It’s happened to Doc Martins, Burberry and others over the years: groups turned their brand into a symbol of something the brand itself did not believe or endorse.
Some time back, I looked at what it took to get a brand promise right. In this post, I want to examine the converse: when (consumers feel that) brands have not lived up to what they said they would deliver. What happens to generate customer disappointment?
Can the same brand take two quite different positions? Yes. And no.
Marketers love patterns. But repetition is not always the most reliable metric for brand loyalty. What makes your brand attractive?
Consumers look for products and brands that are relevant to their needs. Self evident. But the ways in which they make those choices are much more complex than quality or availability because they are so much more human.
Every marketer is haunted by fear of missing out. As trends are identified and balloon, the decision to ignore or capitalise becomes more urgent. How do you decide what to pay attention to and what do you let pass you by?
Perhaps it’s inevitable. At some stage, a brand is going to do something to upset customers and prospects. That’s the price companies pay for trading in an era of greater and greater transparency. The key question is: when something does go wrong, will your brand be forgiven?
The hardest thing you can do as a brand owner I believe is to insist on building a powerfully simple brand. It’s hard because single-mindedness is difficult in a world where the consideration set is huge and where others will quickly seek to engage you in a relentlessly upgraded features war.
Everywhere you look today it seems, there are people and brands only too keen to spell out exactly what they think and what they want you to know, in the loudest terms possible. As the volume continues to climb, can you even be a quiet brand today?
The choice of values and the nature of those values comes up a lot in any team looking to change what it stands for. Sometimes it comes up overtly. More often, it comes out in a reluctance by some to ‘move on’ from what they know because they are concerned that leadership is not up to the task or they will end up compromising their professional integrity.