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Common Brand Problems

Overcoming Common Brand Problems – 12

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Overcoming Common Brand Problems

We are exploring the 40 Most Common Brand Problems. Number 12 in our countdown centers on creating brands for the wrong reasons…

Common Brand Problem Number 12: Creating brands or sub-brands for internal or trade reasons, rather than to address distinct consumer needs

Analysis: There is nothing more inefficient or wasteful than creating a new brand or sub-brand for a purpose other than meeting a different consumer need. Brands and sub-brands should exist to address different consumers and consumer-need segments. It is expensive to launch a new brand (and very expensive to maintain multiple brands that meet similar consumer needs; it also adds unnecessary complexity to your organization). Worst of all, it dilutes the position of your original brand.

Key Point: This problem often results from organizational structure. People leading business units that deliver specific products or services create a name and identity to put on business cards and to rally their employees around, whether the products or services are similar to products or services other divisions create or not. (This has resulted in the following printer lines for HP: DeskJet, OfficeJet, OfficeJet Pro, LaserJet, DesignJet, DeskWriter and PhotoSmart—while the consumer is likely to think of them all as HP printers.)

Sometimes, companies create separate brands or sub-brands for trade reasons – for instance, to offer something different to specialty stores versus mass channels of distribution. (Hallmark created the Expressions From Hallmark brand for mass channel stores while specialty stores continued to carry the Hallmark brand. These two brands don’t meet different consumer needs and it’s not clear consumers perceive differences between the two.)

This problem can also result from mergers and acquisitions in which the brands are neither rationalized nor strategically managed after the enterprises are combined.

The Blake Project Can Help: The Brand Architecture Workshop

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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