We have already talked recently about what we have called “empty brands”: brands that are little more than a name, more or less fortunate, and a number of products that vary according to the trend set by the leaders of the sector or the bet, usually late, for the fashion trend.
Mission, vision, values? … no sign. Segmentation, target audience? … not at all. These marks change as the wind blows and shoot at everything that moves.
With this “strategy” they disorient their potential clients, unable to assume a tendency today and tomorrow the opposite. Without added value and without identity, they end up undifferentiated and struggling to sell at a price. Without the slightest self-criticism, they end up simplifying the operation of the market, reducing it to the struggle for price.
Some empty brands get a certain prescription power by “bribing” the merchant on duty with the promise of a greater commercial margin or, worse, gifts for buying a certain volume. However, the final customer only distinguishes two types of purchase: purchase brand, or purchase price. When there is no brand, only the price matters, and here the winner will be the one offering the lowest price.
At this point, the merchant will find it difficult to prescribe a more expensive product and divert the sale towards those brands that offer more margin. In fact, some will see how the sale escapes their hands by putting pressure to try to sell an undifferentiated product more expensive. As in the story of the milkmaid, while speculating with a greater profit, it ends up being left with nothing, because a “much percent” of zero, is still zero.
Despite this, some of these “empty brands” end up believing their own story and come to think that a certain sales figure legitimizes them as a brand.
So, one day, social networks cross their path and get in their heads.
The theory is irresistible: millions of people to send their messages and their “irresistible” products. This, combined with the typical legend of the hardware store of a small town in Michigan that went from selling three hammers a day to billing millions after entering the social network of the moment, precipitated the irruption of the brand in the “social universe”. Without professional or adequate advice, they enter what they believe is a parallel and happy universe, inhabited by beings whose main concern is to use their inexhaustible economic resources buying anything on the Internet.
As expected, the slap of reality is brutal. The sales do not arrive, and the (few) clients or fans, only interact based on draws and, end up disappearing or remaining in a disappointing handful of mercenaries.
One of the reasons is that, of course, nobody wants their profile on social networks, which they have opened to be in contact with friends or people who share their interests, to become a replica of the post office box, which is filled every day unwanted advertising pamphlets, sent indiscriminately.
Another reason is that, when you do not know who you are, what your values are or who your clients are, it is very difficult to have a consistent behavior in social networks. In addition, many of these brands do not even think about talking or interacting with the final customer that, on the other hand, they have never taken too much into account.
And is that any strategy in social networks, and anywhere else, has to start with a defined brand.
As I said before, the customer does not buy products, buy brands. Who is not in the business of brands, is in the business of the price. And, in the business of the price, today it is killed at a price, and tomorrow it dies at a price.