By Leke Alder
I was reading a book titled “It’s Not the How or the What but the Who” by Claudio Fernandez-Araoz recently and something struck me. In a chapter on the need for checklists, the author referenced how Virginia Apgar developed the Apgar test in 1953. This Apgar test is a checklist that Doctors use to check to determine the viability of babies immediately after birth. This test is still in use around the world today.
As I read this, I was struck again by the concept of brand eroders. Simply put, a brand eroder anything that has the potential to damage a brand over time. Every brand must have a list (or checklist if your will) of these factors (eroders) that must be tracked regularly to ensure that they do not occur. An eroder is anything that can cause stakeholders to be afraid of engaging a brand or level accusations against the brand or doubt its efficacy or capacity. These things must be identified and avoided at all costs! Brand eroders differ from organisation to organisation, business to business, and institution to institution, as no 2 entities are the same. The potential damage brand eroders can do to a brand can be calculated statistically. (This is a topic of another day).
It is interesting to note that brand custodians are quick to focus on promotional and marketing strategies but very few have structures in place to tackle brand eroders. Take a look at brands that have ceased operations or disappeared in the last few years (Enron for example), and you will discover that if a checklist of eroders had been kept and adhered to by the brand’s custodians and management, perhaps these brands may still be around.
What are the factors that have the potential to impact your brand negatively and perhaps destroy it over time if left unchecked? What structures can you put in place to ensure that these things are tracked and controlled? The first step is to generate a checklist of potential factors. What are you waiting for? Get cracking!