The Case for Branding

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Initially the process of branding was developed to protect products from failure, today the brands themselves are in trouble. At present consumers make buying decisions based on the perception of the brand rather than the reality of the product. Brand is the one that sells the product. Despite the fact that branding is more important than at any previous time, companies are still getting it wrong and even worse. Brands are failing every single day. I’ll tell you about 4 types of brand failures: classic, idea, extension and cultural ones. You’ll see that brand flops of different companies are very similar to each other. I’ll try to convince you that it is much better to learn from others’ mistakes than your own, because: firstly, it saves you time; secondly, it saves your money and may even save the whole business. Let’s take a look at classic failures first. Coca-Cola the world’s most recognized brand failed with the launch of its new formula in 1985. Coca-Cola decided to launch a new drink called New Coke to stay ahead of its strong rival Pepsi-Cola. However, Coca-Cola couldn’t have two directly competing products on the shelves at the same time. Hence, the original Cola was withdrawn from the shelves. That was the biggest marketing blunder of all time. The fact was that Coca-Cola was more than a product. Consumers were emotionally attached to it. Earlier in 50’s company declared Coca-Cola to be “a real thing”. If you tell the world you have the ‘real thing’ you cannot then come up with a ‘new real thing’. It’s ‘like introducing a New God’. Coca-Cola spent $4 million. The launch of New Coke was boycotted immediately. Coca-Cola had had little choice but to bring back its original brand. Then comes McDonald’s – the world's largest chain of fast food restaurants. To compete with its rivals the company introduced the Arch Deluxe burger in 1996. It is estimated that McDonald's spent over $400 million on the research, production, marketing and advertising for the...
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