Amy Winehouse died last week.

She was an amazing talent. I’ve seen her once in concert and was just blown away by her stage presence and that voice. Oh, that voice.

Sadly, most people will remember her for the drug escapades. For the tortured soul she was. In the age of YouTube, we tend to focus on the negative stuff. On the worst performance.

That happens to many performers. More people know about Kurt Cobain’s demise than his brilliant gift as an artist. Richard Burton, a gifted actor, had a part in Exorcist II. (I hope you didn’t see it.) Buster Keaton performed in Beach Blanket Bingo (!!!!!!!!!) in 1965.

What’s true of actors is true of companies. People don’t just look at your best work, the project you put your heart and soul in. They make a judgement about you based on everything you do and everything you’ve done. (Google never forgets!)

That applies to:

  • Brands with great commercials but horrendous brand experience.
  • Agencies that showcase their best work from small clients while conveniently forgetting about the work they do for clients who pay the bills.
  • Brands with a sophisticated social presence and a phone tree taking you 15 minutes to get to the right person.

In the end, you will be judged by the worst piece of work you ever created. It’s out there for everybody to see. It’s not about what you did 10 years ago, it’s about what you’re doing right now.

Just like any actor in a C-movie, you will be judged by your worst work.

Plan for it.