Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Remain true. Remain authentic

I was listening to a client this morning describe how concerned they were with a new directive from the company's HQ. As a franchisee it appears they have little choice but to tow-the-line or "experience a hatchet job on their stores"......all appears rather sinister, yet not as sinister as the new directive.

Typical of the epidemic of short-term thinking cursing most UK businesses they have been asked to erm, how best to describe without compromising the libel laws …..exaggerate some of the benefits attached to their products. All in the name of securing a higher spend by the customer. This from a brand which is allegedly proud to be positioned as a 'better value, transparent pricing, impartial advice' to the consumer.

Their short-term thinking stems from their desperation to make more money during these difficult times…..and screw the consequences of customers who eventually realise they’ve been had over and encouraged to buy products they didn’t necessarily need.

This approach will not only do permanent and far-reaching damage to their brand it will see them struggling to retain market share once the recession is over. The old maxim comes to mind ‘It takes a lifetime to build trust and an instant to lose it’.

Brands need to remain true to their values, true to what we have come to expect of them, otherwise they will go the way of many high street casualties who in their desperation to make a fast buck become ‘me too’ …..imitations are rarely attractive or sexy – they are at best boring, at worst, positively dodgy!!