What Not To Do To Set Your Brand On The Path For Success

While some brands seemingly pop up overnight, others seem to lag behind until they eventually fall to the wayside. What do consumer brand success stories have in common? Rather than comparing what they’ve done successfully, it may be more notable to consider what they haven’t done that’s made them successful.

In an interview with Forbes, 40-year retail veteran, Bob Shelton outlined 5 key reasons consumer product launches fail. In summary, they include:

  1. A short-sided growth strategy: Retailers are looking for ways to build the category. Brands that focus too much on stealing market share within the category, rather than a more insightful, long-term strategy around building both the brand and the category tend to be less profitable for retailers. Chobani Greek Yogurt offers a good example of a brand that has successfully built their brand while expanding the category.
  2. Lack of commitment to the brand post-launch: It’s easy to make the case for an initial investment to launch a brand, but marketers often fall into the trap of significantly reducing marketing budgets post-launch, especially two to three years in. It takes time and resources to not only attract new customers, but to actively keep them engaged with the brand.
  3. Reactive retail partners: Working with retail partners who can proactively provide consumer insight as it relates to brands – and, more broadly, the category – is invaluable. It’s important to get advice from retail partners early (prior to launch) and continuously post-launch.
  4. Jumping the gun to launch: By taking time upfront to analyze potential scenarios, it allows brands the ability to react quicker to real-life scenarios post-launch. Setting measurable goals with timelines to manage against offer a way to ensure brands are staying on track so adjustments can be made in real-time, where necessary.
  5. Relaunch for the wrong reasons: The temptation to relaunch a brand or alter brand strategy is understandable when considering only the upside. However, it’s important to look at the reason behind a relaunch.  Test concepts with consumers and retail partners to ensure the change is something that benefits them, not just the brand.
With contributions by Lori Kruger


Brad is an expert in private label and challenger brand food marketing for Barkley, an integrated marketing and advertising agency. He specializes in working with manufacturing-driven food companies that have aspirations to develop a consumer insight-led strategies to help drive innovation and growth.

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