Why Brands Die.
There are brands that we love. There are brands that we hate. And then, there are brands that we forget.
Some brands do disappear. The companies may still exist, but they are erased from our mind. Obscured and no longer relevant. Why does that happen?
There’s a lot that can be learned from analyzing this. There are companies struggling to exist because they are no longer relevant. And in most cases, those brands die by their own hands, by the choices they make internally and externally. Perhaps in their loss, some lessons can be learned and applied when you are in the process of creating a brand.
I’ve come to realize that it takes an amazing amount of work to build a brand people love. But it can take a very short time to destroy a brand.
So what can you do to avoid it?
The Customer is always first
As corporate as this sounds, it’s true. But this isn’t just a catchy line to put up on your company plaque. It’s something to live by. Every portion of your company must exist to service the customer that you have. Their experience. Their needs. The minute this is not the goal is the minute you loose that customer.
Know your Purpose - and keep it front and center
Why are you doing what you’re doing? It can’t be money. SpaceX has a clear goal of getting people on the moon. It’s a higher purpose. One that goes beyond money. One that looks to improve and save humanity. This is a crazy purpose. And those who believe in this, will do everything in their power to achieve it. Know what you’re doing. Communicate it. Repeat.
Understand your culture
A brand is comprised of the people who represent it. Sometimes brining in new talent can change that brand. Sometime for the better, sometimes for the worst. Understanding the internal culture becomes a must. If the culture shifts in the wrong direction, the brand will go with it.
Evolve with the times
Technology and market shifts have killed many brands. Brands that were successful with a lot of history of innovation. Kodak. Blackberry. You have to be in touch with what you’re doing. It goes back to understanding your customer. What your customer is looking at, what she’s interested in. Instagram should have been Kodak. Blackberry could have been Oculus.
Be lean and quick
Nothing like a bloated unnecessary structure that can make a company slow and a brand irrelevant. The minute it takes longer than it should to make a simple decision is the minute you’re on a downward slope. The same minute your Brand becomes slow.
Know your strengths. Know what you should be focused on. Always explore new ideas and edit. Someone has to keep an eye on the future. Someone, internally should act like your own competition. If you’re not thinking about how to beat yourself, then someone out there is doing it for you.
Be more human
Connecting to the customer in a more human way can do wonders. Those who become a faceless corporation can disappear into obscurity. Who’s in charge of American Airlines? (some might know. I don’t) Who’s in charge of Virgin? When a brand is more human, it’s more relevant.
I started writing this post with a few suggestions in mind, but I realize that there’s a lot here. A lot to consider and a lot to think about. It’s a small snippet of what could be. I think there’s a book in these subjects. I might continue to explore this further.
This series of content is a small experiment. I pledged to create a piece of content on my site for the next 365 days. You can read the opening post here. The posts aren’t limited to thoughts or ideas, they’re really just a way for me to create original content. If you got any feedback/questions, please reach out. Thanks for looking.