Focus on your Brand Positioning and avoid Failing hard!
McDonalds Branding Fail! #RonaldMcDonald
Ronald McDonald- The clown that has been the mascot of biggest Fast food Chain in the world, McDonald since 1960’s came under fire recently on twitter and it shows how McDonalds is failing at their Brand Positioning.
There are a lot of people who have begun an initiative against Mc Donald, which has been recently criticised for increasing the child obesity in the US.
Ronald Brand Lagging Behind in the Race
Again, with all the Vegan and Vegetarian movement catching on, there has been a lot of angst against these fast food chains that have a major portion of their menu that serves non-vegetarian food.
The poor Ronald had to bear the brunt of the disgruntled unapproving public when it took on to twitter in its made-over Avatar.
What went wrong?
Almost everything about the Twitter campaign went wrong. It was a huge branding mistake by the fast food Giant to get Ronald Mc Donald on twitter. Twitter is an open platform and not an ideal place to begin the branding exercises.
Haven’t we seen celebrities posting and then withdrawing their comments with an embarrassing excuse like “My account was hacked”. Members of public also tend to take to networks like twitter to vent out their bitterness quite blatantly.
To get a taste, just take a look at the nasty and derogatory comments that are left by so many of them in the accounts of these “poor” celebrities and known figures. Besides Ronald was a little late in joining the twitter brigade, all the suitable handles for him were already taken!
Damage Control & Takeaways
McDonald after experiencing the backlash rescued Ronald McDonald by removing the iconic Mascot of their brand from Twitter. The re-branding and beginning of another marketing strategy was done on Instagram.
However, the negative propaganda definitely attracted public’s eye and was a major embarrassment for McDonald. It also came at a very wrong time when they are already struggling against the allegation of fatty and unhealthy food being served by them to the future citizens of the world.
A Much Needed Twist in the Marketing Strategy
Going forward, this hugely successful and popular fast food Major must market the best of what their food has to offer. The fast food served at McDonald’s world over is their strongest statement after all.
Another aspect of McDonald that needs to be flashed is philanthropic initiatives and programmes that they run through their Ronald McDonald Mascot.
Understanding the audience/ customers and platforms that will help in marketing McDonald in the best possible way must be undertaken. Affirming and re-affirming the tagline and the mascot would be a great way to show some solidarity towards the Ronald Mc Donald.
One branding disaster can probably not hurt this major food corporation but repeat of such mistakes can spoil the brand name as it is.
The need of the hour is to divert the attention of the public towards more “showcasable” side of McDonald. For example – the menu, the makeover of Ronald McDonald can make it to center stage of the marketing and branding projects.
Brand Marketing and Paying Attention
Establishing a brand is a long and arduous process. To be a recognized and respected brand, you need to build up your reputation, be consistent, and create good connections with customers or consumers. The biggest brands that we know today didn’t just get to where they are now because of luck or mere opportunity. These companies had to withstand the test of time, bounce back from bad products, survive trying periods, deal with an ever increasing amount of competition, constantly come up with new innovations to meet demands, and many more challenges.
In order to be a recognized brand, you need one very important thing – attention. It’s one thing that people are aware of a company’s existence and what it does or sells. Having consumers’ undivided attention so that they can truly focus and understand what a company can do for them, turning them into potential customers is another matter.
In today’s world, advertising is so common and widespread that sometimes ads can be downright annoying. You encounter billboard ads virtually everywhere. You see ads being played again and again on television. You see ads all over the Internet. Ads even keep popping up on mobile games and apps.
Another factor that can affect people’s attention is the sheer number of products available in any market. Take mobile phones, for example. Unless you’re totally into high-tech stuff, you’d probably just go for a trusted brand or go with what everybody else is getting rather than give yourself a headache trying to decide among all available options.
Given these factors, it’s difficult to really pay attention to any one ad. Unless we’re looking for something specific, our tendency is just to skim through if not ignore most ads.
There’s definitely more to advertising than creating a fantastic billboard or awesome graphics, or composing a catchy jingle. How do you actually get people’s attention to ensure that the intended message of the ad gets through? There are so many factors to consider when you want potential customers to take notice. You not only need creativity to come up with an effective ad, but some science involved with it as well.
