EMERGENCY! Somebody please help! My brand is failing and I don’t know why!
Brands are usually considered to be failing for many reasons. Some of the most common ones include the inability of the product to get and maintain market share, and the inability to achieve expected profitability. A failing brand is the cry of many business owners. We have compiled 5 possible reasons why this might be happening.
- You have a bad product/service – The hard truth is: not every idea is a good idea and not every good idea is a great idea! Many times what you consider to be a great product is not well received by consumers because they simply don’t like it nor see the need for it. If you think your brand is failing, go back to the drawing board. Consider modifying or changing the product or service you are offering.
- Poor customer service – I don’t know about anyone else, but customer service can make me a fan or an enemy. It’s one of the first things I look out for when dealing with a business or organisation, and if it is not up to scratch I am 110% turned off. Persons never usually want to do business or associate themselves with brands that do not offer good customer service. So yes, you may have a great product or service, but you may also be repelling customers which is affecting your brand. Evaluate how you manage customer relations. Are they easily able to report issues? Do they receive timely responses to queries? Are they greeted with a friendly smile and courteous staff? How do you deal with disgruntled customers?
- Treating your brand as a logo – Your brand IS NOT a logo! A brand is so much more than just a fancy image that you put on all your products. Business Dictionary defines a brand as “a unique design, symbol, words, or a combination of these, employed in creating an image that identifies a product and differentiates it from its competitors. Over time, the image becomes associated with a level of credibility, quality, and satisfaction in the consumer’s mind.” Your brand It is your business’ identity, it is the promise you make to your consumers regarding the quality of service and often times is the single factor that could initially attract or repel persons from conducting business with you. Usually, the way people perceive your brand is how they perceive you. Therefore, every effort should be made to develop a positive brand identity. This should convey the business’ values, purpose and passion among other things. Ensure that whatever you decide you want your brand identity to reflect, is what is perceived by your customers.
- Failing to consider your target audience – It is always important to remember that one size does not fit all! It is ludicrous to expect everyone to be interested in what you are offering/selling. Take power for example, as an electricity provider you would think that everyone would be interested in your service right? Wrong! Some persons might prefer alternative sources including solar power, wind energy or hydroelectricity. To secure a favourable response to your product/service you need to know your target audience and craft messages specific to them. Doing this will ensure that your messages appeal to these persons and increase the possibility of persuasion to do business with you.
- You are too comfortable – Do not fall asleep on the job! The moment you think you can cut back on your marketing and relax a bit, competitors quickly swoop in and jump at the chance of kicking your business aside to make room for their own. This could be why your brand is weakening. Get up! The work is never complete! With constant change in trends and consumer patterns, there is no room for rest and relaxation. To stay relevant your brand has to constantly grow and evolve. Avenues to explore could include exploring new distribution options (eg. online shopping), social media marketing, keeping abreast of changing consumer preferences by engaging in market research and being informed about the latest research findings regarding consumer preferences.