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"Brand Drift" and How to Avoid It

Growing up in Charleston, W.V. one of my favorite restaurants to eat at was Bennigan’s. The Irish pub-themed restaurant featured one of my all-time favorite sandwiches, the iconic Monte Crisco. However, as the restaurant industry in Charleston began to expand and evolve, I noticed the popularity of Bennigan’s begin to decrease. Loyal patrons were heading elsewhere. There was a sudden surge of family-owned restaurants and local pubs offering live entertainment. Chain restaurants were quickly decreasing in popularity.

Bennigan’s failed to reinvent itself losing relevance in the restaurant industry. It was no surprise when I read that the restaurant declared Chapter 7 bankruptcy in 2008. According to Bennigan’s president and CEO, the once iconic restaurant suffered a “brand drift”, which happens when a once popular brand moves away from the many elements that made it successful in the first place.

All industries can learn from Bennigan’s story and their below turnaround strategy:

1.) Clearly determine your mission, vision, strategy, tactics and culture. Before assembling teams, strategies and tactics, you must set a solid mission and vision statement. Initiative development is also critical to the achievement of your mission, vision and financial objectives for your brand.

2.) Build an A+ Team. The most important and critical characteristic to look for in an employee is ATTITUDE. You cannot train attitude, force someone to smile, or make people have enthusiasm for your brand. Find employees that not only meet expectations, but exceed them.

3.) Go ABCD. Go “Above and Beyond the Call of Duty” for your clients. A top down approach needs to be taken when it comes to this. Everyone from the President to the person who answers the phones needs to take this approach when it comes to dealing with clients. Recognize and reward this behavior at your firm. It will be contagious!

4.) Leverage neighborhood marketing. Neighborhood marketing is a system that concentrates on building your business from the inside out, all within a five- to 10-minute drive from your company’s front door. Practice getting outside and introducing yourself and your company to the people and businesses within a ten-mile radius of you. Go out of your way to make emotional connections with your “neighbors.” This approach will pay off in the long run.

If you have any questions on this topic or would like to hear how the latest media, marketing and technology strategies can help grow your law firm, contact an experienced Fort Lauderdale public relations firm at (954) 376-3683. Also serving Central Florida and surrounding areas at (407) 982-1707.