Brand meltdown — when a once iconic brand loses all loyalty, value and warm fuzzy feelings from former customers.
Take VW for example. I was a VW kid — my family always had them. The Quantum was my first car (named Raul). My husband was also a loyal VW driver. We were the ultimate people wagon couple.
Until the new line arrived in the late 1990s with the reintroduction of the Beetle. Everything fell apart, entire systems failed on brand new cars, service techs couldn’t keep up, dealers wouldn’t give loaner cars but couldn’t get customers in for weeks.
So in one year, several generations of good will and admiration for a brand was lost. Poof.
And over a decade later I won’t go back. Because any company that produces such a terrible product is focused on a narrow, penny-pinching, greed-driven business model. One that doesn’t include the customer’s experience.
And customers want and deserve a quality relationship that is reliable and worth their trust.
Short-term profit rules in band meltdown, but long-term damage is done. Let that be a lesson to all you major brand managers reading this (haha)!