How to kill your brand [Archives:2003/09/Business & Economy]

February 3 2003

The Road Ahead
[email protected]
In today’s highly competitive world, it is becoming more and more difficult to build a strong brand. It requires time, money, lots of strategic thinking and much more. Nonetheless, if a strong brand was built, it becomes hard to wipe out. But I have a shortcut for you. Lie and exaggerate!
I’m not serious.
Businesses can easily lose their creditability and damage their brand names by over promising what they can actually deliver. You don’t build a strong brand by failing to deliver, but you can definitely ruin a good brand name that way.
The point is, don’t make promises to your customers you can’t keep. Yet many businesses continue to violate this principle resulting in big damage for the business’ reputation, goodwill and negative word of mouth in public. This results in the death of the brand. And when that happens no advertising or other communication with the customers can result in favorable response easily.
Over promising might stimulate trials, but those trials won’t be followed by repeat purchases if customers can’t experience what has been communicated in the advertising. Disappointment will strike creating negative impressions about the brand.
They say, success is the next worst thing after failure. After success businessmen sometimes push themselves into fat targets exceeding their capacities and then breakdown.
The same thing happens to brands. Successful brands that are advertised in such a way that shows them very superior, way beyond their limits may result in their failure.
Look at the Power Drinks for example. In Yemen there are four to five new brands that filled the market with great promises that those drinks provide energy and power way beyond what they actually provide. Now these drinks are stimulating more suspicion than enthusiasm.
History is full of losers who would’ve been winners if they knew when to stop. Everything has a limit; a power drink won’t make you superman, and a brand that says something like that is a suspicious element that customers try to avoid.
For example, the extensive advertising and free sampling about power drinks helped gave birth to rumors in the market that these drinks are Israeli products and can cause cancer.
On the other hand, some businesses intend to make promises they can’t keep. They know where they want to go, they have defined the customer experience they’d like to provide, but what they have in mind may not be a brand-building strategy.
It could be only short-term goals or making sacrifices in brand name in order to achieve some other objectives.
Remember: If a business wants to create and maintain a strong brand name, it has to boost customer confidence in its brands without stimulating suspicion through exaggeration. Customers are now smarter than ever.