Brand Complacency. Don’t Get Left Behind.

Brand Complacency. Don’t Get Left Behind.

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There’s never been a worse time for a brand to rest on its laurels. We’ve gone through over a decade of stagnating wages, austerity and now Brexit uncertainty. We live in a time of unprecedented and accelerating innovation and now everyone has a voice and a platform.

What does all of this mean? Well, in short, you can’t just be a big brand and expect that to be enough. Let’s take a quick whistle-stop tour of recent failures to illustrate this point.

Blockbuster video

Remember going there on a Saturday night? It was actually pretty exciting, more fun than just looking through the menu on Netflix, but leaving the house? When you don’t have to? Plus, the cost of two rentals from a video shop would cover a month’s subscription on a streaming service.


I seem to remember MFI actually being pretty terrible. Wobbly wardrobes and dodgy desks were in every home because we had no other choice. Then along came IKEA with stylish, modern furniture that was actually good quality if you weren’t just opting for the cheapest thing in the shop. MFI just couldn’t keep up.


Giant retail park bookstores: if you’re going to buy a book from a soulless behemoth, you might as well just ask them to deliver it to you the next day, and so Amazon sent them under. Waterstones were close to going the same way, but we need at least one physical retailer selling books, so all locations were renovated to bring back that quiet romance of the book shop after years of neglect, and passionate book-loving staff were given the power to curate their own collections. This was enough to turn the corner.

There are sadly many more tales of woe. HMV won’t last forever, the likes of Spotify and natural causes will see to that. Jessops’ attempted diversification couldn’t keep up with smartphone cameras and Google Photos. Tesco are clearly struggling as more people turn to the cheaper options of Aldi and Lidl. At least they’re trying though – I haven’t been to a Jack’s yet, but I’d give it a go. Dreams (beds), Focus (DIY), Past Times (chintzy tat), all crushed as austerity hit consumers realised they could live without spending their money there.

As older generations die out, more and more traditional businesses will go with them – newspapers, pubs, jewellers. It’s rough out there, and it may get worse before it gets better.

Should we end on a positive?

Carlsberg, the gassy giant, has recently admitted that it’s probably not the best beer in the world. How refreshingly honest. Too many people, including me, are bored of mass-produced lager and are more interested in small-batch, craft beer with fun labels and nice stories involving beards and a railway arch. Carlsberg claim to have “lost our way. We focused on brewing quantity, not quality; we became one of the cheapest, not the best”. So, they’ve re-brewed from the ground up, updated packaging, glassware and everything else, even reducing their plastic use by half.

This is a perfect example of not being complacent, responding to consumer trends and fighting to stay relevant.

Will it work? Probably.

In need of some refreshing ideas? Or a drink maybe? Get in touch to see what Peppermint Soda can do for your brand.