If you’re following Kenneth Cole’s “Brand Suicide”…
Let’s take a look at another aspect of this situation: The Perils of the Personal Brand.
Or, maybe, more accurately, The Perils of the Eponymous Brand.
Kenneth Cole – person, shoe brand, both – may well weather this storm. Maybe they’ll sell some shoes. Maybe Kenneth himself will make a public apology, allow us to bask in the glow.
But when YOU are the brand – Kenneth Cole, Martha Stewart, John Smith Company – what do you do to get out of a situation like this?
If you’re running an Eponymous Brand – if the company is named after you – do your cohorts live the vision?
Can they say stuff on your behalf – like on Twitter – so that this sort of thing doesn’t happen? Can they talk you out of the really bad ideas – like borrowing from a real life-and-death crisis to try to sell your spring collection?
Have you come up with a strategy behind your communications? Or are you throwing proverbial spaghetti against the wall?
If you work for a Personal Brand – do you feel empowered?
Martha Stewart has survived numerous crises – probably because (like, say, Oprah) she’s got the right deputies everywhere – and she set out to build something larger than herself.
But are you in a position where you can tell the boss, “hey, this is a bad idea?”
What do you think? Is building a Personal Brand a bad idea – and an Eponymous Brand an even worse one?