September 9, 2015
We all know brands are important, especially to big business. But you can spend millions building a brand only to find that things go wrong.
Take for example Ahamay. They are known internationally for everything from music to motors.
Have you heard of them? Is it a brand you are familiar with?
Ahamay were flying the corporate flag in Portugal when I was there recently.
The only problem was I didn’t recognise them as a huge international brand because they had made one very simple mistake with their branding.
You see their flag was printed so that the writing could be read from either side of the flag – lined flags are much more expensive, so they have gone for the cheap option.
Amahay are in fact Yahama … but only on one side of their flags!. As Yahama they are well recognised. But as Amahay no one really recognises them .. and if they do they laugh.
In marketing we need to look at every situation from various perspectives. How we see it may not be the same as how someone else sees it.
We’ve all made mistakes in marketing, certainly I have. The trick is to spot them before everyone else does.
Finally let me tell you about a succinct strapline that was pointed out to me recently. The competitor of one of my clients were offering the chance to “learn business from the inside”. By this they meant they were providing the opportunities to work in a business and learn from the experience. My client liked the concept until I pointed out that the phrase could be perceived in an unintended way. Being inside means to be in prison, so some people may think this is a training course for people being detained at Her Majesties pleasure (for my non English readers being detained at Her Majesties pleasure means to be in prison until such time as Her Majesty, the Queen, decides you can leave!).
Sometimes our straplines, headlines etc can be read in several ways.
When Lewis Smith from The independent interviewed me recently I reminded him how Rolls Royce allegedly nearly had a similar problem with their choice of words. In the 1960s they were going to name one model the Silver Mist. Eventually they choose Silver Shadow as “mist” in German means manure.