Seven rules to follow to avoid tanking your brand

Our take: The best way to understand branding is to think of it as simply another word for your organization’s reputation... | ---------------

Recently, Woolworths had to deal with some controversy related to its Valentine’s Day ad campaign, which came under fire for using generic gender stereotypes, resulting in an apology and pulling the advert from its stores.

Then there was Nomuzi Mabena's faked car crash advert, made in partnership with Volkswagen and DriveDry, which caused widespread controversy.

The above examples illustrate a few key points:

  1. Your brand isn't a toy
    Firstly, simply put, your brand is not a toy. You cannot just have fun with it in the name of creativity. Of course, creative execution is needed, but the essence of a brand must be carefully managed. This includes being sensitive to societal opinions that may differ from the ones you embrace.
  2. Branding needs to be consistently managed
    Arguably, the Woolworths Valentine’s campaign failed in part because it was off-brand.

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