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When Brands Force it to Work
By: Janet Kalandranis
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Nothing is easy; nothing. Brands work hard day in and day out to make strategies and programs and products work for the business. It’s how business gets done. But sometimes that hard work goes a bit too far. That’s when brands force things to work — pushing too hard so something can see success. Many times, customers can see through this. They know if something seems easy and relevant or if it was forced into place like a mismatched puzzle piece. Brands need to teeter on that fine line of working hard and forcing things to make sense. If at first glance it needs explaining, or seems a bit too far-fetched, then it probably is. Customers are going to notice. Maybe they’ll laugh and chuckle and talk a bit about the brand, but success isn’t something that will follow. Brands need to work hard, but not make customers work even harder.

Okay, this isn’t a joke: the brand Grumpy Cat has decided that a coffee drink will work for the brand. They're calling it a “Grumppuccino.” First things first. Grumpy Cat is a brand that made its way into the world after a picture of a grumpy cat went viral. So now it sells t-shirts, books, coffee mugs, and the like...until recently, when the brand decided it should obviously be offering a coffee drink. This is NOT logical, folks. There’s no connection for the brand to be offering a coffee product. There is no link for the customer to grasp onto and the idea of a coffee drink is probably going to become a joke. Funny? Yes. Success for the brand? Probably not.

Of course all brands want to branch out; to find new success in different categories. Many times, this strategy works. But it has to be thought through, planned well, and executed flawlessly. When brands simply launch a product or service because they can, customers tend to be left out of the equation. Brands need to bring customers into the strategy, discover how they would think, and do research to determine what will build future success and what should simply stay inside a boardroom meeting.

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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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