What to Do If Your Brand Sucks with Ernie Harker


November 15, 2021

ernie harker on brand

“If you start off on the wrong foot and your brand isn’t in line with the attitudes or personality of the brand, there’s confusion.” Or, to put it bluntly, your brand sucks. That’s the title of strategist Ernie Harker’s new book. We discuss how to … not build a brand that sucks this week on the On Brand podcast.

Enjoy This Episode Now

About Ernie Harker

Ernie Harker is a creative branding mastermind. He recently published Your Brand Sucks, a book that reveals why most companies get branding wrong and reveals the secrets he has used to assist dozens of companies define a clear image and personality for their brands. One of his greatest successes was to help revitalize an old-western retail chain into a $3 billion high-energy adventure brand. He leads workshops, gives presentations, and offers an online masterclass to help organizations define and develop remarkable brands.

Buckle up because his dynamic personality and passion for brand development will have you racing to build your brand. His friends call him Ernburn.

Episode Highlights & Takeaways

Why do most brands suck? “Most suck because we develop the logo first,” Ernie explains. This is focusing on the wrong thing.

So, where should you start your brand-building work? “The first step is defining what makes you different from your competition—really different and special. It can’t be something that everyone says like ‘our people.’”

A callback to a previous On Brand guest. To avoid saying the same things as your competition, you have to go deep. Ernie reminded us of the approach of past On Brand guest Jay Acunzo in continuing to ask the question why. You have to ‘why’ your brand to death.

What brand has made Ernie smile recently? Marvel! Why? “I dabbled in comics as a kid but they’ve re-inspired me with these stories through their movies and Disney+ (series).”

To learn more, go to ernburn.com.

As We Wrap …

Did you hear something you liked on this episode or another? Do you have a question you’d like our guests to answer? Let me know on Twitter using the hashtag #OnBrandPodcast and you may just hear your thoughts here on the show.

On Brand is sponsored by my book Brand NowDiscover the seven dynamics to help your brand stand out in our crowded, distracted world. Order now and get special digital extras. Learn more.

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Until next week, I’ll see you on the Internet!

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is a strategist, speaker, educator, and author of Brand Now: How to Stand Out in a Crowded, Distracted World and Get Scrappy: Smarter Digital Marketing for Businesses Big and Small. He is the Chief Brand Strategist at Brand Driven Digital, an educator at the University of Iowa, and host of the On Brand podcast. More about Nick.




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