Building and developing a brand is not simple, especially when competition is fierce in the market. Any wrong step can destroy the reputation you spend time creating. However, branding ownership is the backbone of your credibility in the market. It demonstrates what value you provide and how customers think about your company when they see your products.
For instance, United Airlines’ market value decreased by $1 billion after the infamous incident in which an older passenger was dragged off the airplane due to overbooking. The incident didn’t reflect the airline’s values and left customers feeling that United had poor customer service.
That might be an extreme example, but here are five other ways that you may lose control of your brand ownership.
A Bad Reputation
Nobody wants to partner with a scandalous company. Therefore, building a good reputation is fundamental for your brand ownership. For startups, reputation means their positive attitude toward customers in the first days. When treating them well, you send a message that you care about them and build up credibility.
In general, employees and business partners look at your brand every day to decide if they want to be associated with you. They might ask: “If you don’t respect your reputation, do you even respect the customer, me?” If they begin to doubt your brand, there’s a good chance they’ll no longer work with you.
The fastest way to lose your brand ownership is by treating them poorly. Going back to the example about United Airlines, you can imagine how other passengers and people on social media felt about the airline after videos of the forcible removal were posted online. Customers and media do not care about who is right in a scandal but look at how you deal with them, which influences your control of brand ownership.
Having No Brand Strategy
In 1982, Colgate introduced a new product: frozen food–and called the product Colgate Kitchen Entrees. Do you think most customers, who were used to buying toothpaste from this brand, would respond well to it?
Unsurprisingly, the answer is no. Colgate is associated with oral hygiene, and its venture into frozen food did not go well. The campaign failed miserably, and the company spent much time recovering.
This is a notable example of choosing the wrong brand strategy. You shouldn’t repeat that mistake and not stop asking yourself what value your brand brings to the market. Nobody says Colgate is iconic for providing good food for customers, and they are a famous toothpaste brand instead. From introducing a product to having a new advertising campaign, make any relevant step to your brand. In other words, don’t confuse your customers with super-strange products or awkward messages.
The simple way to navigate your brand strategy is questioning every time you come up with any new idea. Then, ask specifically whether that idea fits your company’s plan.
For instance, if your brand manufactures tools for the kitchen, don’t spend time creating a new beverage. Customers are used to purchasing juicers, blenders, and toasters with your company’s name and label. If people want to buy some drinks, they don’t think about you, but they do when they need equipment to make drinks. Know the difference.
Breaking Your Promise
What promise? It is simply your commitment to providing good products or experiences for customers. When you can’t follow through on that promise, you fail to develop a brand.
Keeping your promise to customers is the backbone of brand ownership. If you are not trustworthy with your product quality, they simply consider your company a negative brand. The best advertisement is to put your sayings in commercials into reality. The famous automobile executive Lee Iacocca once said:
“When the product is right, you don’t have to be a great marketer.”
The credibility is invaluable, and your business will collapse if your customers don’t trust you. Have you ever seen Steve Jobs or any CEOs of Samsung lying about their products? No, that’s why these two brands are usually outstanding among others. They simply keep their commitment to sell quality products and services to their customers, which is much more valuable than commercials and tons of million spendings on branding.
Whenever you launch a new branding campaign, you have to send materials, including images, marketing strategy, and more, to all locations. If you see one of your stores still posting the Summer sale in October, you need to replace it immediately.
If your budget is limited and has only one store, all employees have to say the same message to customers.
Messages are vital for your brand ownership because it makes customers remember you. If you want to keep messages in their mind, make sure to send enough materials to locations or tell your employees to say the same.
Although different local stores have various buying cultures, the message must be consistent, and you have to check your merchandise and franchise regularly. A remarkable example is McDonald’s because you didn’t see much difference from their design, advertisement, and messages whatever store you arrived at. They focus on fast food with hygiene and low price, which is consistent all over the world.
Losing Control on Social Media
Remember when Kylie Jenner disliked the new design of Snapchat in a tweet, the company lost $1.3 billion in the stock market? This example is enough to point out the importance of people’s reactions to your brand on social media.
Social media is dominating the internet, and you cannot ignore it. Instead, utilize it to develop your brand. Especially when you are a startup, social media is also a channel to interact with your customers. Therefore, you should know what app they use the most and spend the most time on it. Moreover, there are some tips to control your brand on social media:
- Researching your customer’s behavior before posting any content.
- Being consistent with your messages on all platforms. Don’t change your tone because it makes customers confused about what you’re trying to say.
- Setting goals for followers, comments, and reactions. Check all of them every day to understand your customers.
There are other ways you can lose control of brand ownership, and we don’t want you to follow any of them. However, the Aspire360 team has many coaches who can help you strengthen your brand ownership.