The 50 Most Common Brand Problems

Derrick DayeJuly 8, 20205 min

Awareness of the problems and challenges brands can encounter is an important step in maintaining a strong, healthy brand. So we set out to identify, analyze and solve the 50 Most Common Brand Problems faced by marketers today. Which ones are threatening your brand?

Common Brand Problems:

1: The cumulative result of gradually and incrementally decreasing product or service quality to reduce costs
2: The cumulative effect of raising product or service prices at a rate greater than inflation over time (inviting low-end market segments and competitors)
3: Focus on short-term profitability at the expense of long-term revenue growth
4: Defining your brand too narrowly, especially as a product category (for instance, “greeting cards” versus “caring shared”)
5: Limiting the brand to one channel of distribution or aligning the brand too closely with a declining channel of trade
6: Reducing or eliminating brand advertising and or failure to adapt advertising to economic or cultural shifts
7: Applying branding decisions at the end of the product development process (“Now, what will we name this?”) versus treating brand management as the key driver of all of your enterprise’s activities
8: Confusing brand management with product management
9: Defining your brand too narrowly, especially as a product category (for instance, “greeting cards” versus “caring shared”)
10: Failure to extend the brand into new product categories when the core category is in decline
11: Over-extending your brand into different categories and markets so as to completely blur the brand’s meaning and points of distinction
12: Frequently changing your brand’s positioning and message
13: Creating brands or sub-brands for internal or trade reasons, rather than to address distinct consumer needs
14: Launching sub-brands that inadvertently reposition the parent brand in a negative light
15: Overexposing the brand to the point that it becomes uncool
16: Being attacked by special interest groups who want to make public statements about their causes and see your well-known, high profile brand as a newsworthy target
17: Treating brand management primarily as “logo cops”
18: Viewing brand equity management as a communications exercise, but ignoring it in other business processes and points of contact with the consumer
19: Not delivering against the communicated brand promise
20: Not linking brand planning to the business’ strategic planning process
21: Licensing the brand name out to whomever will pay for it
22: Trying to be the best at something, especially core category benefits, rather than owning something different
23: Trying to own what have become cost-of-entry benefits—and not owning any differentiating benefits
24: Focusing too much on product attributes and not enough on brand benefits in consumer communication
25: Trying to make too many points in your brand communication rather than focusing on the one or two most compelling points of difference
26: For the market leader: Following challengers because it’s easier and produces more immediate results, rather than creating new ways to meet consumer needs
27: Not applying the latest product and service innovations to your brand
28: No central control of the brand portfolio (so that each brand team is free to apply the best differentiating features of one brand to each of the others in the portfolio)
29: No brand identity standards and systems
30: Marketing is divided into functional “silos” (advertising, promotion, brand management, product development, publicity, etc.) with no integrating mechanism
31: Defining your target consumer too broadly (for instance, women ages 18-65)
32: Not really understanding the consumer, her needs, and motivations
33: Unsuccessfully extending the brand up to a premium segment or down to a value segment
34: Choosing generic (non-proprietary) brand names
35: Not keeping up with the industry on product or service innovation
36: Spending too much money on trade deals and sales promotion at the expense of brand building
37: No person or department has responsibility for the brand. It lacks internal mindshare, supervision, and management.
38: Well thought-out marketing decisions are second guessed by non-marketers who think marketing is a matter of opinion rather than an art and a science for which experience matters
39: Decisions that adversely affect the brand are made outside of the brand management context
40: Senior leadership does not understand what the brand stands for
41: Quarter over quarter revenue and profit pressures gradually undermine the brand
42: Branding decisions are ego versus analysis-driven
43: Hiring the wrong marketer
44. Marketers don’t fight for their budgets or brand ideas
45. Creative execution is decided before strategy
46. Failure to build a human side to your brand (B2C and B2B)
47. Marketers don’t understand the role of finance
48. Failure to understand how brand supports sales
49. Building a sales driven organization rather than a brand driven one
50. Failure to know what your brand stands for and what it stands against

It’s important to remember that brand management is not a noun, it’s a verb. Actively managing your brand requires an honest assessment of the people and mechanisms in place serving the health of the brand, and an ironclad commitment to make whatever decisions are necessary to preserve its health.

At The Blake Project we are helping clients around the world, in all stages of development, redefine and articulate what makes them competitive at critical moments of change through online strategy workshops. Please email us for more.

Branding Strategy Insider is a service of The Blake Project: A strategic brand consultancy specializing in Brand Research, Brand Strategy, Brand Growth and Brand Education

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