12 March 2012 0 Comments

6 routes to marketplace irrelevance

Author: yinkaolaito

Yinka Olaito is happy,excited and passionate Communication specialist, Social Media expert, Trainer and speaker. Yinka Olaito helps brands(Profits and Non-profits)with effective communication and positioning for premium service delivery and returns. Yinka Olaito also has special interest in Development Communication and has consulted for noted UN Agencies. Yinka Olaito is the CCO of Michael Sage Consulting(Communication/digital media), African Child Education Right Initiatives(NGO) and Content Director, Africa Development Talk( online Platform for discussion on Policy, Governance, development across Africa)


Brand failure, causes of brand rejection, causes of brand's failureMarketplace is made up of several dynamics. Brand’s sustainability and relevance is hinged on its ability to understand and work with these dynamics while it last. A Nigerian adage captures this well when it states ‘because the future does not look exactly like today is the reason why the soothsayer consults his oracle every five days’.

Not paying attention to marketplace dynamics is the reason behind the fall of great brands. In our short lifetime here on earth, we have seen great names like Erron, Arthur Anderson and recently Kodak went under. These were great industry leaders which had all the weapons to remain here for more generations to come but they had joined the bandwagon of ‘I was here’. What we have today is ashes of their glowing days. Time was when a brand could buy; quieten the media to cover up stories. The age we are today is too opened to live under such cocoon.

Looking back and with little research, we have come to realise there are major ‘banana peels’ which cause great downfall of promising and leading brands which used to dominate the market in the past. Here are some of them.

Not being on time: Time is of essence. Determinant of market forces of yesterday are no longer that hot today. Each time and generation throws up opportunity which may not be there tomorrow. Every brand that will remain relevant must keep an eye on the changes time brings. By being rigid and stuck to the old way, a brand may be damaging its future chances. Kodak was a photo printing giants. Kodak had opportunity to change with trend for over thirty years but it refused to change with time. Always make the demand time demand from brand’s lifestyle. Not making the change when it is right and due will lead to catastrophe.

Brand inconsistence: Except you belong to few brands which thrive on inconsistency, many brands had lost their market power just because of running from pillar to post trying to find their voice. Not many brands can last longer without a high level adherence to brand values and such stuff that they stand for. Never try to be in every market. That virgin group and P&G had been successful in this does not guarantee a repeat of such feat. Stay where the brand has unique advantage.

Out of sight mindset: In this age, it is shocking to hear many brands still think staying out of sight or remaining anonymous is the best strategy. In this over-communicated world, out of sight is now out of mind. Consistently create and gain credibility for what you stand for will help the brand remain a market force.

Calling the ‘digital agers’ a bluff: We now live in digital age. No brand survives with technology today. In hiring new employees, a good consideration should be given to ‘digital natives’ who can help drive engagement and promote visibility.

Overdependence on the product that sells today: never depend on a single product no matter how profitable that product is. What sells today may not tomorrow.

Promise, lack of strong strategy, understanding of policy and environment: This is really a stamina broker. For a brand to have a good promise and sound paper work without a great strategy and understanding of policy and environment where it operates will become the brand’s undoing. I remembered with nostalgia, Bank PHB in Nigeria. I loved this brand with its foresight, sound paper work and its forward looking and thought provoking philosophy. Every young mind in Nigeria believed this brand owned the future. Today the brand is gone. Though i stand to be corrected, I do think, the brand did not have good grasp of the financial environment, unpredictability of policy makers couple with little leadership issue ran the brand aground today.

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