Map & Fire Original Research:

Is your business suffering from a “Pretty Good” brand?

63% of business leaders self-identify their brand positioning as being “Pretty Good”…or worse.

The Problem

A “Pretty Good” brand is a forgettable brand

We conducted original research with 103 businesses to see how their leadership viewed the strength and impact of their brands.  

Taking a note from Net Promoter Score (NPS), we were interested in seeing the breakdown of scoring across 3 segments for brands:

1-6: Obviously Weak Brands, 7-8: The “Pretty Good” Brands, 9-10: Great Brands. 

The data showed an interesting trend of leaders who rated their brands as a 7-8 or lower.

When your brand is really struggling the problems are in your face. Issues show up in all your efforts across marketing and sales.

But when your’re “pretty good”, you have a sneaky type of challenge – one that’s easy to miss.

How leaders rated their companies

Using a scale of 1-10 (1 = worst, 10 = best)

Leaders rating brand
Leaders rating messaging
Leaders rating positioning

The trap of the “Pretty Good” brand


Issues aren’t totally obvious so “pretty good” feels like good enough for right now

Leadership uncertain

Meanwhile, your brand isn’t engaging or memorable for customers leaving you behind competitors

Brand is not memorable
The Result

Growth goals fall short

Brands fall below growth goals
The Solution

Leaders who create Great Brands exceed growth goals

For leaders who rated their brands a 9-10…

Growth trees
Great Brands exceed growth goals
Growth trees

Leaders of Great Brands continue to invest and fuel growth

Strategy has an impact
Growth will increase this year
Investing in brand

A Great Brand starts with customer research and brand strategy

Customer Research
  • Interviews allow us to hear first hand how your customers think about their problems, and provide an opportunity to get below the surface to uncover emotional and aspirational drivers of behaviors.
  • Surveys provide large sets of data that we can tease apart to show specific preferences and important themes based on customer demographics and beliefs.
Brand Strategy
  • Align your entire strategy from your high level Purpose, to your unique Position in the market, to your Brand’s messaging and visual communication.
  • Create a shareable guide that outlines all the key elements of your brand so that everyone on your team can work from the same playbook and build trust with a consistent experience for your target customers.

Together, these create a 1-of-1 position for your brand.

See what these leaders have to say about working with Map & Fire

"We had an incredible experience with the team at Map and Fire. From the initial project kick-off call, it was clear that we were headed to a place we could never achieve on our own. The end result exceeded our expectations, as we were left with a brand that represented exactly who we want to be and how we want the world to see us."

Pete Newsome
Founder, Zengig

"I can’t speak highly enough about the Map & Fire team. We weren’t sure of everything we would need in this rebranding process. They did everything we asked of them, always meeting or exceeding our expectations. They helped transform our brand and created alignment between our brand’s mission and our target audience."

Hema Shankar
Senior VP of Client Services, Eleviant

"The magic is in Map & Fire's ability to approach what we do from a totally different perspective — one that's informed by customer and market research, and put that perspective down on paper in a way that's easy for anybody to understand. It's really changed where we think opportunities exist for our brand."

Brett Haney
President, Microfiber Wholesale

"It was important to us that we bring in outside expertise to help us shape our new program offering differently and more imaginatively. We quickly landed on Map & Fire as the ideal partner for us. The groundwork they laid and the insights they were able to glean from the research were excellent. Most of all their willingness to work in partnership and their obvious interest in us as a client was refreshing."

Nicola Barrett
Chief Corporate Learning Officer, Emory Executive Education at the Goizueta Business School

"They listened and took the time to research the market. The Brand Guide we completed has been a lifesaver in building our website and social media content from scratch. I found it so impressive that they were able to flesh out such clear messaging and identify our vision for the company."

Jenny Whiteman
Owner, W4 Products

"They truly listened to our team and I felt that they understood us. They made suggestions that we were immediately able to implement to help our customers better navigate our offering."

