One of immutable law in marketing is the law of perception. It means minds don’t change often and when a mind has been made up it’s very difficult to change.
Unfortunately, in the world of marketing and branding, this is one of the most “favorite” law to be violated.
KFC is renowned with its slogan “finger lickin’ good”.This pos phrase become one of the best-known catchphrases of the 20th century. After more than 50 years, KFC is replacing its this slogan by “So good’. The pos phrase emerged in focus groups, when lapsed customers tasted the product and said, “It’s so good.”. As explained by KFC, they want to be viewed as an environmentally friendly brand and stay away from unhealthy image of a fast food chain. Martin Shuker, managing director of KFC UK and Ireland, said: “We’re excited to be launching So Good, because it’s much more than just a new slogan. It’s about becoming better at everything we do, including our great tasting food, the work we do with our people, and the way we operate in the local community.”. Naturally, fast-food brands are associated with an unhealthy food. MC Donalds has tried for years but they failed to ”kill” this perception. Now KFC is in turn to go head-to-head with the battle that is likely to be predictable.
Established in 1989, Chinese brand Li Ning became the market leader in the segment of medium-class sport-wares in China. Recently in 2010, Li Ning changed its brand identity and repositioned itself as a premium brand to justify its higher pricing policy rolled out in metropolitan cities like Beijing and Shanghai. Market responded very negatively. In contrary to constant yearly 30% growth rate, its turnover sharply dropped and its share price decreased by 30%. Evidently, Li Ning brand failed to change its brand image of becoming “premium” since Nike and Adidas have possessed this word in the mind of customers. In this practice, Li Ning has tried in vain to realize its slogan “Everything is possible”.
There are a number of similar cases elsewhere. And the curious question is why many brands are willing jumpt into the fire? This is a metter of congruence between actual image (brand performance itself) and perceived image (outside-in view of customer). A brand is born to have a position in the ladder of customer mind. Since minds are persistent that is prudent for a brand to dig on benefits they are given rather jumpt to others.
That is very truth as “Casablanca” song says
You must remember this
A kiss is just a kiss, a sigh is just a sigh.
The fundamental things apply
As time goes by
How about your brand? do you know what is a single word your customer always use to talk a bout your brand? if you have a positive one, you must grab it and never get rid of this brand priceless asset.
In branding, a change may be encouraging & rewarding but not for minds perception.
Nguyen Duc Son
Brand Strategy Director – Richard Moore Associates