Have you ever witnessed a crime scene? A brand crime that is.
It's easy to find plenty of examples of bad branding over the years. What's surprising is that some of the most successful brands in the world continue to clumsily get involved in some high profile 'kerfuffle' with surprising frequency–the impact of which can have long-lasting consequences on the products or the entire company and employees.
This week we'll share some basic examples of what not to do in terms of branding, because there are too many people out there convinced that this could never happen to them. And, since common sense is the least common of the senses, we hope the list will be extremely helpful to any company planning a potential re-brand or possibly dabbling into some form of advertising for the very first time. Believe it or not, these are real-life examples.
So sit back, relax and enjoy the peace of mind provided by reading these lines in the certainty that it will not be you or your company that will be joining the Bad Branding - Most Wanted list anytime soon. After all, we have you covered with our bulletproof set of tools.
First, a few ad campaigns gone wrong
The most obvious case of bad branding to spring to mind is when a company opts for a logo that just isn’t good enough. Now, of course, logo designs are subjective, but one thing we can all agree on is that logos should let the customers know what the business is all about, or at least make some sort of intentional impression, either by words or imagery, and avoiding any controversial misunderstandings.
Another area where major failures regularly occur are with failed marketing campaigns. These can also be just as harmful when things go terribly wrong.
Here are just three examples that come to mind:
- Pepsi - Remember the advert with Kendall Jenner that Pepsi withdrew after a huge backlash? Of course we all get the Kardashians are a big deal, and marketing through them is bound to attract attention, one must wonder about Pepsi’s decision to tie Kendall in with their piggyback attempt to highlight the #blacklivesmatter movement a couple of years ago. Needless to say, the Twitter-universe went wild. People called out the ridiculous nature of the ad, and Pepsi was forced to issue an official apology.
- H&M came under fire two years ago for an add that featured an African-American child modeling a green sweatshirt that included the slogan "Coolest Monkey in the Jungle.". The scandal went public with accusations of racism all over social media. Customers were outraged, and Twitter users called the company out for its lack of cultural sensitivity.
- Hyundai recently discovered the importance of doing some thorough research when launching a new global product. Their new Kona model had to be hastily renamed just before launch, when potential customers for their new vehicle in Portugal and Brazil were rather put off by the prospect of driving a Hyundai "vagina". After the quick rename, you will surely see some happy (and less embarrassed) Kauai owners on your next visit to Portugal.
5 common ways people make their companies look bad
2. Make sure you use your official company font.
3. Please don't select a wrong shade of color. Ask if there are any colorblind members in your team! Over 10% of males and 3% of females suffer from some degree of colour deficiency.
4. Always opt for a high resolution and clear image so that you can clearly highlight your message.
5. Make sure you and the team have the most up to date brand imagery available.
3 quick solutions to stop brand crimes forever
So after all these brand crimes, some of them probably quite familiar (don't worry your secret is safe within these lines), what's the best way to avoid any of these situations happening to you?
Pickit provides an ecosystem of solutions that will not only prevent you from finding yourself in a brand crime scene but will help you and your team thrive in the complex world that we're living in. How I hear you say?
- To start with, your brand guidelines will always be accessible within the PowerPoint system, so that your team can carry out their work in a fully compliant manner and don't have to lie to you and say that they've read the company's guidelines from that mysterious secret folder...
- Secondly, all your corporate templates can be seamlessly embedded into PowerPoint so you can ensure that your most rogue freestylers are kept fully under control since we are aware that corporate templates are very tricky to adjust and personalize.
- Finally, we provide an effective platform to provide approved and accessible brand assets so that they are always readily available to whoever you are working with.