Saturday, February 9, 2019

55 Ways to Sabotage Brands

If you are looking for ways to sabotage your brand, here are fifty-five different ways to do that, taken directly from real life examples encountered during my brand strategy consulting experience.

  1. Change the brand identity system every time a new marketing vice president is hired. 
  2. Change your brand's positioning or messaging as frequently as possible. 
  3. Increase profitability by eliminating product functions and features.
  4. Extend a luxury brand into the mass market segment to reach a broader audience.
  5. Institute a telephone customer support system that is fully automated, requiring multiple layers of choices and no real contact with a person.
  6. Skimp on customer facing customer service employee training.
  7. Implement a system that makes it difficult for someone to purchase your brand's products.
  8. Compensate for revenue shortfalls by slashing the marketing budget.
  9. Begin selling a luxury brand in Walmart and other discount stores to broaden distribution and increase sales.
  10. Do not link your online retail store to your brick and mortar retail network.
  11. Ask for the same customer information (email address, credit card information, etc.) multiple times during a transaction.
  12. Suggest add-on sales aggressively and often.
  13. Cram as many messages as possible on the product packaging. 
  14. Include as many brand benefits as possible in brand messaging.
  15. Create ads in which the brand identification is only incidental or even nonexistent.
  16. Make sure your technical support, customer service and other customer facing departments cannot share information with each other instantaneously. 
  17. Don't worry about clean bathrooms in your restaurant or retail outlet.
  18. Keep on raising prices to see what the market will bear.
  19. Make the same claims as your competitors.
  20. Revise your brand's identity system to look similar to your competitor's brand identity system.
  21. Maintain banker's hours (9 am to 5 pm) at your retail locations.
  22. Create lots and lots of brands and subbrands.
  23. Target the wrong markets with your brand. 
  24. Enter the market without any understanding of who your customers are or what they want.
  25. Use a brand spokesperson who turns out to be a pedophile. 
  26. Offer your expensive luxury products at extreme discounts in other channels of distribution to unload the skus that are not selling.
  27. Focus on short-term profitability (and meeting Wall Street's quarterly expectations) at the expense of investing in things that will result in long-term growth and market domination.
  28. Create the products first. And then, only after they are created, think about how you are going to market them. 
  29. Define your brand as a product category (or make it synonymous with that category) rather than designing it to own a unique and compelling brand benefit or shared customer value.
  30. License your brand out to other product categories to make a little extra money without regard to whether those other categories reinforce the brand's promise or unique value proposition.
  31. Extend your brand into as many product and service categories as possible so that it completely loses its meaning.
  32. Create new brands or subbrands for internal purposes regardless of whether the new brands or subbrands make any sense to external audiences. 
  33. Allow special interest groups to turn your brand into the "poster child" for something they hate.
  34. Treat the brand management function primarily as a logo cop function.
  35. Don't worry about whether the organization is actually delivering against the advertised brand promise.
  36. Claim what everyone else is claiming.
  37. Try to own brand attributes or features that can be easily copied or superseded by competitors. 
  38. Try to be the best at something versus the only brand that is delivering something important to the target customer.
  39. Don't keep up with industry innovations.
  40. Don't set up any central control system for execution of your brand's identity. 
  41. Define your target customer as broadly as possible to get the most sales, for instance, all women or all people.
  42. Offer a cheaper version of your brand to more downscale markets.
  43. Choose a generic name such as Information Systems or Furniture Outlet.
  44. Spend as much money as possible on price promotions and trade deals so that there is little to no money left to build the brand.
  45. Don't assign responsibility for brand management. Leave it up to everyone.
  46. Don't worry about decisions made by other departments or divisions that might hurt the brand.
  47. Don't waste your time on customer research. 
  48. Don't waste your time on customer journey mapping, customer touch point design or customer experience design.
  49. Choose brand colors that are the same as or similar to every other brand in your brand's product or service category.
  50. Don't bother building brand metrics into a balanced scorecard or common measures. 
  51. Don't waste time or other resources measuring your brand's equity.
  52. Don't link brand plans with other business plans. Better yet, don't create brand plans at all.
  53. Ignore research findings if they do not agree with what you want to do.
  54. Just think of brands and products as the same things and treat them accordingly.
  55. Don't worry about your brand's consistency or reliability. Who cares if people can trust your brand to deliver a consistent expected result time after time.

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