Most organizations are full of well-educated people with access to lots of data, training, and resources. Yet those people continue to do stupid things that mess up their business and personal brands.

Here are the top six stupid things marketers do.

1. They don't have a 'why'

Simon Sinek's awesome book on this topic, Start With Why, shows the lack of brand and strategic clarity that comes from not knowing your why. Or worse, not having a why in the first place.

Without a why, there's very little left for an audience to connect with a brand emotionally—other than a mild and apathetic form of loyalty. In this state, your only why is "make money." That means the relationship between a brand and its audience becomes purely transactional. Employees get paid to do work; customers buy products and services. That creates a flat, boring existence as a brand—and being boring is one step away from irrelevance.

2. They mistreat people that touch their brand

One of the most exciting aspects of the social-business era is that it reveals the jerks and bullies who have hidden behind titles and firewalls. Yet each day is populated with stories of abusive treatment to employees, customers, and communities—and of customers abusing employees and companies.

A key element of social business is amplification: Whatever you are offline is much, much louder online. As such, abusive behavior quickly becomes your brand. Abusive brands (both personal and corporate) eventually will only attract people expecting to be abused, perpetuating co-dependency.

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image of Justin  Foster

Justin Foster is a senior strategist at fassforward consulting group.

LinkedIn: Justin Foster

Twitter: @fosterthinking