So as your brand relevancy diminishes are you subjecting yourself to phantom brand relevancy: the perception that your brand is still relevant even though it is not? Now many businesses are facing diminished relevancy today and there isn't a lot of hope that they'll bounce back. So what is it that goes on in the mind of the people running these businesses that they refuse to admit their business is fading away? Is it the fact that the USPS still does over a trillion dollars a year even though it's relevancy can't compete with email and text messaging? Is it that newspapers still get away with charging people for subscriptions even when radio is free and the internet delivers the same news a day earlier? Why do these brands refuse to reengineer themselves socially even though they're following in the same steps of greatly diminished brands such as Polaroid or Kodak who became commodities in the age where we now capture and transmit our memories digitally? And what of Microsoft's Bing Search Engine or Zune MP3 player - also rans that are 10 years over the hill before they were even new. Like General Motors chasing that dying aging midwestern audience - only that audience still process images in a way that once gave these businesses the lion's share.
So is it that managers cling to their ideas more tenaciously than their most prized material possessions that prevents them from effecting change? Is that the syndicated knowledge from which they draw insights fails to accurately map the future...or continues to lead them down the path that if they just keep coming to work and doing their thing everything will be allright? Are they playing ostrich and just hoping for a sustained miracle turnaround? Or is it that a few hybrid vehicles, while still a brightspot at General Motors have not been enough to do the trick? Of course I've been preaching this is the flaw in GM's relevancy for years. Before people will respond to a cash for clunkers deal at GM, GM has to establish the bread and butter market currently dominated by Ford, Honda and others. In short, you have to build more quality into your product.
But now I drift from my purpose, to promote comment on phantom brand relevancy syndrom. K-Mart's on the cusp, as is Sears, as is Starbucks as was Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer. One step in the grave and no one's willing to admit it. How do these managers console themselves for one more day that everything is all right?