There could be more, but these could be the major pitfalls when we brand products:
First, losing relevance! Is the product connecting to customers’ needs? If a detergent claims to make white clothes whiter, shouldn’t it be targeted to school going children or business executives? If you see posters of IELTS training outside superstores, how many students do actually visit them to have exposures to such ads? Siemens has air conditioners that circulate vitamin C through their special filters. In our cultural set-up, who sniffs vitamin C out of air? Differentiation is necessary, but who is going to need that? Staying “relevant” means to avoid running out of focus.
Second, focusing too much on sales threshold! Of course, sales are important, but a good branding program makes selling effort superfluous. A strong branding program may often be undermined by short-term sales agenda.
Third, bragging inside the shell! This is a common problem for big brands that would make themselves susceptible to stumble upon new entrants. This is mostly because of being complacent with their already big brother status and overlooking the important trends in the market. I do not need to change because I am already a strong brand— wrong. The competition today is not between the good and the bad brands, but between the good and the better ones. You may simply be outperformed not because you have a poor brand, but because someone else might have designed a better product or business model beyond your expectation. Customers’ delight with a better product or a business model can eventually make a static big brother out of business. It happened in the past, and is still happening. This is why Uber (click to know more), a crowd-sourced taxi service, is making its way against big competitors like Hertz or Avis. Now the big competitors are thinking to adopt similar models in their portfolio.
Now it must be easy to know what not to do in branding!