The reality is that not everyone is cut out to produce effective ads that can command attention at will, which is why a lot of businesses pay for the needed exposure to get the establishment of their brands underway. The question is whether that’s enough of a reason to shell out more cash. Do businesses really have to pay for attention? Are the benefits be worth the investment?
Benefits of Paying for Attention
High probability of success rate for ads
There’s some science as well as creativity involved in getting attention. People in the advertising industry know what they’re doing. If you want a high probability of success, unless you trust yourself enough to do advertising yourself, then leave it to the professionals.
With more and more ads coming up everyday, you’re going to need all the help you can get to be able to keep up with your competition.
Better financial returns
Companies that advertise more have the advantage. The more attention you draw, the more potential for expanding your customer base, the better your financial returns will be. That should be more than enough reason to justify the added cost.
More operational freedom
Delegating the task of advertising to someone else gives a business more opportunities to focus on its own operations and maintain optimal standards.
Paying for brand recognition to get that much needed attention may at times seem risky given the fast pace of this new era. But all the same, improving one’s chances of success is never a bad thing.
Branding is For Everyone, Including Small Businesses
Branding is considered one of the most important and crucial aspects of any company or business. Good branding is typically viewed as something that only large and well-known corporations are capable of doing and achieving. That’s quite a misconception because branding is for everyone, even for small business ventures.
While it is true that branding requires a huge chunk of the company’s budget, it doesn’t really need to be that expensive. The incorrect notion that good branding is achievable only by established companies causes small ventures and start-ups to only dream and hope of conducting branding. That should not be because small businesses can definitely do their own branding which can give them a major edge in increasingly competitive markets.
A brand, to put it in another light, is a company’s promise to its customers. It is the corporation’s way of telling their clients what they can expect from their services and products. The brand also differentiates what the company is offering in comparison to its competitors. It is derived from who you are, what you want your company to be, and who people perceive you and your company to be. Here are a few tips to help you and your small business with branding:
Have a logo that is easily recognizable.
Your logo is the foundation of your brand and it is one of the most valuable elements. It should be one that is easily and immediately recognized by the crowd. It is extremely important to have a logo that is an outstanding and catchy design. While it is a fact that large companies spend thousands of dollars to hire a distinguished design agency to create their logo, small ventures don’t need to do the same. There are a lot of smart and talented freelancers online who can design and create a highly recognizable logo for a cheaper price.
Bear in mind that social media presence is important and necessary.
Large companies invest a lot of time, and money, on social media. Small ventures can do the same. Updating statuses, posting interesting topics related to the company on social media platforms as well as engaging with your customers or audience can do wonders for your branding.
Enhancing your client’s experience is a must.
Ensuring that your clients have a wonderful experience while interacting with your company is crucial to building your brand. Building brand loyalty can be easier and quicker when you offer and deliver irresistible and fascinating experiences for your customers. If you are wondering how to do this, think of yourself as a customer and think of how you want to be treated. Established companies may be great at offering compelling experiences to their customers, but small ventures should not be intimidated because they can do the same.
Your involvement in networking as well as your persistence in it is one great way of building your brand slowly but surely. Be consistent in attending local meeting and events. While you are there, boast a little about your business and how it is special and uniquely different from other businesses. Make sure that you bring your company’s branded call cards.
Small businesses should not be afraid and intimidated of how large and established companies advertise and market their products and services because in their own little ways, they can build their brand too. After all, branding is for everyone, even for small ventures.
Do You Understand the ROI of Branding?
Why is branding an important part of establishing an organization? To answer this question, a Dutch agency represented by the Kingdom of Netherland’s Embassy in India were invited by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) to be part of a seminar about Return on Investment (ROI) in Branding.
Importance of Branding and Brand Positioning
The main purpose of this collaboration was to educate Indian organizations about the importance of branding. H.E. Alphonsus Stoelinga, the Ambassador to India from the Kingdom of Netherlands explained that branding plays an important role in shaping any organization. It helps the company gain recognition from diverse customer groups on various platforms.
The Ambassador further explained that the brand of a company is their national and international identity. To demonstrate this better, he explained that if your company has an established brand name, people all around are going to know a lot about you, even before meeting you. Therefore, if your brand is powerful enough, your road to success will be effortless.
The Fault in India’s Approach to Branding
Founder and CEO of Brand Dialogue, Willem Woudenberg directly addressed the faults of Indian brands. He stated that in India, people don’t see much of a difference between advertising and branding and often end up mixing the two different concepts.
