Why some brands succeed and others do not? What determines your setback ?. Thinking about the failure of brands opens up a different perspective on when we approach reflection from the point of view of success. And is that, without being an exact science, we can find a series of coincidences in the failed business projects.

These are, from our point of view, the 10 capital sins of brands:

Product indefinition

Which is the product?. Although it may seem like an evidence, when the question is asked to brand managers, the answer is not always clear. If Cocacola sells happiness and some car brands sell security or freedom or status, what does your brand really sell? Especially when we talk about services and not products, the answer is complex. And it is that in reality people buy what they are positive experiences.

On the other hand, it is not always clear that, although we are talking about a product, the service goes hand in hand. El Corte Inglés does not offer you different products, it offers you a different service (ubiquity, breadth of products, careful attention …).

In new projects, when starting a business venture, you start with an idea, an illusion for a product, for a service. It is important to differentiate between what you want to sell and what you really can offer. The possibility depends on the opportunity, the gap that the market gives. For that idea to become “Big Idea”, it is necessary, in addition, the communion of a series of elements.

Unaware of our clients Who are or will be the clients?

What type of audience are we heading? Do you really need the product / service that I offer or intend to offer ?. What brands of products or services similar to those I offer are currently buying those customers ?. It is surprising the scarce information that the brands have of the clients, in case they really know who they are. This question leads us to the third capital sin.

Do not know our “enemies” 
Who are the competitors? Well-defined product + type customers should allow us to clearly identify our reference competitors. It could be the case that there were no clear reference competitors or that these were indirect. If that were so, we would be close to the “big idea”, perhaps because we are creating a new category. But, that situation usually happens a few times. If before the question, who are your competitors ?, there are responses of the type, “all”, that is precisely an unequivocal sign that the product is not well defined, that the customers are not clear. On the contrary, when the competitors are clear and we know them well, it is fantastic because they will give us the key to how I should focus, qualify, communicate, differentiate … my product.

Not find the difference What is really new to the market?
The difference can be in the product (Nissan creating a new category with its Qashqai SUV), in the price (1880, the most expensive nougat in the world), in the way of communicating (Red bull with its advertising through cartoons), in the channel of commercialization (that novelty was that “Avón knocks on your door”) etc. If it is a combination of the above, better still, more different, more opportunities to attract attention. The difference allows to build the brand positioning that acts as wire-driver. Not finding the thread-driver is to drift. This circumstance usually implies constantly changing the strategy. The constantly lurching brands drive customers and workers crazy and make competitors smile.

You can always find a difference to lean on, but that difference is not always obvious.

Do not offer something relevant . Is your proposal interesting ?. Care, differentiating is important but it is still more important that this difference is of interest to the market, that it mobilizes. This can be achieved by the most common method, error test, but, it is advisable to analyze customers, dive into their minds, find out what is really relevant. This reflection places us in the sixth capital sin.

Not really want your customers . The client is always right, but it turns out that we did not ask him. What are your motivations, what are your brakes towards the brand, towards the product, towards the service, towards the way to present yourself? What is your comparative opinion regarding the competition’s proposals? But not only you have to investigate customers, you have to make them part of the construction of the offer, the product, in short, of the brand. A true attitude 2.0.

Brand inconsistency. Why the name of the brand is inconsistent with its positioning ?. If the brand is exclusive, why the pack where the product is presented seems to be for everyone ?. If what made us different was a specific product, why we launched different products that mislead customers (the typical incorrect extension of the brand) … if our audience is very localized, it is very specific, because we use an indirect and complex channel of distribution or why do we communicate in a massive way ?. The coherence of the brand must be expressed at all levels of contact between brand and client.

Absence of resources . What good is the “big idea” if we do not have money to communicate ?. The resources have to come from the strategy. That is, the question should not be, what can I do with these resources? but, rather, how do I obtain the necessary resources to launch the “big idea” correctly? If you do not know us, if nobody knows about us, it does not matter if our product is good, it does not matter if it is the best product. Although it is hard, the truth is that only brands with capacity and solvency, have an opportunity to occupy a space in the minds of customers.

Lack of innovation . Michael Porter said that “the only sustainable competitive advantage is permanent innovation”, shows us the path of revitalized strategy “.

Apple is a brand with many different aspects but, above all, there is a question where it stands out above its competitors. Apple is definitely innovative. By permanently creating new product categories, Apple is guaranteed preference.

Lack of commitment . What he does and how he does it is not trivial. The commitment towards workers, towards customers and towards society in general will be increasingly important to build brands that want to shine in the future. That commitment has a direct reflection on passion, the ultimate engine to build powerful brands. Or is passion what generates commitment ?. Be that as it may, you know, you feel when a brand is passionate and when it is not.