by | Jan 20, 2011 | Strictly Business Blog

The word Genericide has been used by the legal community to refer to a brand that’s become synonymous with its product or function. Think Kleenex™, Bandaid™ or Xerox™. Today, I’m proposing a new definition: companies that kill themselves by using or producing generic visual communications.

I’ve been speaking about this concept for awhile now, but it really hit home during a recent conversation with a client. She mentioned to me that she was frustrated with some video projects she’d recently overseen. The video crew she’d hired had followed her specifications exactly – too exactly – leaving her with videos that didn’t help her clients any more than the written outline she’d provided and cost them a helluva lot more money.

She gave us the URLs and sure enough, if you turned the sound off, these videos could have been touting just about any corporation in America. It was clear that this crew had landed on a formula for creating corporate videos and simply applied that over and over again without questioning whether it still served their customer’s needs.

In the days when few corporations could afford video, this approach may have worked – God knows, there’s enough of these generic videos out there, right? But today it’s far less effective.The white noise is growing louder every minute and without compelling visual communications that help companies stand out from the crowd, they’ll drown in a sea of mediocrity.

My client made it clear that her agency has finally figured this out. This video crew is about to lose an agency whose clients spent close to $100,000 on video last year and who expects even larger video budgets in 2011. And, if I play my cards right, that budget will come to my studio instead. Why? Not because we’re video experts but because we understand how to use visual communications to enhance our clients’ brands.

Plenty of people have honed the craft of producing generic video content. Setting out to compete with them is just jumping from the frying pan to the fire. I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve yet to fully find my voice with moving images but this conversation helped strengthen my conviction that it’s MY voice I need to find.