Lessons from the Biggest Marketing Mistakes Ever done

Lessons from the Biggest Marketing Mistakes Ever

The aim of marketing is to attract people to your business. There are many ways it can be done but it’s easy to make mistakes. Even some of the biggest companies have made huge errors that have damaged their brand. 

Here we take a look at some of the biggest marketing mistakes ever but importantly, how you can learn from them. 

Don’t reinvent the wheel

While a business should always be looking forward and adapting with the times, it’s also important to know what your customer wants. You shouldn’t abandon core products which are integral to your business.

A great example of this was Coca Cola who introduced ‘New Coke’ in 1985. It was met with widespread criticism from customers and the old recipe was reintroduced just three months later.

Coca Cola instead rebranded their classic coke and instead focused on new products rather than messing with their most important one. If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it. 

Don’t force things onto your customers 

There are many lessons to be learned from Apple putting U2’s album on everyone’s iPhones. On the face of it, the gesture was a nice thing to do. No doubt both parties thought that they were doing something great.

Many customers, though, hated it. Music is very personal and here a company had forced content onto users without their permission. It highlighted how much control a phone company has over your personal device.

You should always be careful about forcing things onto your customers, not everyone will appreciate a free gift. 

Know your audience

It’s always vital to know your audience and how everything you do will be perceived. Procter and Gamble has two good examples, both of which happened in Japan. One was an advert which showed an ad where a husband walks in on his wife having a bath. Another was where they had packaging of a stork delivering diapers.

In the first, it’s seen as bad manners to disregard your wife’s privacy in Japan and in the second, their culture has no knowledge of the myth of storks delivering babies.

It shows that you should always do your research before marketing. If you don’t, then not only will it not make an impact but you run the risk of offending the very people you were aiming to promote to.

Don’t ruin your brand

Your brand is very important to a business and you need to protect it. Most of the biggest brands have either never changed their logo or have only ever made minimal alterations to it. One company that abused their brand was GAP. 

In October 2010 they decided to drop their old logo and try to do something much more modern. The result was a huge backlash as customers hated the new design. It lasted less than a week and GAP reverted back to their original logo, which it still uses today.

It’s very easy to make your own logo, which you can do for free here. Once you have one made, make sure you treat it with respect. Customers will care about it and be loyal to it. Only change it with huge market research and plenty of caution. 

Crosscheck your content (and own up to mistakes)

In 2013, three people were tragically killed and hundreds injured in a terrorist attack at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. In 2017, Adidas sent an email with the subject line of “Congrats, you survived the Boston Marathon!”

It was no doubt an innocent mistake referencing how difficult any marathon can be but it was incredibly insensitive. Surely it would not have been sent if the content had been checked and proofread properly.

The situation was incredibly embarrassing for Adidas but their response showed another lesson. They responded quickly with a profuse apology. If you do make a mistake, own up to it as soon as possible and give a full apology without any excuses. People will forgive you.

Writing Credits :Glen Holmes

August 26, 2021

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