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Strategic Branding & the Perils of the Uninformed

Branding in today’s competitive world extends beyond logos and slogans. It’s now a necessity to use strategic branding and decision-making to shape how a company is perceived. A well-executed branding strategy can lead to unparalleled success, while a haphazard approach can spell doom. In this blog, we will explore the dangers of uninformed branding, supported by data-driven insights and real-world examples. These cautionary tales remind companies of the invaluable lessons learned and the need for more strategic branding.

Lack of Clarity Leads to Confusion


Insight

According to a study by Edelman, 51% of consumers prioritize trust in a brand before purchasing. Without a clear brand identity, customer trust in a company will likely diminish.

Example

In 2010, the iconic clothing retailer Gap faced public outcry and confusion when introducing a new logo, deviating significantly from its well-established branding. Gap had to revert to its original logo within a week due to the negative reception.

Lesson

The case of Gap highlights the importance of defining core values, mission, and target audience when developing a brand. A clear and consistent brand identity serves as the foundation for building trust.

Inauthenticity Breeds Distrust


Insight

According to a study by Cohn & Wolfe, 87% of consumers indicated they would consider purchasing a product from a company that championed an issue they cared about.

Example

 In 2017, Pepsi stumbled into a public relations quagmire with a controversial commercial starring Kendall Jenner. The ad appeared to trivialize vital social justice issues, and Pepsi was swiftly accused of insensitivity and attempting to profit from a matter of grave importance.

Lesson

The Pepsi debacle is a stark reminder that authenticity is the lifeblood of trust. Genuine advocacy for issues resonates with consumers, while inauthentic attempts can tarnish a brand’s reputation irreparably.

Ignoring Market Research Fosters Misunderstandings 


Insight

According to a survey by Nielsen, 59% of consumers prefer to purchase new products from brands they are already familiar with.

Example

The Bic incident serves as a cautionary tale in this realm. Bic’s attempt to introduce the “Bic for Her” pens faced ridicule and criticism for perpetuating gender stereotypes. This disastrous misalignment with its target audience highlights the need for thorough market research.

Lesson

Thorough market research plays a critical role in brand launches. Understanding the intricacies of your target audience and market dynamics can be the difference between a successful launch and an embarrassing flop.

Inconsistent Branding Undermines Trust


Insight

 Lucidpress and Demand Metric collaborated to reveal that consistent branding across all platforms can lead to a remarkable revenue increase of up to 23%.

Example

Yahoo’s ever-changing logo over the years confused its users, raising doubts about its stability and identity.

Lesson

The lesson from Yahoo is clear—establishing and adhering to consistent brand guidelines is essential. Consistency fosters a coherent and recognizable brand image, ultimately building consumer trust.


When it comes to branding and business in general, companies that heed these lessons and adopt more strategic decision-making are better equipped to navigate the competitive landscape. Informed, authentic, and consistent branding isn’t just a path to success; it’s also a shield against the perils that await those who venture into the unknown unprepared.