Dealing with branding failure: Inspiration from the Fifth Discipline (part I)

Your last advertisement was a flop. Your new product features got lots of boos from your customers. New discount scheme seems to be not so attractive to customers. You feel like to pull your hair or bang your head against your office wall. There might be better alternative to deal with this than feeling creepy about it.

Before comforting anybody or trying to fix things, the first mistake that most marketing managers would do is to find out whom to “blame”. Now, look at the facts. This is true that the branding efforts failed, this is true that some people are responsible for it, this is also true that this failure could have been avoided. Based on all these “truths”, what is wrong if we can pinpoint the scope of responsibility and fix those people? First, fixing this issue seems easy. Blaming is easy, pointing fingers is easy, firing people is easy, cleaning hands is easy! Great, problem solved.

Unfortunately, this traditional approach of finding responsibility and fixing people will not work in the long run, and definitely not for a “learning” organization. The concept of learning organization refers to a type of organization that acquires knowledge and adapts to fast paced innovation to survive and grow in a changing competitive environment. Learning organization does this by creating a culture of critical thinking, risk taking, allowing mistakes, learning from experience and/or experiment, and effective knowledge management through acquisition and dissemination of knowledge across the organization for inclusion into tactical and strategic decision-making.

This whole concept of “learning organization” has been revamped and revolutionized by Peter Senge, in his book published in the ‘90s titled “the Fifth Discipline”. In the next post, we hope to highlight on how the concepts and methods by Peter Senge may help prevent failures in branding.

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About 1mmarketing

Working as Associate Professor, School of Business, United International University, Bangladesh; a North-American graduate, with doctoral studies from UUM, Malaysia; cherishing a wide-view of the world, with multiple interests in culture, people, traveling, and specifically marketing science. I have a colorful and diversified background with a blend of corporate experience, research, consulting, training, public speaking and teaching. I love to write about marketing issues that affect our lives, and talk about its direction that would promote the greatest human welfare.
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