Cosby, Comcast, and credit unions: The biggest brand debacles of 2015

There was no shortage of brand debacles in 2015, and the year isn’t even over yet! From McDonalds, to Bill Cosby there are brand lessons abound for Credit Unions to follow the age old advice of “learn from someone else’s mistakes.”

For example, with the reboot of the creepy Hamburglar and abrupt cancellation of the “Lovin’ Beats Hatin” campaign McDonalds is learning that you can’t fix a product problem with polished marketing. Often credit unions have turned to my team for marketing assistance, only to be disappointed to find that they don’t have a marketing problem, they have much larger issues that range from unmotivated and untrained loan officers to dysfunction and confusion in the C-Suite. There’s no amount of marketing that can fix those problems, and our team isn’t willing to accept money to do the impossible.

Bill Cosby’s personal brand was among the most valuable in Hollywood, landing him in 2011 a spot in the Advertising Hall of Fame. We all know what happened to the former “Amercia’s Dad” this year. Cosby learned that just because you think you got away with it doesn’t mean it won’t come back to bite you at some point. Sometimes we think our credit union can get away with skimping on member service or pulling a fast one with banking porn (attractive offers that lure people in, only to disappoint.) While neither instance is as serious as the stunts that Cosby pulled, they can be and at some point will be fatal to your brand.

continue reading »