For cool new brands, Black Friday is definitely not cool

Naming no names (sorry), but have you noticed just how many companies go from being cool and disruptive startups to boring corporates in two years or even less. I am thinking of a sports wear company that took the world by storm but just announced its Black Friday campaign. What the hell happened to a brand that one minute was the latest must-have to suddenly discounting?

And a well-known beer company has done the same thing; the founder’s visionary pronouncements simply do not fit in with the poorly thought-through advertising campaigns. Well to me anyway. Maybe most people don’t care about this mismatch. Except I think they do.

There are many reasons, some of them very prosaic. For instance, the founder who fronts the business and talks about changing the game, may well employ a marketing director who has come from another company that routinely discounted around major events and seasons. Innocent enough no doubt and the company may give this mismatch no thought until it is pointed out by customers who quickly move on.

Now of course, not everyone cares about this or is even aware of it, but plenty of people do. Brands talk about the importance of authenticity and we believe them, so it is even more disappointing when they betray it. In another time and place long past, none of this would matter but today, consumers are much more heavily invested emotionally in their brands, often with slavish devotion one would normally expect to see on the football pitch.

Having said which, fans are still devoted to Manchester City even after being asked to pay £100 for the latest strip. So maybe I am wrong, but it grates to see cool brands become boring in such a short time. I for one have already moved on.

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