The Australian Small Business Blog

Sunday, August 14, 2011

When Branding Backfires

Businesses work hard to create a brand and connect to their target market, but this can sometimes backfire on the business. A perfect example of this was the riots in Britain last week.

A number of stores, chose as their branding, Gangster Chic. One group particularly hit hard during the riots was the JD Sports Chain. One retail expert said:

It has clearly positioned itself as a purveyor of very aspirational product amongst the UK's youth. Curry’s and Comet [both electrical/computer goods stores] got raided because they sell high-value products. But JD was very clearly in their minds as [the place] where they'd get the stuff they aspired to. JD has almost been a victim of its own success. It worked hard to appeal to the youth market and, when the country tipped into lawlessness, it still appealed to that market.

A key part of branding is to appeal to those that are qualified to be your customers. An essential ingredient of qualification is that the market can afford, and be willing to pay for your product. JD Sport seemed to appeal to a market that failed on either one or both of these criteria.

I note that no book stores were trashed.

May Your Business Be - As You Plan It.

Over to You. What do You Think? Post Your Comments Below.

Dr Greg Chapman is the Director of Empower Business Solutions and The Australian Business Coaching Club and is Australia's Leading Advisor on Emerging Businesses and provides Coaching and Consulting advice to Australian Small Business Owners in Marketing & Business Strategies Planning & Systems. He is also the author of The Five Pillars of Guaranteed Business Success and Price: How You Can Charge More Without Losing Sales.

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