Is Your Brand On Fyre?

A couple of years back, there was a rollicking ruckus around the Fyre Festival and the subsequent film that documented the ill-conceived event's woes. The damage done was physical, mental, and probably even spiritual for many involved. If you have not seen the film at this point, carve out 2 hours of your time and watch it. It is eye-opening, to say the least.

While your businesses' day-to-day activities may not be even remotely related to the aforementioned fiasco, you should take a pause and ask if any parts of your brand are on fyre at the moment. At its core, the Fyre Festival was a brand failure, where the leadership only focused on the initial messaging and creative and not the full brand experience.


It is in this gap that many brands fail—the gap between expectations and experience. You have to pull the brand thread all the way through from start to finish. How would the attendees experience their accommodations at Fyre differently than any other top events? How would Fyre transport attendees in a remarkable, branded way? What food would Fyre serve and how?

Yes – these are logistics questions, but if you are focused on building a world-class brand, you have to ask yourself, "how would our brand provide these logistics in the most memorable way?" That is where the brand rubber meets the road.

This commitment to the entire brand experience is what separates the professionals from the amateurs. I know that it is challenging to control and account for all variables, but if you are serious about building a world-class brand, you have to do this work and plan for contingencies. The stakes are too high not to.

Think it through.
Plan for the best scenario.
Plan for the worst scenario.
Control people’s expectations.
Communicate throughout the process.

Think about how your experience will be different from your competitors. Will it be better? If not, go back to the drawing board and start again. Are there variables that are notoriously unpleasant? If so, can you change them at all? Can you make your customer aware of them beforehand? Do what you can to flip the script and let your client know that you care.  

Otherwise, your brand may be on Fyre.

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