Woudenberg said that, branding in India is considered to be a part of sales and is approached as a short-term aim. He says that despite the fact that major Indian brands receive massive national recognition, they have minimal international recognition and that their branding strategy is at fault for this problem.
Advantages of Branding and Positioning a Brand
A crisp and clear branding strategy provides multiple benefits for an organization.
- It helps the organization gain recognition amongst consumer groups. Since consumers have a psychological tendency to purchase products from familiar names, perfect branding helps the organization become a trusted name.
- In today’s extremely competitive world, branding sets your organization apart from the other competitors in the market. Your branding strategy should be such that it sets you apart from the million others on a global platform.
- The right branding strategy is an excellent way to promote the DNA of your organization. It helps consumers understand what your business is about, how is it different from others and why you should pick it, instead of the million others in the market.
- Other benefits of branding are that it informs a customer about your products, creates a trusted relationship between the buyer and seller and most importantly, clearly explains your business value.
Talks on Branding by Established Businessmen
All these factors were discussed at the importance of RIO in Branding seminar by businessmen like Paul Stork, Director of Fabrique, who spoke about the importance of design in branding, Loe Limpens, partner and Chief Creative Officer of Yellow Dress Retail who spoke about private label branding, and Rik Riezenbos, who demonstrated the importance of ‘Branding as a Function of Positioning’.
Note-worthy Indian Speakers and Brands Present
A number of established Indian businessmen joined their Dutch partners to speak about RIO in branding. CEO of Brands of Desire, Saurabh Uboweja, spoke from India’s perspective and stated that the country needs to move from an uncertain to a revolutionary approach on branding. Director of Wolf Olins FZ LLC, Zia Patel, discussed that brands can be strengthened with assistance from different management parts.
Other notable members present were Head of Retail and FMCG Division at FICCI, Shilpa Gupta and Rajiv Batra, group-head of Corporate Affairs at Hindustan Unilever Limited. Some of the notable brands present were JTC Tea, Benetton India, GMR and SRL among others at this seminar on understanding the RIO of Branding.
Important Branding Lesson from Ratan Tata
Ratan Tata, one of the most successful Indian businessmen of all time and former chairman Tata Group, has revealed an important branding lesson after admitting to mistakes being made in the marketing for the Nano car brand. Labeling the car as “cheap” was, in Tata’s eyes, a clear error as it led to a negative public perception of the car that resulted in disappointing sales. The Chairman Emeritus of Tata Sonshas made a bold move in admitting his mistakes, but this knowledge will prove valuable to businessmen all around the world who seek to follow in the footsteps of one of India’s business icons.
Tata made the claims at a recent talk he was giving at the Great Lakes Institute of Management. The students in attendance were evidently intrigued as he described the mistake of labeling the car as “cheap” rather than “affordable”. Naturally, Tata explained, the idea of an affordable car is more attractive than a cheap one. The latter evokes associations with low quality and poor production values, while the former suggest a connection with families and individuals on restricted budgets.
Tata explained how the Nano was intended to “reach out to people” and that the marketing behind the car was meant to support this idea. The businessman suggested that the “cheap” labeling was meant to entice people with lower incomes into feeling that the company was thinking of them. However, the branding unfortunately become associated with more negative images that resulted in people shying away from Nano cars in general. Nevertheless, Tata maintains that the Nano launch was particularly successful and that the brand of cars is still doing well in spite of this mistake.
This success did come at a cost however, as Tata explained that the production factory for the Nano cars had to be relocated after waves of criticism were directed at the company by various detractors. Tata questions the fairness of this criticism but accepted it nonetheless. It took an extra year for the Nano launch to arrive after the factory was forced to shift states. Still, when the launch finally came, the Nano brand proved to be popular with many people and the cars should have a bright future ahead of them.
During the talk, Tata also praised the current state of Indian education, comparing it to the exciting times in the sixties and seventies in America. Since leaving his post as chairman of that Tata Group in 2012, Tata has invested in a wide variety of startups and sees plenty of potential for the future. Evidently, the businessmen and women he supports will be keen to avoid emulating the mistakes made with the Nano car brand. The branding lesson he learned the hard way will clearly provide vital knowledge for future successes all around the world of business. Marketing graduates and enthusiasts will all be able to learn something from this story and will hope to avoid a similar situation in their own professional careers or when positioning a Brand.