Carrie McClain
Owner & Founder, Little Saps

"As we’ve expanded, we realized that we needed Map & Fire to help us get down on paper what we’d been carrying around in our heads. We’ve been able to use the Brand Guidebook to better train our team and help with raising money for our growth. They are guides but also collaborators. Their commitment to getting it right for us was truly impressive."

Talmadge Lowe
Co-Founder, Hi–Lo Liquor Market

"After our very first working session with Map & Fire, we were sure they were a great fit. When we received our final Brand Guidebook, we were especially thrilled with what had been captured. Map & Fire really have a gift for listening and transforming ideas generated through working sessions and creating magic!"

Juliet Pettijohn
Co-Founder, CMO, Curate Better Days

"Map & Fire was a crucial partner in our journey to simplify our messaging. The Brand Guidebook process allowed us to clarify our value proposition and remove numerous roadblocks that existed with getting our entire team on the same page. They're wonderful people to work with, and do a phenomenal job juggling all the personalities and opinions that exist inside of an organization."

Evan Godwin
Head of Marketing, Bid Ops

"After seven years, our company was in need of a brand refresh. Map & Fire took us through a well devised step-by-step process that enabled us to reposition our company within the marketplace. Their insights throughout the project were invaluable and their level of commitment was something we have rarely experienced with external agencies. I cannot recommend Map & Fire highly enough."

Kenny Dunn
Founder, CEO, Eating Europe

"We needed a new brand strategy and were immediately blown away by the level of research and insight Map & Fire brought to the table. They are incredibly thorough and skilled in the space at a level I haven’t found at the smallest or largest agencies out there. They are now my go to shop."

Kendra Campbell-Milburn
VP, Customer Engagement, UPtv

"Map & Fire helped my company find the focus that it’s been missing for years. Our messaging makes more sense, the new onboarding process is simpler, and we’re finally targeting customers that are more likely to stick with our product. If you’re looking for technical, thoughtful, brand and marketing expertise, Map & Fire is among the best."

Louis DeMenthon
Founder, CEO, Eat This Much

"Every time I speak with Map & Fire, I gain clarity and confidence. They have the unique ability of being able to see both the forest and the trees. In working on high level strategy, Map & Fire helped me find a clear path to move my business forward and iron out details blocking our progress."

Kim Cavallo
Founder, CEO, Lilspace

"Map & Fire gave us actionable ideas to guide our thinking and solidify our brand. We now have a beautiful website with clear messaging around a complex topic: intellectual property in the new economy. We couldn’t be happier!"

Mayra Lombera
Director of Strategic Initiatives, The Michelson 20MM Foundation

"I am consistently amazed at the level of value Map & Fire delivers to our creative process. Every conversation seems to inspire new ideas that refine our content, brand, and messaging in subtle, yet sophisticated ways."

Jeff Delaney
Founder, Google Dev Expert,

"Throughout an intensive content audit and digital overhaul, Map & Fire offered inexhaustible insight and consistent follow through. Their equanimity, good humor, and clarity—all of which rested on an extremely solid foundation of expertise—was invaluable during a pivotal period."

Lauren Daisley
Director of Communications, Boscobel House and Gardens

"Map & Fire is my go-to resource for consumer-driven strategy that gets results. They've built a seamless process to hack a deep and thorough understanding of your ideal customer. The strategy and tactics they develop always follow this customer first approach. The way it should be done!"

Justin Thomas
Founder, Owner, JourneyEngine

"Map & Fire guides you step-by-step to help organize your fuzzy thoughts in a very structured way. They provide an effective methodology to make communication with prospective clients clear and compelling."

Pilar Zárate
Founder, CEO, Vincle

"Map & Fire helped us spin off a new company, refocused our core mission, and became our goto source for guidance on both strategy and digital marketing. Constantly coming up with fresh ideas, and fearless in challenging conventional thinking, we now think of Map & Fire as a valuable extension of our team."

Stu Pollard
Founder, CEO, Lunacy Productions

"Map & Fire's expert guidance, insightful recommendations and customized strategies allowed me to fine-tune my vision, clarify my brand, and ultimately build my target audience."

Lori LoCicero
Founder, Life Revised

Some Of The Brands Who Trust Us

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