Friday, June 23, 2006

When Brands Backfire

Have you ever heard a brand backfire? It makes a loud popping sound when it happens. It's when an organization spends a lot of money on building it's brand (thinking that any brand-building activity will = profits, or at least more sales revenues) and then "WHOP" the only things increased are the alienation of their current customers, the yawns or worse the anger from their prospects creating a negative word of mouth maelstrom.

Why does this happen? I have several thoughts on this but want to get your feedback and then I'll share. Not fair is it? Ok, I'll get you started... one thing that tends to happen is the brand building is totally disconnected from the reality of the company.

Now it's your turn.


Mark Campanale said...

Oh - I totally know what you mean. How about Wal-Mart's new 'high end' image campaign, yet the stores are still Wal-Mart? How about the commodity that is now Starbucks? You can find them in every new Target - good for Target, bad for Starbucks. They hire Target employees to make the drinks - one actually ask me the other day how to make the drink I ordered!

You know I could rant for days, but this is your blog, not mine...

Charles Collie said...

Great examples of the brand being disconnected from reality. Often a reason for this kind of brand backfire is that management doesn't think of branding as an "organic" issue (translation: people oriented). I just read where McDonald's is starting to test stores that have 3 distinct dining areas. All a step up from the current plastic motif. But oddly (or not) there was no mention of how they were going to get their current front line employees to reflect this new environment. If your people don't live your new brand... you don't have a new brand.