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By John Stanton, Contributing Editor | 06/27/2005
There is so much discussion these days about brands. Some business magazines have written about the end of brands as we know them. Others claim brands are one of the most important assets a company has. If you ask most food executives what is their most important marketing activity, it is usually brand building. Yet, when you look at the activities they call brand building it is often brand killing.
The soliloquies by executives at team meetings about serving the consumer and adding value for the consumer are inspiring, but the decisions by these same executives are often quite the opposite. The push for immediate sales, cost cutting and profits often mean the consumer is neglected or ignored. Myopic executives fail to recognize the relationship between the consumerís trust in brands and increased sales. Destroying a brand to save the company is irresponsible.
Let me acknowledge that many food executives understand and agree with me but because of corporate pressures they have no other choice. Also, I believe no executive in his or her right mind one day announces he can solve the companyís current problems by destroying its brands.
In fact, because no one admits it, the signs of brand killing are very subtle. The lethal decisions are often couched in terms of doing the right thing for the company and even doing the right thing for the brand. There are however, some clues that may indicate whether your company is on the path of brand killing.
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