Are Your Clients Suffering from Negative Brand Perceptions?

BY Kathy Crosett
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2019 was a rough year for many marketers. The CMO Council put together a telling infographic about the negative brand perceptions suffered by many well-​known companies. These aren’t the only businesses that suffered setbacks last year. If your clients’ brands are in trouble, you can help them take positive steps to turn around their situation this year.

Notable Brand Challenges

Long established as a designer and manufacturer of quality airlines, Boeing stumbled mightily in 2019. After two highly visible air disasters, consumers learned that Boeing execs knew of problems with the 737 MAX that has since been pulled from service. The CEO also resigned. The brand damage for this company falls in the category of fatal incidents and accidents.

The fall from grace at wework was all about hubris, hype and unmet expectations. The highflying company raised plenty of venture money. Valued at $45 billion, investors got spooked when the company filed for an IPO. That’s when the serious looks at revenue, expenses, and the eccentricities of CEO Adam Neumann started a panic. Mr. Neumann negotiated a sweet exit for himself, but ex-​employees, investors and the market in general soured on the company. The wework situation was so high-​profile that many venture capitalists have started to change how they look at potential investments. They’ll no longer let the confidence and enthusiasm of the CEO be the only detail they consider. They’ll check to see if the business model is sustainable and makes sense.

Brand relevance and market performance are the challenges faced by companies like Sears and JCPenney. Too many shoppers consider these brands to be old school. As a result, these brands have closed stores and, in other stores, they introduced new concepts to attract shoppers. These concepts include used apparel sales, onsite fitness classes and updated beauty salons. It’s too soon to tell how well any of these initiatives will work.

Your Clients and Negative Brand Perceptions

Few industries have come through the past decade unscathed. Businesses have been slammed because of security breaches, disintermediation by online operators and the need to develop digital marketing expertise. As we enter a new decade, your clients should prepare for increasing competition.

To ensure business continuity, encourage them to promote the products and services that make them unique. Help them develop a story that resonates in the local market. Many of your clients may be small businesses competing against well-​funded national players. While the competition may be stiff, consumers love underdogs. Start off 2020 by ensuring the story associated with your client’s brand is authentic.

And don’t let your clients ignore the realities of the digital marketplace. Help them find the right position by running a digital audit on them. Available at AdMall by SalesFuel, the data in the digital audit is just what you need to start a conversation on the topic of how to compete in this new decade.