Why Brands Fail (And Why You Won’t)
Monday, 7h of February 2018
Monday, 7h of February 2018
Creating your brand is an exciting part of starting your own company. From choosing the logo to selecting colors and picking a slogan, creativity abounds and you’re full of fresh ideas. However, things can go sour quickly if your brand fails to connect to your audience, or if you can’t find success. Brands can fail as easily as they take off, and sometimes can cause lasting, or even terminal, damage to your company.
Why do brands fail, though? There’s no single answer to that question, but there are several reasons that contribute to how well your company performs in the court of public opinion. Before being paralyzed by dread of failure, however, rest easy knowing that you’re not like the other brands. While many fail, understanding why they do is a vital part of avoiding failure, and instead positioning yourself for success. Here are some of the biggest reasons why brands fail, and why yours will fly!
“Know who you are, and focus,
Always remember what your company stands for.”
Trying to change your stripes is nothing new in branding. It happens to the best brands, and is an inevitable thought when things start to go wrong. Many companies have launched campaigns or new branding strategies that fail to connect, or make customers unhappy. In most cases, the voices of a few loud consumers will be the main problem, and all you need is minor tweaks to your existing design. However, some companies may panic, and decide to throw everything out the window to start again.
It may seem tempting, but the reality is that brands aren’t a one-off thing. They take time to cultivate and grow, and starting over repeatedly will do more harm than good to your image. New logos can also confuse your audience, or muddy your company’s message. Remember, your brand is as valuable as your product, and throwing it away means losing the goodwill you’ve built.
The Lesson: Don’t Panic. Remember what your company stands for, and keep in mind what you do. Don’t force your branding to be something you’re not, or your consumers will notice it.
One of the best things about a brand and logo is how easily you can put them on different things. From advertising to cross-promotions, having your logo be visible in different venues can get your name out there and is an excellent source of free marketing. Partnering with different companies and events can also help you break into your industry and start generating buzz. However, you can take it too far, leading to more harm than good for your brand’s exposure.
At times, companies may feel the need to put their brand on everything, resulting in promoting themselves in arenas that aren’t very relevant to their audience, or even that run counter to what they stand for. When brands are spread too thin and start showing up in places that are irrelevant, their power becomes diluted and can be hard to earn back.
The Lesson: Know who you are, and focus on reaching the audience you’re targeting. While spreading out is good, make sure you do so carefully, and always planning the potential impact on your brand’s recognition.
When you find something that works, it’s easy to fall into a comfortable pattern and want to leave things the same for as long as possible. With a brand, this translates into leaving your art, message, and marketing strategies unchanged. It’s definitely tempting and easy to keep things the same, but it’s not always a good idea. The problem is that while your brand remains static, the world continues to change, and consumer preferences are notoriously fickle.
This doesn’t mean you should burn everything down and start over every few years. However, adapting to change is the hallmark of a successful brand, and navigating an ever-changing market is a key driver to being memorable.
The lesson: You don’t need to get rid of what works, but you do need to constantly fine-tune your branding. Listen to what your audience is saying, and try to incorporate shifting preferences and new trends.
The main job of a brand is to show a company’s value to others. Designing a great logo is the start, but your brand has to express to your consumers why it will make their lives better. One common way companies try to do this is by comparing themselves to the competition. This isn’t always a bad idea, and has some merit in a few cases, but it also invites comparisons that aren’t always favorable to brands. Additionally, it can make a brand seem unoriginal or uninspired.
The Problem is that trying to be simply cheaper or faster than others doesn’t say what a brand is, just what it isn’t. Instead, the key aspect of any branding strategy is to show value and uniqueness, how a company is alone in what it does.
The Lesson: Be yourself. Instead of calling yourself “the Facebook of ___________”, call yourself a unique and truly valuable service that gives consumers an amazing experience. Comparisons invite negative conversations, but value propositions are positive.