Let’s look at seven common phrases that often lead to failure when looking at launching philanthroship in your organization:

1. “Let’s look at what’s on the horizon.”

Looking at tomorrow is important. Innovative, long-term thinking is imperative to building a brand that lasts. But a brand can’t last if it doesn’t launch. And your brand will only take off to the heights you’ve dreamt of if you fail to act.

You need to hit today’s targets, and meet your monthly goals. You need to stay focused and maintain linear thinking, measuring success based on daily criteria. You need to take a break from the abstract thinking, imagining a brighter future for your brand, or else your competition will stroll away with the prize.

2. “…Already proven effective.”

“GMOOT” (Get Me One Of Those) is an acronym that was created into an internet meme 2008. It was borne out of a tendency from CMOs (Chief Marketing Officer) to approach brand brainstorming sessions by laziness. They would assume a short-term contract with the firm and discuss projects that the “competitors have already proven effective”.

Brands that follow the status quo, relying on campaigns that have ‘already proven effective’ will continually copy successful initiatives by competitors and be doomed to unoriginal mediocrity.

3. “That’s just the way we’ve always done it”

Our campaign last year was that way and it worked just fine, it’ll work again.

All to often, firms will fan out the same thinking each year, throw some glitter on top and hope no one notices. The issue with this approach is that while your brand is holding on to a formula ‘already proven effective’, the world no longer is. In today’s day and age, cultural evolves and spreads at a rapid pace. Things evolve, technology transforms, desires change, and values shift. Consumers grow up, move cities, finally add Instagram and get really into organic fruit.

Brands continuously choose to recycle their old idea, failing to do a complete overhaul or update projects to be relevant, fall to the wayside. Competitors who dive in head first, reexamining and regrouping campaigns are the ones who get ahead.

4. “Failure is not an option.”

The idea that failure is a bad thing has been drilled into our minds since a very young age. Yet, in fact, it could not be more false. Innovation and creation are borne out of failure. Brilliant ideas rarely come to fruition perfectly packaged with no flaws. Truthfully, the ones that normally succeed are those that fail during development, with each setback allowing for that critical assessment and refinement.

Brands need to embrace failure as a stepping-stone to success. The more you fail (and embrace it as a key aspect of innovation and growth), the more you will succeed!

5. “We’ve never been asked for that.”

In today’s day and age, where consumers can interact with firms so easily and can give their input at the drop of a dime, it’s tempting for CMO’s to believe that they will be told exactly what the customers want. Unfortunately it’s not that easy.

Brands that simply stay put and wait to hear the straightforward answers from consumers are missing out, because they fail to listen to the perceptions between the lines. These firms accept the shallow truths rather than taking the time to dig deeper to discover and understand the genuine opinions and perceptions.

6. “My wife said she doesn’t love it.”

Every idea put forth in marketing, from a name change to a new philanthroship initiative, is subject some sort of of focus group discussion. This is important to the process, but firms need to be wary of relying on such a small sample size. They risk dismissing a meaningful and transformative idea for the wrong reasons.

Brands need to stay away from the ‘beauty contest trap’ by asking people which idea they like best, and focus on testing the idea against a range of imaginative and tactical criteria.

7. “Everyone is our target”

No idea should be targeted to everyone. Period. Ideas that are targeted to a global audience are designed to fail.

Brands need to garner a great understanding of their target audiences and an awareness of what drives their behavior. Ideas meant to please everyone very have little potential to get stakeholders excited. When a brand looks to attract all the people all the time, they inevitably engage none.

A brand must focus on a specific group, learn everything they can about that group, and ensure the product or service is perfectly aligned with their desires and needs.