Organizational Development Muse

Dr. Mark L. Vincent's Blog

Organizational development and the love/hate relationship with brands

Posted by Mark L. Vincent on Sep 12, 2012 5:34:00 AM


Organizational development and the love/hate relationship with brands

I recently completed an exercise of identifying the 5 brands I love the most and the 5 I like the least. The one caveat was that I needed to be a user of them all. Here they are with a word of explanation for each.


  • 5 brands I love, design group international, mark l vincent Hubspot is the inbound marketing company Design Group International uses to host our site, including this blog. They provide so many helpful resources and their customer service is "come talk to us" rather than "I'm forced to do this."

  • 5 brands i love, design group international, mark l vincentColonel Littleton offers leather goods, coffee and other americana sundries. I have several items I use every day including my wallet and my journal cover. Everything they make lasts forever. I can identify their customer service people by name.

  • 5 brands i love, mark l vincent, design group international Hilton - Lorie and I are diamond members for life. Anyone who travels a lot knows I don't need to say any more. We are also happy time share owners with Hilton Grand Vacations. 

  • 5 brands I love, mark l vincent, design group internationalHeadblade - A niche set of products for guys like me who shave their head. Their prices are reasonable and they ship quick. My bald head gets rubbed a lot and I give out wishes.

  • mark l vincent, 5 brands i love, design group internationalTommy Bahama - Comfort clothing that is also striking. Wearing their clothing makes me wish I could talk with Ernest Hemingway after a Jimmy Buffet concert. I've had this experience multiple times--my eyes are drawn to something on a clothing rack and sure enough its Tommy Bahama.


  • Wal-mart - I tried giving up Wal-mart for Lent this year and almost made it. Put simply, they are often the only store open and the only store likely to have that THING that one needs (and always at the back of the cavernous maze of aisles densely packed with people and merchandise).

  • Any domestic airline - I can't think of one relaxing trip or a comfortable seat over the last two years. When I reached elite status on a hometown airline last year, they ditched our city as a major hub the next day.

  • Any car-rental company - Customer service for my rental car company of choice is pretty good, but I can't accurately estimate my travel costs with clients because the price is never the price. And there is increasing pressure to pre-purchase more gas than I need from the rental company--that or buy gas at a station 50 feet from the return lane (Hint: there never is a gas station 50 feet from the return lane).

  • Government agencies - Nothing political here, but the very thought of needing to contact a state or federal agency makes me groan. No-one answers the phone and the supporting websites are terrible. An exception in my experience are the many village, township and county workers who still view their work as a community service.

  • Most every denomination, civic organization, trade union or fraternal organization -- So many of these organizations did and still do much good. But so many are outdated, propped up and aimless--trying to fill roles their constitutions/bylaws call for, trying to fund near-to-retirement workers who gave their life to serve but now have little meaningful work remaining, and unable to identify their original mission. If these organizations were a fish they would be flounder.

So do they have anything in common?

Reflecting on why I love and don't love certain brands that I must use, I discovered I love and don't love for the same reasons:

  • How these brands make me feel about myself. Feeling comfortable is a big part of this.

  • Whether I am treated kindly.

  • Whether they consistently help me do what I need or want to do.

  • Whether they deliver on their promise or can make it right.

The lesson, of course, is that if I want to build a brand that people love, these are the targets to aim for.

I am aiming.

-mark l vincent 

p.s.  Let me hear from you about what brands you would add to these lists and why.

mark l vincent, design group international

overfishing, whorled viewz, emell vee

Topics: brand development, organizational development consulting, Mark L. Vincent, Design Group International


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