A business’ brand strategy, much like a muscle, needs to be continually stretched to give way for growth and development. For this reason, the methods and processes of brand strategy development must be constantly performed over time, and if these work consistently, great! But there are imperfections in brand strategy development that must be acknowledged. Let’s discuss some of them.
Brand Fails: A Sad Reality
In December 2020, Campaign Asia Pacific created a Year in Review of 2020 for the advertising and branding industry. In it, the widely known insight and intelligence-giving body in the field of marketing discussed the major pitfalls of some big brands including globally-popular Singapore brands. Through analysis and integration of existing brand strategy principles, The Brand Theatre Worldwide listed down three reasons why these big Singapore brands experience an “epic fail” in their branding efforts.
They forget (or refuse) to ride with the tides.
Consumer-brand relationships are primarily longitudinal. In the 31st volume of the Journal of Consumer Research, authors Jennifer Aaker, Susan Fournier and S. Adam Brasel emphasised that good brands go bad when they fail to look into this longitudinal dynamic. Preferences continue to evolve and needs continue to develop, and brands must be able to go along with these developments. Otherwise, brand strategies sink. Without fresh perspective, companies go stale. For instance, Kodak and Nokia were once glorious brands who are now merely shadows of their former selves.
They fail to maximise the power of brand ambassadorship.
Brand ambassadorship goes beyond mere public figures carrying the brand image and name. In this digital age, powerful platforms are accessible in terms of implementing the brand image through a number of people starting from famous brand ambassadors to people inside the company. The main concept of a brand ambassador is to ensure that there is a congruity between the brand and the person itself. This is a crucial point in a brand strategy and must be given attention to.
They resort to brand images that simply don’t work.
There are many ways for a brand image to fail – a failure in the area of brand association, failure to focus on long-term consumer relationship, or simply a misjudgment and misimplementation of the right brand image. For instance, Harley Davidson once sold cake-decorating kits but a big population of consumers failed to identify and remember the brand image. Why? Because the product was a huge flop. It was a combination of ineffective brand image planning and implementation. If companies are able to recognise this gap, considerable alterations must be made. Otherwise, what are marketing analyses for?
Branding mistakes are considerably costly, but just as any mistake, these can be turned into opportunities to be more strategic and in-depth in your companies’ branding efforts. Just as any mistake, branding fails should be pathways to re-assessment and strengthening strategies, as needed.