Brand Mistakes

Are Your Customers Hatin’ On Your Brand Online?

06.17.2014 Better Branding
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There’s a new restaurant down the street. Great! It’s been open a few months and you have yet to try it, so you go online and look up the menu, then probably pop over to Yelp to get some first-hand customer reviews. Sound familiar? If you don’t have a close friend who’s raving about the restaurant to you in person, you know that you’d better do your homework or you might be in for a disappointing evening. Hey, you’re tired of learning the hard way.

…and you’re not alone.

Almost 80% of American consumers say online reviews influence their purchases. A whopping 93% say they look at online reviews before shopping or dining. NINETY-THREE PERCENT.

That’s no small potatoes, people! If you’re not paying attention to what your customers are saying about your business online, you might be in need of some major brand damage control. Yelp is about to launch a new tool to upload short video reviews, and we’re only going to see more cool tools like this one in the next few years!

Clearly, if you’re not managing your brand’s online presence—the time is NOW. So what’s your company doing to monitor and manage your brand’s online presence?

Creating a Positive Online Brand Presence

If your business or your brand is totally new, you’re in luck: You might be able to fight the customer crowds and establish yourself online before someone beats you to it. If you’re already knee deep in customer reviews, you can follow these steps to boost your brand’s reach and inspire positive customer relationships with your brand…

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Brand Trust is a Must: Brand Relationships are HUMAN Relationships

02.25.2014 Better Branding

“Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none.” –Shakespeare

When was the last time someone broke your trust? When was the last time you broke someone else’s trust? I’m willing to bet it was a pretty big deal. Maybe your relationship recovered. Maybe it didn’t. Maybe you’re on the fence about the person now, unsure whether or not you can trust him or her again.

It’s happened to everyone; relationships (whether romantic, friendly, or otherwise) aren’t always easy. But all great relationships have one thing in common: TRUST.

Same goes for any relationship between a consumer and a brand. Trust is a must! Brand loyalty is built on trust. When your customers trust your brand, they trust your business, your products and services, and your ability to meet their unique needs. Brand trust is what gives consumers the confidence they need to advocate for your brand.

What is your brand doing to cultivate trust among your potential and current customers? Are you guilty of any of these Brand Trust Fails? How can you regain that precious customer trust and brand confidence once it has faltered?

Brand Trust Fail # 1: Bad Customer Service

“Friendship—my definition—is built on two things. Respect and trust. Both elements have to be there. And it has to be mutual. You can have respect for someone, but if you don’t have trust, the friendship will crumble.” –Stieg Larsson

Just like You Are Your Brand, every person your customer touches, from your creative team members to your in-house employees is a brand representative and a brand advocate. If your team constantly fails to put on a smile and treat each customer with respect, they’re stifling your business and damaging your brand with each interaction.

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This Year’s Most Controversial Ads

12.03.2013 Brand Mistakes
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Advertising your brand can be tricky sometimes. When it comes to big brands with hefty bank accounts whose main goal is to grab people’s attention at any cost, advertising has become downright silly and even offensive. From prankvertising to catvertising (using cats to advertise your brand—trust me, it’s a thing) to print ads you simply can’t believe someone had the guts to think up, brands are certainly getting more and more risqué with advertising.

Today we’re going to take a look at (arguably) some of the most disturbing and controversial ads of 2012-2013.

DISCLAIMER: Linked content may be too disturbing for some viewers. Please proceed to linked content with caution.

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Prankvertising: Worth the Risk for Your Brand? (Part 2)

11.19.2013 Better Branding
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By now, you should know what prankvertising is and why big brands use it to garner attention. Yes, it’s true that prankvertising really gets people’s attention. After all, if you were (unknowingly) part of a prank that involved a violent scene of two men fighting each other in an elevator and subsequently watched one of those men slip a noose around the other’s neck, pulling it tight, you’d probably remember that pretty well, wouldn’t you?

That’s exactly what the marketing firm Thinkmodo was banking on when they orchestrated this stunt to promote the 2013 movie “Dead Man Down.” But, when we consider the outlandish nature of a prank such as this, the real question becomes, how far is too far when it comes to scaring the daylights out of people in the name of advertising?

Are the costs really worth the potential negative effects of prankvertising? Big brands with big bank accounts might have the flexibility to hire a team of lawyers, should a lawsuit pop up as the result of a misguided prank, but what about a small business?

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Nifty Neurons: Connections Count when Branding

06.25.2013 Better Branding
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Do you think you have a sharp memory? Do you think you can recall details better than the average person? You may be surprised to learn that most people think they have an impeccable memory. Sorry to break it to ya: that’s just not true. You don’t have to take my word for it. As […]

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Brand Minimalism vs Simplistic Branding

01.29.2013 Brand Mistakes
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We’ve seen a LOT of huge companies sporting new logo designs over the past year or two. Seems like everyone is turning in their former flowery corporate logos for a look that’s a lot more simplistic (and often a little too bland, in my opinion). Don’t get me wrong: minimalism is awesome. In designing a […]

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The Great Rebranding Fail: Weight Watchers

01.15.2013 Brand Mistakes
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Last week on my radio show, Brand With Impact!, my co-host and I were discussing all the wonderful instances of rebranding and brand refreshers from the past year. I was all prepared and ready to go when the discussion turned to the recent Weight Watcher’s rebrand unveiling from December 2012. But even though I’d done […]

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Brand Genericide: When Brand Names Become Commonplace

09.11.2012 Brand Mistakes
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When you’re asked for a Kleenex or a Q-Tip, you’re going to hand out a tissue or a cotton swab. But did you know that the word Kleenex is still a legally recognized trademark of Kimberly-Clark? Same with Q-Tip, a word still legally trademarked by Unilever. Ok, maybe you recognize Kleenex and Q-Tip as specific […]

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BIG Brand Extension Flops – Lessons Learned!

05.10.2011 Brand Mistakes
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This week comes with the news that Cisco recently dropped its fairly popular Flip Video camera, only two years after purchasing the rights to the product from Pure Digital for $590 million.  The word is that Cisco’s branching into consumer products was both ill timed and, in theory, against Cisco’s existing brand strategy, which is […]

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Typos and Grammatical Errors: Bad for Brands, Bad for Business!

08.17.2010 Brand Mistakes
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I recently ran into a forum post by my networking associate, branding expert Vincent Wright, which really attracted my attention. Wright sought out advice from a highly regarded branding professional and was understandably struck by a “very palpable typo” on his website. (On top of that, he was unable to contact this person about the […]

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