Brand Killers

Deep thinking, usually what I will do when I am driving alone
Deep thinking, usually what I will do when I am driving alone

Seldom I share about work, mainly there is not much I want to talk about due to secrecy of our work.

However, I will share from time to time about the marketing, public relations, especially what I have observed.  Hope something we could share our experiences.

So let’s kick start the session with brand killer.

Ever heard of brand killers?  Who are they?

They are people who murdered a successful brand by not able to carry on the legacy of an already successful brand of product, service or company.

Heard of Ron Johnson, the successful retail boss of Apple?  Then you must know how he got rid of JC Penny’s business, by almost chasing all its existing and new customers away.  The end result, the board fired Ron.

Another example of Apple, they got Briton John Browett to replace Ron Johnson.  He lasted less than a year, few months only, then again fired.

We have worked on brands which was really successful in the country, until the MD or CEO has been replaced, then the brand went down the hill, some really fast.

Once a well known luxury brand we worked on, which the former CEO educated us very often that its brand does not focus on discount, neither on free gift.  Guess what, the new CEO just overruled everything and brought the brand down, from #1 to #nobody.

A sad case of wrong hiring costs the company quite a bit, actually.  One of our client whom was already gathering the regional expansion hired someone to come on board to take over the marketing and branding for the brand.  He threw all the methods that have been working well for the brand out the windows, including getting rid of @aboutcom_my, brought in his favourite agency to assist him.  Sometimes change is good.  However, the change will be bad when our replacement started introducing copycat marketing campaigns and later claimed that as an innovative marketing campaign, which resulted a fatal fate of the company, it collapsed and just recently went completely wound up.

I remember once I had a word with this new marketing head honcho.  He told me he used to run a very successful advertising agency, then went bankrupted, due to mismanaging of funds.  When I heard that, I am pretty sure the board may not have done the background check on the hire.

Well, painful lesson.

You know, after a while of dealing with brand killers, I sort of could sense when the fella is conning us when he told us that our approaches are not in line with his direction blah blah blah.

Very recently, I was invited to meet a well known brand in consumer electronic, because I am the co-founder of @MyMobileFest.  In the meeting, I met the head of marketing, the face does not ring a bell, but the name does.  The person did not say anything to me, maybe she did not remember me either.  Since the last time we worked together was 12 years ago.  So, the former marketing leader of well established brand, which she then killed it, is now at another reputable brand, and about time she murdered it.

Sad, you are right.

Whatever it may be, we always wish the former clients all the best.  Nothing else 🙂


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