Brand. For some this 5 letter word might be of least importance but when it comes to business, without an effective brand name success is hard to come by. Brand name and brand images are created in many ways. Some make use of images, some slogans and some simply the name of the businesses. Brand name is what sets businesses apart from their competitors. For example Wal Mart has successfully created a brand “Always Low Prices“ which is what customers mostly recognize Wal Mart with – Low Prices.
Although branding is one of the most important aspect when it comes to business, most businesses seem to let go off this important element with time. As the business grows, individuals and companies rely and start focusing on so many different things that they eventually let the brand name of the company erode. In this post we will talk about some signs of brand erosion. Some of these might not seem to directly relate to brand erosion but still is an important element when it comes to brand building and brand sustainability.
1. Losing Existing Customers
This is a sure sign of brand erosion which directly hampers your business. One of the reasons most businesses lose existing clients is simply because the brand image or the name isn’t conveying the central idea of your business. Let’s take Wal Mart for example again. Wal Mart’s slogan “ Always Low Prices “ relays the message to the customers that they will find low prices on everything at their store and this is what customers relate Wal Mart with. If your customers start taking their business to your competitors, that’s a sure sign of brand erosion.
2. Decline in Customer Loyalty
One of the main reason customers switch brands is because of the promises that is being broken. As a business you make promise to your prospective customers and that is how your brand is recognized. Once your brand message fails to keep up with what has been promised, customers will be forced to look for other alternatives that support their needs better.
3. Wide Product Line
This is something that most businesses don’t realize. Most businesses grow so fast that they often fail to give time to the initial product or service of the company. As a business grows, it is natural to have an urge to start a new product or widen your existing product and or service line. But with extended product line comes increased pressure and increased demands and expectations. A wide product line isn’t always good. Sometimes it is best best to narrow your focus on one thing than on hundreds.
4. Failure To Convert Employees as Brand Ambassadors
Most people argue that the most valuable asset of a business is it’s customers, but I contradict that notion. I think the most valuable and integral part of any business is it’s employees. If your business isn’t catering to your employees needs it becomes impossible to meet your customers needs. Your employees are the best resources that can help you your brand. If the employees are unhappy and their needs aren’t met then they fail to promote the business they work for. If your employees aren’t putting in good words for who they work, it’s a sure sign of brand erosion.
5. Stale Product
Although this might appear contradicting to what I had pointed out in #3, it’s not. There is a difference between a wide line of products and stale products. A wide line of product is when a company introduces new products whereas a stale product is something that the company has failed to jazz it up since the product was launched. Customers like what appeals to their eyes. Anything and everything can generate attention only for so long. Once a product has been around for a while, it needs to go through some changes. The change can be in the way it functions, or the way it looks. If a product is stale and doesn’t look any different than what it did a year ago, your brand name is bound to sink.
6. Unmet Demands
This is a no brainer. If you have a business that provides it’s customers with a certain kind of product or service, your customer are going to expect you to do just that. Branding isn’t just about marketing and slogan and images. Branding is about reputation, ability to take responsibility and potential to fulfill the demand for a particular product or service within a market. If you fail to meet demand in your market your customers will fail to recognize you as a brand.
7. Insufficient Resources
The other most important thing for the existence of a business is resources. Different business have different needs and different markets. It’s been seen time after time that a business will start out successfully but over the years fails to climb the success ladder. One of the reasons as you can imagine is insufficient resources. Your customers are your’s because they believe in you and your brand. If you can’t keep up with their needs and demands due to insufficient resources, your business is sure to take the plunge, thus hurting the brand name.
Branding is extremely important in business world. Without a brand name it is hard to be recognized. If you were to walk on a street at night and you had two convenience store – Seven Eleven and something else, which one would you choose? My point exactly. It takes time to build a brand and one of the biggest loss a business can suffer from is brand erosion.