Tuesday, April 22, 2014

When Brands Blunder: Failure IS Apparently An Option

It was Napoleon Bonaparte who advised, “Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.” That guidance would seem to apply just as much today as it did back then.

True, back then it was uttered in a different context. More “Battle of Austerlitz” than “Battle of the Brands,” but if your “enemy” is a competitive brand, a little inside intelligence about how they’re bungling things can only help you plan a little smarter. Marketing isn’t war, you say? Remember the Cola Wars? OK, in marketing era-time closer to Napoleon’s time, but still! And today, what about Microsoft vs. Google? Or Microsoft vs. Apple? Or Apple vs. Samsung? Or, most recently, Taco Bell vs. McDonald’s?

Sure, it’s a different battlefield today. With lots of marketers rushing to play with the newest digital thing, with ads looking to tell stories, entertain and create awareness instead of differentiating, engaging, and motivating, it’s become a battleground where sharing and ‘likes’ have become a surrogate for real ROI.
And when that happens, the brand sometimes gets left behind in the rush to rush. When that happens, mistakes happen. Well, more than mistakes. More like blunders. Real blunders.

In a more complex, consumer gate-kept marketplace, with consumers hotwired to their mobile devices, the reality is when it comes to making blunders, brands really can’t survive long enough to make them all themselves. All right, maybe if you’re Blackberry or JC Penney, but not normal brands looking to prosper and grow. So it would be very helpful to have an early-warning system in place. Something that lets brands learn from the mistakes of others. A resource. Something that makes them aware of what others are not doing well.

Happily, we’ve just identified a new resource for just that. It’s called “Brand Blunder,” a very smart and snarky web crawler that scours the brand and marketing worlds to identify those moments when brands wreak havoc on themselves. When they blunder. Really blunder. Want to avoid the mistakes of others, more importantly, learn from the mistakes of others? We recommend you take a moment to investigate this very new, very shrewd brand and marketing resource.

Napoleon also observed, “Victory belongs to the most persevering, and the ones that make the fewest blunders.” Well, OK, not that last part. He probably would have said “faire des erreurs” or “faux pas” anyway. But if nothing else, Brand Blunder can help start your week off feeling smarter and more brand-empowered than many of the blundering brands out there, some of which may actually be your competitors.

Check it out. Because, folks, you just can’t make this stuff up!

Connect with Robert on LinkedIn.

Find out more about what makes customer loyalty happen and how Brand Keys metrics is able to predict future consumer behavior: brandkeys.com. Visit our YouTube channel to learn more about Brand Keys methodology, applications and case studies.

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