Have you noticed that there are some brands that the marketing/advertising trade press + bloggers just love to hate? They are brands that operate with a bullseye on their back – seems like they can’t do many things right. Alternately, there are brands that are seemingly bulletproof and can do no wrong, even if they back a step away from "doing no evil."
I’ve run this idea by a few people; Brad Brodigan at Biz360 felt that there’s some sort of critical mass/industry presence involved. Joe Chernov at BzzAgent pointed an anti-establishment quality of bulletproof brands.
Who has the bullseye?
- Wal-Mart comes to mind, ironic when compared to Target
- Dell vs. Apple
- AOL vs. Google
Bulletproof brands: Starbucks, JetBlue, Nike.
I think there’s another aspect in brand strategy – low cost, mass brands seem to attract the bullseye instead of high-margin, "premium" brands.
Maybe it’s better to have a bullseye than the alternative – to just be ignored. I think this is where Brad’s "critical mass" idea comes in – too big to be ignored but widely accessible, so easily targeted for criticism.
Of course not all "bullseyed" brands are blameless – they’ve certainly taken their lumps for recent mistakes. But would the backlash have been as bad if they weren’t in the market position they’re in? Chicken or Egg?