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Harmful Marketing Strategies Your Brand Should Avoid

It’s easy to get excited over what appears to be a good idea at the time. With an endless string of marketers all competing to get their voice out, any new idea on brand promotion is sometimes good enough for some.

While some brands strike gold with their one-in-a-million ideas, others find disaster with ideas that do more harm than good. Most of the time, the marketing failures that often circulate social media could have been prevented had they given these strategies much thought and planning.

One example of bad marketing was Apple’s collaboration with U2 wherein iTunes users were less ecstatic to find the band’s album automatically downloaded into their playlists. It received such a huge backlash that it’s still being talked about after 2 years.

Even for small businesses it’s still important to be careful when it comes to releasing ads or any kind of promotional activity. So how can you learn from the million-dollar mistakes of other huge corporations?

Over the years we’ve witnessed some really awful marketing mistakes that we think would be best to learn from. Here are some of them:

Inconsistency destroys trust

One of the best examples for this would probably be the latest celebrity feud that’s been plaguing our feed: the Taylor Swift vs Kanye West drama that has become so public we’ve lost track of the celebrities who’ve become involved. Celebrities are brands too so looking at this from a marketing point of view, this could go either way – help both parties sell albums or damage either one of them. For now however, it seems that Swift’s fans feel betrayed about their idol’s true persona.

Lesson: If you’re going to promote an image you’d better make sure that it doesn’t falter in the eyes of your audience. It’s still better if you stay true to your core message and stick with your values as a brand.

Alienating audience members and consumers

Mistakes like this make us cringe all the time. With ads like Victoria’s Secret’s “Perfect Body” that made many of its customers feel ridiculed, it’s hard to believe that this still happens. These past few years we’ve seen a remarkable shift in our views on image and self-acceptance, with brands like Dove and Gillette who continue to promote a positive mentality on image- which was why the controversial VS ad shocked us all.

Being more sensitive to your audience’s expectations can guide you in knowing which direction your marketing strategy should focus on. One surefire way in creating an ad is to find out what makes your target consumers feel good and focusing on that aspect. It’s always best to tread a more positive route than a negative one when it comes to marketing.

Our thoughts are now just one click away from being shared- which makes brands that have disappointing marketing strategies more vulnerable and easier to nitpick. As marketers, we have to be careful with what we show and release which is why it’s always best to think about our steps thoroughly.