Today is Pancake Day, or is it Mardi Gras, it might be Fat Tuesday, wait it’s Shrove Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday. What a confusing day. How can one day be called so many names. This forced me to research what this day really is called – and why.
It started in 600 AD when Saint Gregory the Great prohibited Christians from eating meat and animal products during Lent. So people made pancakes to clear out the pantry of eggs, milk and butter in preparation for Lent.
Somehow, it went from Shrove Tuesday – when Christians were “shriven” (absolved from their sins) to Mardi Gras – a day of celebration in New Orleans with parades, costumes, drinking and bead throwing. And of course, seeing how many pancakes we can eat.
I believe that Pancake Day has an identity problem comparable to many businesses. I often see marketing that’s saying too much in too little time or space. Using confusing images, slogans, and messages can overwhelm the viewer – resulting in complete brand confusion.
If your customer can’t distinguish your product or service from competitors, don’t despair – just try these tips to simplify:
- Clarify what your brand stands for – and stick with it
- Create a brand handbook – establish guidelines for consistency
- Get everyone on the same page – make it a brand mandate
- Audit your current materials – if they mislead – start fresh
- Ask your customers’ opinion – if they get, you’ve succeeded
Customers choose brands they understand and relate to. If your brand is mixed and confusing then simplify your messaging and you’ll be absolved of your marketing sins.
In the meantime, add blueberries to your pancakes – it turns them into health food. Enjoy a stack.