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When Your Best Branding Plans Get a Virus
By: Cindy Wendland
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You’ve figured out everything with your marketing and branding. You have a winning design, a strategy, and you have executed everything perfectly. Then a virus hits, and your plans have to change. Well, that just stinks.

That’s just what happened to India’s Tata Motors. Their Zica car was set to debut when the Zika virus hit. The car was set to launch in mere days. The company took the stand that they would still launch the car as expected but would announce a new name after the debut. Tata Motors wants to empathize with the hardships the virus is causing worldwide, so they will rebrand the car.

Rebrand your product before it is even introduced? Even the best contingency plan was not ready for that. All a marketer can do is turn an event into something good. The company will be seen as compassionate. The company will have extended publicity on their car, and will receive further attention when they announce the rebranding. It is unfortunate, but it is the right decision.

Hopefully Tata Motors saved all those brainstorming notes when they discussed the product name. Perhaps the second choice will be resurrected and will fit perfectly. When a virus hits, it is unexpected, and it certainly causes problems. Tata Motors has the opportunity to be remembered as compassionate and progressive. That’s about the best they can do.

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About the Author
Cindy Wendland has a background in marketing and finance. She is the creative director for an online men's health magazine, BrainBrawnBody.com, and she gets to write their leisure/travel blog. She is also a web designer helping her clients with online community engagement, websitesbywendland.com. Prior to her web years, she worked in pharmacy consulting.
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