wasted potential: final remarks

This post concludes the series on brands that have wasted their potentialIn the past few weeks, we covered:

  • GNC — “It’s such a shame because the company has the history, focus, and distribution to be a great brand.
  • Facebook — “There are no obvious or meaningful brand attributes that differentiate it.
  • Dairy Queen — “Recent rebranding efforts have squeezed out much of the endearing old-school essence of the brand.”
  • Vonage — “It’s the classic “boy meets brand, brand over-promises, brand under-delivers, boy tells everyone he knows to avoid brand” cautionary tale.“, and
  • Saturn — “In 1994 people bought Saturn for what it stood for. Today it is just another make to be judged on quality and price alone.

Thanks to my guest contributors who provided provocative insights about how brands that could have been really good ended up failing to live up to their potential.  Their analyses contain great lessons for all brands who may be squandering strong equity or missing opportunities.

And hope for these brands, and others, is not lost — in fact, the following concluding remarks describe how all brands can maximize their potential.  These comments are from Scott Goodson — founder and CEO of StrawberryFrog (the agency behind iconic campaigns such as Coke, Old Navy, Heineken, and the current effort for True North).  The success of his agency speaks to what a talented guy Scott is (and I’m not just saying that because he has been so great to me for so long.)

Scott says, “I would say that any brands that are simply broadcasting to the consumer are not taking advantage of their full potential.  The new battleground is the profusion of media and how to tame and control it, and use it to your advantage to ensure your amazing content actually gets seen by the consumer.  Cultural Movement + Tools = Full Potential.

“I know this is new thinking in the new marketing world that has totally transformed everything, difficult to believe even, but the way things have worked in the past is not way how they can or will work in the future.  The 60 years of advertising that have gone before are not the systems of the future, marketing is today transformed.

“Brands that are taking advantage of their full potential are brands that spark cultural movements, not brands caught in the past.  Today brands can identify an idea on the rise in culture, they can crystallize, lead, curate and sponsor a movement.  Once you have a movement you can do anything in a fragmenting media world.

Thanks for the inspiration, Scott.  I hope this has been an interesting series for everyone and you have learned as much as I have.

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