Trashing a Brand?Smart or Dumb?
- Apothecary: Flicker Shaver, Dippity-do Styling Gel, Burma-Shave Brushless Cream, Tabu Lipstick
- Foods: Walnettos, Whip 'n Chill Dessert Mix, Horlicks Malted Milk Tablets, B&M Brown Bread in a Can, Dubble Bubble Gum, Ralston Wheat Hot Cereal, Necco Wafers
- Miscellaneous: Glass Magic Dishwasher Powder, Absorbine Jr., Tinkertoys, Princess Phones, Munsingwear
When to Trash a Brand
In The Wall Street Journal of Jan. 18, 2005, Gwendolyn Bounds wrote an article titled "Brands Bearing Name 'Tsunami' Ponder Change."
Takeaway Points to Consider
- Before trashing a brand that has a well-known name and a fine reputation, ask the hard question: "Has the product or service outlived its usefulness or is it the victim of bored, second-rate marketing people?"
- Before trashing a brand, add up the dollars spent on advertising, marketing and PR over the years to build the brand. What will it cost to make its replacement a household name?
- "Brand loyalty cannot be bought. It must be earned."
- What will be the long-term effect of trashing a brand or changing its name? Will AT&T be able to explain why the Cingular brand—its products, the service and the logo—were really lousy, thus insulting the intelligence and acumen of those young customers who believed the sales pitch and bought? How would Cheerioats have sold during the oat bran craze?
- When you trash a brand, how many customers will be orphaned and what is the lifetime value?
- In 1997, a devastating fire destroyed the Oyster Bar, a fixture in New York's Grand Central Station since 1913. New Yorkers had been taking it for granted and there was talk of not refurbishing it. A huge outcry arose and the facility was brought back to its original grandeur. The brand—and its superb food and service—survived. Happiness to me is being alone at the Oyster Bar lunch counter and ordering raw oysters, oyster stew (which is concocted before your very eyes) and a strong beer. Every time I leave the Oyster Bar, I am convinced that I have savored the best of its class in the world. It was nearly abandoned, but revived by consummate professionals who saved the brand and made it stronger than ever.