As important as it is to know how to manage a brand well, it is equally as important to know what can damage a brand so that you can avoid those sources of damage. Here are seven things that can damage a brand:
- No one in the organization is actively managing the brand. There are no brand metrics. There is not a brand scorecard. No one is responsible for the brand.
- The CEO does not understand brands or their value. He or she thinks of marketing as a cost center and possibly a necessary evil.
- Thinking that a strong brand will overcome an inferior product. While that has happened on rare occasions when the brand was particularly well conceived, mostly it does not.
- Not managing the brand as if it were a person. That is, the brand does not stand for something, does not share values with its customers, does not have a carefully crafted personality, does not make customer promises and does not try to connect with its customers on an emotional level. Generally, this happens when management thinks of the brand as nothing more than a logo or an identity system.
- A new chief marketing officer arrives and wants to put his or her personal stamp on the brand by changing its identity and messaging. If this happens too often, and especially if it is not based on careful research, customers begin to get confused about the brand’s identity and what it stands for.
- Not managing a crisis well. Not being adequately prepared for a crisis and not turning the crisis into an opportunity to amaze customers with an unexpected positive solution backed by extraordinary service.
- There is a change in ownership and the new owner wants to make the company look better financially but not by investing in its long-term future but rather by cutting costs, stripping assets and neglecting investments, leading to diminished customer value. The intention is to flip the company before the lack of investment catches up with the brand.