CityGuru, Inc. IS Drew Morrison, founder. As the “Face” and mouthpiece for CityGuru, the company brand–and your investment–is hinged upon how he manages his own reputation. That reputation should be of the utmost concern to the CityGuru Investor-shareholder.
In the world of corporate advertising it is often advantageous to have a person who is to represent the actual face of your company. According to Margie Clayman in her post “The Face of Your Company” , the ability to relate your company to a person can make the business seem more human and more accessible. More often than not that “Face of the Company” will be the founder of the company. In the case of our CityGuru, it is our sole player and one-man show: Drew Morrison.
Several companies have used the face of their founders as the face of their brand with success such as Dave Thomas of Wendy’s, George Zimmer of Men’s Warehouse, Orville Redenbacher of Orville Popcorn, Colonel Harland Sanders of Kentucky Fried Chicken and Martha Stewart of Martha Stewart Living.
But herein “lies the rub”.
According to Stephanie Clifford in her post “When a Founder Is The Face of a Brand” that type of marketing can be highly successful “until the executive ages, leaves, dies or gets into trouble”. When Wendy’s, Kentucky Fried Chicken and Orville Popcorn all lost their founder-spokespersons, their brands suffered major setbacks that never quite recovered to their former effectiveness. When George Zimmer was fired by his own Board and Martha Stewart went to prison, what occurred afterwards was a pretty ugly PR mess for their companies with a lot of dirty laundry be aired publically.
According to Clayman, “It is not just the person representing the company who is damaged in these scenarios, the company can be damaged. The damage can increase exponentially depending on how the company does (or does not) deal with the situation.” She adds: “If your marketing consists primarily of social media tactics, it might be better to have a corporate voice instead of a personal voice. There are pros and cons for a company having a single person who has become the “face” of its brand.”
Without a corporate team or employees, CityGuru, Inc. has no choice. Its founder and Chief Bottle-Washer, Drew Morrison IS the sole voice and face for the company putting new meaning to the moniker “Drew Morrison-CityGuru”.
For the CityGuru Investor/Shareholder this also adds a particular Risk to their investment. As Drew Morrison creates more news, it is becoming increasingly clear that his own personal litigation and image dilemmas will certainly impact the image of the company as well as the investment results for its Shareholders. He already points to the legal actions against him as the reason CityGuru has paid no interest or returns to investors in the past five years.
This is at a time when it is also growing more apparent that CityGuru is in dire need of a professional management well versed in the machinations of conducting business. There is virtually no corporate infrastructure.
Morrison himself has often indicated what he does best is: sales, which probably makes him a natural choice for the Face and Voice of the CityGuru brand. However, citing as a reason he keeps no records or accounting, Morrison disdains general business management and administration duties. Of course, this continues to create a myriad of issues for the CityGuru brand. Yet, Morrison claims in a CityGuru social media tagline that the company is “coming to” cities such as Los Angeles, San Fransico, Austin, Chicago, Boston and New Orleans. One can begin to appreciate the dangers of crossing stormy seas with only one captain without a crew at the helm!
A CORPORATE OR PERSONAL FACE FOR CITYGURU?
So, is a personal or corporate “Face” best for the CityGuru, Inc. brand?
Currently, we have no choice but to use the Drew Morrison Face and Voice, but how do we do this without the CityGuru image being associated to Drew Morrison’s own personal dilemmas?
The answer may be found in our own SWOT Model and Analysis of the company. This analysis identifies the Strengths, Weaknesess, Opportunities and Threats that face CityGuru, Inc as a viable business worthy of continuing investment of time and money.
The company’s Weaknesses and Threats should be dealt with immediately and precisely in order to conduct damage control and to fully exploit its Strengths and Opportunities. This should start with immediate and precise steps to mitigate the Six Risks inherent to not only the survival of CityGuru, but our own investments. These six risks, alone, are enough to tarnish CityGuru’s viability as a real company.
For the company to fully reap the benefits of the Strengths and Opportunities presented in the Analysis, CityGuru will most assuredly need to find and attract the professional managerial talent to lead the company and providing structure and legitimacy. By establishing CityGuru’s identity as either a true Startup or a Small Business, then an effective branding process can begin.
Ironically, Drew Morrison’s penchant toward sales and pitching is identified as a Strength on the SWOT Analysis, thus seeming to make him the perfect candidate as the “Face” and “Voice” of the CityGuru brand. But for immediate purposes of polishing any existing tarnishment to the CityGuru brand, it is necessary to establish the credence and validity that a more corporate face/voice can provide. But, once damage control is performed, this will also lend the credence to Drew Morrison in resuming his role as the face and voice of CityGuru branding.
The need for a Corporate Face/voice now presents us with what should be our most immediate priority: attracting Managerial and Leadership talent to CityGuru. No doubt this will raise the question of financial resources and concessions possibly required from Investors/Shareholders—once the company has established fiscal responsibility—but an investment well worth it!