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Are Brands Human?
By: Janet Kalandranis
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Clearly the answer is no; brands are a thing, they have no vital organs, and breathing is not something they need to stay alive. That is, of course, if you look at a brand through the eyes of a textbook. When taking a deeper look, brands are human. They have a personality, they need people and structure to make them move forward, and they make mistakes. The question lies in whether or not brands are allowed to make mistakes and if customers are willing to accept these.

All brands make mistakes. These come in the form of marketing plans that miss the mark, products that really don’t work or fulfill a need, a misunderstanding of the customer, or a slew of other tactical mistakes. As a brand, though, are these mistakes deadly or are customers willing to accept the “sometimes mess-up” along with the positives they normally feel from the brand?

Brands need to take a couple of quick actions once they realize there has been a mistake. First is to understand that a mistake happened and to acknowledge the mishap. This can be anything from a smaller customer-service hiccup to a marketing program that alienated a core group of customers. Whatever the mistake, the brand needs to realize it wasn’t a positive for the brand and make a plan to move forward. The most important thing is to be open and honest with your customers. Acknowledge the mistake and let brand followers know that this wasn’t the brand's best effort. It makes customers feel included in the brand conversation and also keeps them as advocates moving forward.

No brand wants to be in the midst of a crisis where a mistake damages the brand. But being human and admitting the mistake along with a plan to move forward should help keep advocates following along. After all, they are human too and have probably dealt with a mistake or two.


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About the Author
Janet Kalandranis is here to give you all the little brand thoughts that run through her head with a little dash of spice. Find her online here.
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