A brand-centric organization is an organization that thinks about the future and not just the present. Both from the point of view of corporate and product branding, where the latter must drink from the former to achieve coherence.

For the world’s largest companies, their brand is their most valued asset. The combined total value of the top 100 companies in the recent Best Global Brands Index is $2.13T, up nearly 6% from 2018. The value of these brands accounts for more than a quarter of their market capitalization. Logically, investing in this type of company represents a lower risk. Why? That’s because strong brands boost sales, improve margins, and reduce cash flow volatility for their owners. It is clear then that branding , in terms of brand management, is a powerful risk management tool for both companies and their investors.

However, today’s consumers move fast and their expectations of brands are growing. There are many brands that have failed and those that want to remain in the market are forced to evolve, always trying to be above expectations and, above all, avoiding these basic mistakes.

4 MISTAKES BRANDS SHOULD AVOID

  1. Getting lost in time

There are many cases of brands that have not been able to evolve over time, as customer demands have changed. Sometimes the change is too small or too late.

The case of Kodak is glaring, an iconic brand, market leader at the time that did not know how to understand how technology evolved. Eastman Kodak sent cameras to the moon during the early days of the space race, championing the innovation of the moment. Even ironically, one of its engineers, Steve Sasson, was the inventor of a fledgling digital technology in the mid-1970s. However, Kodak went bankrupt in 2012.

  1. Not knowing how to read the game

At the other end of the spectrum, there are also cases in which companies have overestimated customer demands.

In 2012, Nike launched its Fuel Band wristband with high hopes because at the time it represented the future of wearables. Sales didn’t go as expected, and before long, Nike laid off 50 workers out of the 70 that made up the Fuel Band team. Even though people seemed interested in the idea of such a cool device, the product represented a need that didn’t exist yet. A while later, its main competitor Fitbit appeared and people could start comparing. The brand tried to evolve its devices, incorporating agreements with Android and Apple. In fact, it was the first step in the consumer + fitness union, which now represents a billion-dollar business with multiple players, but it also meant a missed opportunity for Nike.

 

  1. You can’t get everywhere

The best brands have managed to accumulate legions of fans, who are willing to do anything for them. Apple may even consider launching a car today, and I’m sure many would believe its leveraged bet on a positioning that starts from breaking the status quo of things and making people’s lives easier.

Harley-Davidson is another one of those iconic brands with a loyal following that truly feels that the brand is a reflection of who they are. That’s why it’s common to find people wearing T-shirts, jackets and clothing with the brand’s logo. But in the 90s they decided to also embrace the world of men’s cosmetics, launching a cologne and an aftershave, supported by the fact that there is nothing better than starting the day with the scent of your brand. The launch was a tremendous fiasco, its fans understood that the brand was trivialized and the experience was forgotten and baptized as the aroma of failure.

  1. The brand is not a hero

Brands are made of stories, which have the ability to connect emotionally with people. The power of storytelling is well known today, but its effectiveness lies in the fact that the important thing is not the sender, but the receiver. When the brand pretends to be the protagonist of the story, the audience finds it hard to believe what they are seeing.

Brand stories should be consistent with what customers stand for. They need characters they can believe in and see themselves reflected in. It is necessary to talk about problems that really exist and stories that can take place and that appeal to the emotions that we all know and understand.

Without intending to, a leader like Pepsi turned what was intended to be a plea of the Black Lives Matter movement into the opposite, without the right tone, was highly criticized on social media for cynically trivializing the fight against racism. His spot with Kendall Jenner was quickly taken down .

There is no better way to progress than to learn from mistakes, but the saying goes that smart people correct their mistakes by observing those of others. So here’s something to ponder.

 

 

Carlos Puig Falcó

CEO of Branward

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