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To Be a Brand Champ, You Have to Take Some Bumps and Bruises
By: Emory Brown
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Recently, I have seen some brand debacles that have just been outright horrifying when it comes to brand management. McDonald’s hacked website, Target’s 40-million-plus customers’ identities being stolen, Healthcare.gov born with a serve case of jacked up programming. I know you can add a few of your own to this list, but the real question is, what does a brand do when they’re against the ropes and the world is giving them what my lil bro calls a three-piece spicy? Translated: left jab, right hook, upper cut. Flat on your back and the world is waiting on your comeback.

Some would suggest “run,” but I say, stay in the fight. Don’t hire a crew of ex-marines. Simply get your brand’s act together. Life doesn’t always give you apples. Sometimes it gives you oranges. Or it gives you Forrest Gump. “Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re going to get.”
 
People and competitors are always going to be doing stuff and saying stuff about your brand. Sometimes things are just honest mistakes, like manufacturing recalls or bad weather, but you have to be a champ for your brand. Your customers. Your employees and investors. You have to fight the good fight of doing the right thing.

Think about it. Target is one of the largest and most respected retailers in the world. Trya Banks affectionately created a re-pronunciation of its name to “Tar-jez” to give it modelista appeal. Target’s credit processing system got hacked and some band of crazed geeks is probably ordering reprints of her cover of Sports Illustrated. Yet Target stood up like a champ and told their customers the problem and is actively working with the FBI to hunt down the culprits. They got sucker-punched right before Christmas. However, their brand loyalty hasn’t suffered much, because they fought back to protect their customers.

Another great example is Healthcare.gov, which totally flopped. Barack Obama didn’t get on Air Force 1 and head to Cancun until everything smoothed over. He faced the challenge head on. This came after a government shutdown that to date is one of the craziest events in our government’s history. Who doesn’t want to feed the Polar Bears? Who wants to deprive military families of their benefits? No one in their right mind sets out to sabotage people.
 
At least not good people who believe in celebrating one another and providing others with products and services that are geared toward the betterment of others’ lives. People who believe in good brands that do good things for the greater good. These are the champions of brands. And to be a brand champ, you have to take some blows sometimes. Just make sure you throw the some righteous blows back.


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About the Author
Emory Brown is an award-winning creative director/writer whose mission is to spread the gospel of what great marketers can do when they put their heads together and work together for the greater good and not the bottom line. Working with many esteemed clients, his portfolio of work ranges in genre from conservative to ultra-modern including American Family Insurance, United Airlines, Mazda 6 and RX-8, Illinois Lottery, Tyson, Miller Genuine Draft, Nike Air Force 1, and Mercedes Benz, to name a few.  
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