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Saturday, July 31, 2010

Brand Value - It changes with the tide

What do I mean that brand value changes with the tide? Simple, a brand's value can rise or fall as quickly as the tide. When something negative happens or affects the brand's value or image it often doesn't stay in the general public's mind for very long. As Americans we are quick to forgive and forget and move onto the newest story or tragedy. This can be a positive thing for brands when something negatively affects them but more likely it is a negative thing for brands. Even after a brilliant marketing campaign such as the recent Old Spice Social Media campaign mentions and thoughts are calming down to a point where people no longer think or blog about it. After one month the waves of the campaign have quieted and the waters are calm to a point where the mentions are returning to where they were prior to the start of the campaign.

My car won't stop accelerating, we are all going to die, its the end of the world!
Ok so maybe it did not go that far, but with the recent (within 6 months) recalls due to acceleration problems the Toyota brand value and image was taking a beating. Do you even remember this or how big of a deal it was and all the up roar and a congressional investigation? Those that may remember this are the few individuals whose accelerator did "stick" and a few who were negatively affected by the recall. Other companies have similar smaller recall problems, McDonalds with the Shrek Glasses or Walmart with the jewelery. Or even Apple with the iPhone 4 antenna/ reception issues or being stuck with AT&T's network.

Why this doesn't affect these companies brand value
There are many reasons why this has a limited or no impact on a brands value.
  1. Only affects one product or part of a large global company.
  2. The amount of people affected by these events and recalls are small compared to the overall population that uses the company. (limited impact)
  3. The companies address the problem to take care of it as quickly and efficiently as possible, usually.
  4. Most importantly you as the consumer don't remember the problem because of what happened just after the recall or disaster was a bigger disaster that affected far more people and caused much more damage.

The current disaster: BP
I already wrote a blog about BP which can be read here. What currently has the majority of American's attention is the BP oil spill. But with the well finally capped it looks like most of America is back to its pop culture fixation with the Mel Gibson tapes or Lindsay Lohan in jail. Unlike the Toyota recalls and problems this oil spill affected the lives of hundreds of thousands and while many Americans outside of the gulf coast will forget a bitter anger will remain with the Gulf Coast residents who lost their livelihood from this disaster. This will be almost impossible to repair (in America) but BP is a global company and outside of the US its image and brand value will bounce back and return close to the what it was. What will be the next tragedy to fulfill our fascination and make us forget about this oil spill?

Do you forgive and forget? What causes you to forget something that just a short while ago was on your mind? Why do some people remember this and others forget?

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