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Big Brand Strategy Mistakes – Are You Guilty of This One?

It’s no secret that behind every successful brand is a successful brand strategy.  Plenty of hard work goes in to developing a blockbuster brand strategy.  From research and goalsetting to budgets and workflow planning, each piece has an important role to play.

So why is it that some brand strategies fail?

Despite doing all the hard work, plenty of brands are guilty of tuning out to one very important piece of the brand strategy symphony.  And it’s a simple one – FEEDBACK!

So why exactly is this one simple thing so important it deserves to be written into your band’s backstage rider?


The Reviews Are In!

When we talk about feedback, we’re not talking about problems with your lead guitarist’s amp.

We’re talking about the feedback people who interact with your brand share with you. Think of your business as a rock band and these people are your audience.  Their feedback is your band’s review.  You want your business/band to be successful right?  So, you need to tune in to your audience because they’re the ones buying tickets to your shows, streaming your music and wearing your merch.

And who is in your audience?  It’s everyone who experiences your brand.  From customers and clients to staff and senior stakeholders, they’re all your audience.  And from their experience, each will have a view of your brand.

It might be as simple as ‘Hey I like their name’ to ‘I hate this ad so much I’m going to throw my TV out the window!!’

The Crowd Is Loud – Who Do I Listen To?

Everyone who experiences your brand is going to have feedback.  The good, and the not-so-good.  That’s why in brand strategy, it is important to know the right feedback to listen to.

We call this group your target audience.  These are the people who you need to be listening to most closely. Their opinion matters, because they’re the number one fans using and engaging with your product, as well as recommending it to friends.

When we create brand strategies, we always ensure your brand starts with a clear set of Buyer Personas that deep dive into your target audience.  We cover the who, what, when, where, why, and (most importantly) how will they “emotionally connect” with your brand.

Tune In or Turn Off?

Turning a deaf ear to this feedback can be a big problem for your brand strategy.  Why?  Because if you’re not listening, you’re likely to be missing opportunities for improvement.

Brand growth and long-term success can be held back by a strategy that isn’t brave enough to face its reviews (both good and bad) and use these to level up its performance.

We’re not saying that your brand strategy has to be tweaked every time you get a piece of feedback (remember, it’s important to keep your show consistent)!

It’s about knowing which feedback to listen to and tune in to.  And then?  Taking action in the right way.

Play to Your Audience

Do you think Taylor Swift would change up her next album based on feedback from German techno fans saying she needs more BPMs?   Nope, because this is feedback from outside her target audience.

If, however, there was a callout from Swifties for a new product that aligned with her brand – for example, a ‘Taylor-made’ red lipstick – we bet 100% that the clever team behind Tay Tay’s brand strategy would be dialling up MAC Cosmetics for some serious chats. (I’m sure there is an article on some of her brand launches or summaries

Knowing your target audience makes it easy to decide what feedback will help shape your next stadium tour (and what gets buried into a B-side track list).

 Out of Tune with Your Audience (Uh-Oh)

Let’s say now you’ve done the hard work, and your band is topping all the charts.  You’re confident.  You know what you’re doing, and your fans love you!  Who needs to listen to any more feedback?

Careful – no matter how successful your brand is, your strategy can’t tune out to audience feedback. As fast as they took off, a customer can get distracted very easily with all the while noise in the world.

The Terrible Tale of Twitter

Take “the-brand-formerly-known-as-Twitter” for example.  Purchased by Elon Musk in October 2022 for $44 billion, the future was looking bright for this successful social media platform!

Ironically, this platform created for communicating stopped listening.  Feedback from its most important audience – Twitter’s employees, internal stakeholders and users – went ignored.

Instead, changes to brand strategy were directed by its most senior stakeholder.

It’s no surprise that Twitter’s audience disengaged with the brand and fell away.

Today? The company first bought for $44 billion has fallen in value by more than 70%. Ouch.

Ready to Rock Your Audience?

So, it’s pretty clear that not listening to your audience’s feedback can cause big problems for your brand strategy.

It’s one of the biggest mistakes the BRANDiT team see when called in to rescue a once-successful brand, that’s now floundering.

Opportunities to grow your business come from listening to your audience. Tuning in to your audience’s feedback also makes it easy to identify areas where you can improve.

What are your customers saying?  Let’s find out with some Stakeholder Research or a comprehensive Market Analysis. And if you are serious about brand management and building a brand worth money on your P&L, a Brand Audit needs to be a bi-yearly activity at a minimum.

Don’t hold back your business’s success.  Listen to feedback and your brand strategy will rock your audience!