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Common Brand Problems

Overcoming Common Brand Problems – 7

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Overcoming Common Brand Problems

We are exploring the 40 Most Common Brand Problems. Welcome to Common Brand Problem Number 7: Defining your brand too narrowly, especially as a product category (for instance, “greeting cards” versus “caring shared”)

Analysis: One of the key advantages of a strong brand is its ability to be extended into new product and service categories. It is a growth engine for your organization. It helps you transcend specific product categories and formats that may become obsolete. Define your brand’s essence and promise in terms of the key benefits your brand delivers to consumers (independent of the specific product or service). Then continue to find new ways to deliver against that essence and promise. GE successfully broadened its frame of reference by moving from “General Electric: Better living through electricity” to “GE: We bring good things to life.”

Key Point: One of my most important successes as the “brand guy” at Hallmark was to change our leaders’ perceptions of the company as a greeting card company/brand to a “caring shared” company/brand, paving the way for us to launch gift candy, flowers and other products to sustain our growth into the next decade. I did not want to see us make the same mistake that Smith-Corona did (defining itself as a product, typewriters, versus a consumer benefit, word processing).

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