Branding was introduced as a protection against business failures by creating an identity by investing time and effort. However, not every brand is a success. Some disappear in an instant, while others simply grow old or retire. Meanwhile, many brands do not achieve the desired level of success because they can’t compete in a crowded marketplace.
The key to making a brand is consumer connect, the image, the promise and positioning that the brand aims to deliver. Once the brand realises that it’s the customer who will ultimately decide the fate of a brand, opportunities open their doors. Sometimes, even the most successful brands are unable to perform in spite of their strengths or past achievements, basically due to their over-confidence and reluctance in trying new stratagems.
Gaining a better understanding of a brand is significant for its success. Studying the antiquity of a brand failure may give some insight into the reason for this and create a list of factors, which may increase the chances of success. Researching the industry and competitors helps in realising the mistakes committed. It’s always best to avoid walking the wrong path taken by someone else.
Research should include products, services, target audiences, strategy, customer relations, websites and social platforms. If research is not done, firstly, it is difficult to efficiently judge the competition and, secondly, it’s impossible to replicate a competitor’s strategies without truly understanding them. On the other hand, brand consistency has an incredible influence on the business. Uniformity helps build familiarity, loyalty and, eventually, brand credibility.
The best scenario is being consistent with your communication and look and feel. This includes promotions, personality and every interaction made with the identified target audience. Every brand and business should learn what branding is and why it is needed. Inability to understand the concept of branding leads to a brand failure. Be it a new business or an established one, the utmost priority is to understand the nature of the brand. Branding today is not just used for identification: there is much more to it. It plays an essential part in a product’s success or failure.
Why do brands fail?
– Mismatch in the brand strategy vis-à-vis the brand’s planning process
– Confusion in the brand identity and positioning
– Inconsistency in communication
– Decrease in quality of product or service
– Limiting the brand to one channel
– Failure to extend the brand into new product categories when the core category is in decline
– Inadequate competitor and target audience research
– Not applying the latest product and service innovations to your flagship brand
– Not including the latest technology in brand enhancement
– Inconsistency in brand identity
– Unsuccessfully extending the brand up to a premium segment
– Not studying industry challenges
– Not keeping up with the industry on product or service innovation
– Decisions that adversely affect the brand are made outside of the brand management context
– Treating brand management primarily as logo cops
– Defining your target consumer too broadly
– Focusing too much on product attributes and not enough on brand benefits in consumer communication
– Frequently changing your brands positioning and message
– Overexposing the brand to the point that it becomes stale
Ways to avoid brand failure
There are ways in which one can try and control the brand’s performance, by keeping in mind the below-identified points:
– You can’t really control your brand, but you can find ways to create an influence. One must always realise that a brand is created not in the boardroom but in the minds of the target audience. Hence, understanding what the audience expects from a brand is extremely crucial. Hence listening to what the audience has to say will help build your strengths and deliver the best approach
– What brands fail to do is to stick to their primary identity. It’s important to not confuse the audience and keep steady about what the brand stands for. If the brand is known for a service or product, resist the natural urge to expand offerings
– Take an honest look at your market and your competitors. Identify if you are just another brand in the market or if there can be more value addition to your brand. Loyalty can only be built if people start noticing you as a desired brand. Make sure you offer something fresh and out of the box, so your business will stand out in the crowd. Think of ways you can differentiate your business, whether it’s your brand, the way you approach your audience or the way you present yourself visually in the marketplace
– Employees are the key for any brand. They are the brand ambassadors and help in creating word of mouth and reaching out to the desired audience. If they are enthusiastic about the brand, your clients will be, too
– A brand must simplify its brand messaging. Keeping in mind that the market is filled with marketing chatter, it’s best to simplify the message so people quickly can grasp what your brand says and, thus, create a differentiating factor. If the brand is relevant, clearly communicated and memorable, you are on the right track.
– Evolve with the times. Technology is the turning point for a brand and acceptance of new technology and developments will help make you stand out from the crowd
By James Pass, Managing Director, JPD