Marketing That Will Kill Your Brand!

Published on May 7, 2010

You know the old saying “if you have nothing nice to say about somebody then say nothing at all”! Well, here’s a new saying: “If you don’t have your facts in order, don’t bother marketing to your audience”! Just like saying something bad can turn people off, so can saying something stupid and untrue in your marketing pieces. It will kill your brand!

Last night I got a letter addressed to me. First problem is it was addressed to my full name which is Ronald. I never use it in business, social or in any settings. On the cover of my book Lead, Sell or Get Out of the Way it says Ron Karr. Right there, they lost me because this letter smelled of being a rotten form letter where the sender knew nothing about me.

But Wait! It gets better. The sender of this letter is the sales rep who sold me my Audi Q7 in 2007. There is a huge punch line here so you’ll want to keep reading. I promise you are going to like this!

In his letter, the sales rep starts with “Happy Anniversary! It’s been three years and no doubt many long and winding roads since you drove away from our dealership in your AUDI Q7. We sincerely hope you are enjoying every stretch of asphalt, every twist and turn in this remarkable vehicle.” The letter goes on to ask for referrals and to let him know of if he can be of service to me.

The letter was dated May 3rd!

Here’s the punch line! I turned in my AUDI Q7 on April 16th to this very same sales rep. He took the car in and sent the papers to the leasing company. He knows I bought a competitor’s car. And yet on May 3rd he sends me a letter hoping I am still enjoying the AUDI experience!
Maybe this is a clue on why I left AUDI to begin with. Their customer service experience in the service dept did not justify the value of high prices. Obviously the sales experience was equally pathetic.

What we have here is someone who learned a marketing tactic of sending letters with the customer’s name on it to appear they are customized to the client. This is a useless tactic if you know nothing about your customer to begin with. Especially your existing customers! With this vain attempt in showing he cared about me he has literally destroyed any value I had left for the AUDI Brand and for his own personal brand.

Many of you reading this probably would never do such a stupid and senseless act. But are you doing minor things that in the end are going against the brand image you are trying to build and market?

Yesterday I had lunch with a client at a restaurant that is doing great but in a spot the last 4 owners failed miserably. I wondered why this guy was so successful. My client responded that any restaurant is only as good as the last meal served. In other words, each and every interaction has to be supportive of the brand you are building. If not, your customers will not come back again.

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