Why Brands Die (And How To Keep Your Brand Alive)

What do Blockbuster, Sears, and George Washington have in common? They all died a long time ago. Two out of the three, of course, were formerly very popular, well-respected brands, but now there are tumbleweeds where they once were. Why?

Not adapting to a changing landscape

There are a few stand-out reasons why brands die. One of the most overwhelmingly evident is a company’s reluctance or unwillingness to adapt within a changing landscape. This can be in regards to a company’s product or service offering, but also the way they engage their customer base. 
 
Always ask yourself, “When was the last time my product was innovated?” Should you consider a subscription? Can you add value through complementary services? To add to that, are you building a presence where your customers are and engaging them there? These are important considerations to make. 
 

Not catering to their niche

Many brands have made their way to the graveyard by neglecting their niche. It isn’t uncommon for brands to think success lies in having a varied set of products and services. This may work for established brands, like Procter and Gamble, but for smaller brands or brands that have already established themselves in a space, it can hurt or dilute a brand to expand the product or service offering. 
 
Poorly executed brand expansions can leave an audience confused and unsure of the purpose of a brand and unsure whether or not a brand should be in their top brand considerations.

Not focusing on the customer

The last big reason brands die is a focus on sales rather than improving the customer experience and building a relationship. Focusing on the customer has proven time and time again to be a more bountiful, long-term strategy. Without building that relationship with customers, brands forfeit the opportunity to leave a lasting impression and give the customer no reason to come back. 
 
Customers change, their interests change, and needs evolve. Brands with weak relationships with their customers tend to not establish meaningful resonance and associations within the lives of their customers and just…fade away.

How to keep your brand alive

There is no secret sauce to keeping your brand alive. There are, however, guidelines that major brands follow to maintain high brand equity, but the gist of it all it… avoid the mistakes of dying/dead brands. 
 
A brand that hopes to stay lively and vibrant in the market needs to be willing to innovate its offering, adapt its brand according to customer feedback, and engage the audience where they want to be engaged.
 
It’s imperative that your brand focuses on its niche, establishes itself, and leaves a lasting impression on your audience. Once your brand equity can stand on its own two legs, that’s when you leverage your brand to expand your breadth and depth of products and services.
 
Most importantly, focus on your customers. Build relationships with your audience to establish yourself a trust-worthy, top-of-mind brand. This is more difficult than just chasing sales, but it will yield you much better results in the long run.

Conclusion

A brand is the collection of all thoughts, feelings, and perceptions your customer has of your business. Brands must build meaningful relationships, build up equity in a specific niche, and adapt to a changing landscape with this in mind. If a brand neglects this, its customers’ next thoughts on the brand may be the last.

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