Brand Erosion Featured Image

Brand Erosion: Its Causes and How to Prevent It

Consumers today have more choices than ever before. More marketplaces, more products, and certainly more brands. This is great for your average shopper, but it adds a layer of complexity and an additional challenge for brands. It’s easy for consumers to switch from one favorite to another, and it doesn’t take much for public perception in a brand to decrease. 

This is brand erosion. A brand has a unique identity at its creation, something that makes it unique in a sea of competitors. Brand erosion is when there is a loss of value in that brand name and a decrease in perceived value among consumers. It’s just not the same anymore. 

What causes brand erosion? And what can you do to prevent brand erosion? Let’s find out. 

The Causes of Brand Erosion  

Brand erosion is caused by several factors, including: 

Inconsistent Brand Image 

How you perceive your brand is very different than how consumers perceive it. A big part of that is in your brand image. A brand image is everything with your brand name or logo on it. That includes the logo itself, of course, as well as any marketing or sales collateral you’ve developed and shared with the public, language used by your marketing and sales teams, any advertisements you run, and much more.  

Brand image can erode over time with the creation of new assets and any old materials—or bad habits—that stick around. So, just because you have an updated, proper way of communicating your brand internally doesn’t mean that message reaches the ears of your target audience. 

It’s equally important to provide an accurate, consistent experience to potential customers and existing customers alike. 

Lack of Cross-Department Communication 

Does your left hand know what the right hand is doing? A lack of cross-departmental communication can create issues with your brand. For example, your sales team must know if your marketing team has created a new logo. Both departments must know if your product team has renamed an existing product or rolled out a new feature. Otherwise, consumers will get mixed messages and will be confused as to who you are and what you sell. 

Poor Customer Service 

Your actions are just as important to your overall brand image as any marketing and sales collateral. This is apparent by looking at customer service. There are countless stories of a bad customer service experience going viral and turning into a PR nightmare, and any such interaction, no matter how small, has the potential to erode brand value.  

It’s equally important to provide an accurate, consistent experience to potential customers and existing customers alike. 

Fluctuating Price Position 

Another common cause of brand erosion is price. Specifically, your price position relative to your competitors and your products’ prices across multiple online marketplaces.  

Price is closely tied to brand value. For instance, brands like Apple and Tesla are viewed as premium and can price their products accordingly. Seeing an Apple or Tesla product for sale from an authorized reseller at surprisingly low prices can give the wrong impression of the brands. Where this creates challenges for everyday brands is throughout the reseller network, as merchants can price too low or too high, out-of-line with your brand’s desired price position.

Mannequins in store window

How to Prevent Brand Erosion 

Worried about brand erosion at your company? The following tips can help you reduce and prevent brand erosion: 

Control Price Position 

As stated above, price position can be a major cause of brand erosion. Therefore, make sure you have a firm grasp on your prices across all marketplaces. Creating minimum advertised price (MAP) policies will help, as you can track MAP violators and quickly identify areas where your prices are working against your brand value. 

You can also refer to your competitive price intelligence to better understand your price position. This will help you understand whether your prices accurately represent your brand. 

Improve Communication 

Communication is another cause of brand erosion, both internally and externally. Look for any silos that exist within your company, especially between the marketing and sales departments. Those two teams need to communicate clearly and understand exactly how your brand must be positioned within the marketplace. 

It’s important to review customer service communication, too. Make sure customers can get their questions and concerns resolved in a reasonable time and that there are no user experience issues that could leave bad tastes in your customers’ mouths. 

Merchants can price too low or too high, out-of-line with your brand’s desired price position.

Create a cohesive brand image 

Lastly, you’ll need to take control of every instance of your brand in the market. Again, this includes every time your logo is used, specific marketing collateral, the presentations used by your sales team, and much more.  

Perform a company-wide audit of your branded materials to identify weaknesses. Then, update everything that needs updating. Furthermore, you’ll want to check on any authorized resellers or partners to ensure they’re speaking and marketing your brand accurately. This step is even more important if you’ve created a new logo or updated your brand guidelines recently. This is when outdated branding could erode your brand value. 

Conclusion 

Your brand image will evolve and grow over time. However, that means it’ll need some love every now and then. Identifying and fixing brand erosion is not a one-time deal. Instead, it’s a constant process that requires your company to have a good grasp on how your company is represented, from logos to pricing and everything in between. 

Matt Ellsworth

Matt is the Content Marketing Manager at Wiser, the leading provider of actionable data for better decisions. He holds a BA from Salem State University.

Need better data to inform your decisions?

Schedule a Consult

Leave a Comment