Earlier this week, I started discussing brand busts -- that's when an established brand makes a choice in their product line or advertising that is simply so far out of concert with who and what they are recognized to be by their client base, that they literally bust their own brand. That's something we should expect from our competitors -- not from ourselves! But sadly, it's actually an easy mistake to make. A good example? Harley Davidson Perfume. No, I am not kidding. What comes to mind when we think of Harley Davidson? Strong, masculine, rugged.... we can almost smell the exhaust as our mind conjures up the image of that lone biker on a hog in his leather vest and shades, the air filled with "Born to be Wild" blaring as he rides by. I don't know about you, but I never once stopped to think about what that guy smelled like.
And if I did, I don't think I'd want to buy it in a bottle and spritz it on my mate.
Here's the NUMBER ONE rule in branding. Protect your brand identity. Think very carefully before you add a product or service -- or even make a shift in how you advertise. In fact, try to carry that idea so far that you even consider who you JV with. What is THEIR brand? Are they someone who will be a great partner and who will resonate with your list and client base? Or do you risk a brand bust by association?
Until next time, Libby Gill, Branding Expert, Bestselling Author, and Executive Coach