Andrew Seth’s comments in “The trouble with facelifts” (MW June 6) seemed to imply that the failure of Persil Power was because its ability to rot clothes was apparent across Europe, rather than being confined to its UK launch. This is surely a prime example of marketers’ disrespect for consumers and demonstrates exactly why they are becoming sensitised to the clumsy ploys of marketing manipulators. Unilever failed in its basic duty to consumers, and to the brand itself, which was to make sure that the product was fit for the job it was claiming to do.
The recent Lotto advertising, rather than choose to address the fact that consumers are confused about the new games and what the lottery now stands for, instead adopted a marketer-bashing campaign, implying that branding is something that can be slotted in somewhere between a long lunch hour and an early evening trip to the pub.
If marketers treat themselves and their brands with such contempt, how can we expect the consumer not to do so as well? The public is looking for trust, integrity and clarity in the brands it buys – as well as fulfilment of the promised product attributes.
Launching or relaunching a brand is never as simple as attending to just one element of the mix. A quick fix in one dimension can often destabilise other parts of the brand make-up, New Coke being a case in point. As long as brands are managed with one-dimensional thinking, there will always be a heavy risk of damaging a reputation that it has taken years to build.
Henrion Ludlow Schmidt