Understanding Your Brand

When you hear the names Chevy, Oprah or Hanna Montana you have an immediate impression. How you feel and what you think is directly related to their brand; a representation of the image and reputation they portray. Any deviation from what we  have come to know and expect can severely damage a brand.

There is no better way to understand branding than by learning from the mistakes of others. Especially those with the highest of profiles. No amount of money or expertise prevented these obvious branding mistakes. Geoffrey James article at BNET.com, 10 Worst Brand Blunders of 2010 includes the likes of GM, Dell, Toyota and Obama. In most cases the harm done was clearly avoidable but when referring to Obama’s brand, Geoffrey James writes, “And it didn’t help, of course, having a fair-sized chunk of the country so stupid that they were willing to believe virtually anything about Obama, so long as it was negative.  But that’s par for the presidential course.

Brands are most often damaged by a lack of consistency or honesty. Tiger Woods will likely be the best example for many years to come. People do not like change and that’s evident by the history of branding bloopers related to changing logos. The GAP could have learned something from Coca Cola a long time ago.

Geoffrey James also provides an entertaining account of the 10 Worst Brand Blunders of 2009. Great articles on branding and he offers the ability to vote for the worst disaster. Check out the results in both articles.

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