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How to Ruin Your Brand, Your Business, and Your Career: The 13 Worst Marketing Mistakes, Part 1

by M. P. Friedman  |  
July 6, 2010
  |  18,133 views

This article originally addressed the seven worst marketing mistakes. But seven wasn't nearly enough. The list grew until it reached an unlucky 13. Since mistakes are discovered all the time, please think of this article as a work in progress.

1. "We'll make it up in volume"

Well, no, you won't. Volume helps absorb fixed costs, but low margin is low margin. It dilutes your entire financial picture, it infuriates your CFO or banker, and it generally fails.

Back in the early '80s, Procter & Gamble's Beauty Care business had a high cost structure. P&G thought it could fix the problem with volume.

Its launch of Ivory Shampoo and Conditioner as a value brand, supported by the category's first-ever $1 coupons, was the biggest introduction in hair-care history.


You couldn't walk into any store in the country without feeling dwarfed by the massive displays (88 cents for 16 oz. bottles!). At some retailers, you could walk out with a couple of bottles without paying a cent and without getting arrested!

P&G got its volume.

But its variable costs soared. Value brands need to keep delivering low price, and once you've taught consumers that your product is worth 88 cents, or nothing, they're not going to pay more. P&G found it needed to keep dropping $1 coupons to keep up the volume, and that ate up the thin margins.


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M. P. Friedman is founder and principal of FastGrowth Advisors (www.fastgrowth.biz), a Boulder, Colo.-based consulting and coaching firm. He tweets as @MPFriedman and blogs at AccelerateNow.biz. Reach him via mark@fastgrowth.biz

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Comments

  • by Tara Tue Jul 6, 2010 via web

    Great article.

  • by M. P. Friedman Thu Jul 8, 2010 via web

    Thanks, Tara! I appreciate the support. Please see new blog and articles on fastgrowth.biz/blog.

    -Mark

  • by Sammy Fri Jul 9, 2010 via web

    Gold...Nothing new, but people make the same mistake over, and over and over......Build strategies based on survival rather than lasting growth and leave some one else to pick up the pieces..

  • by Elaine Fogel Fri Jul 9, 2010 via web

    Good article, Mark!

  • by M. P. Friedman Fri Jul 9, 2010 via web

    Sammy, Elaine - thanks much! I look forward to your comments on Part 2.

    Mark

  • by Manasi Shah Wed Jul 14, 2010 via web

    Great article..interesting insights..can't wait for the second part..is it out already??..

  • by M. P. Friedman Wed Jul 14, 2010 via web

    Manasi - part 2 came out this week. Part 3 will probably be published next week. These articles are excerpted from a slightly longer e-book that will be on my site as free download sometime in August.

    Mark

  • by naveen sharma Sun Jul 25, 2010 via web

    thanks i learn lots of things after reading this

  • by R Badum Tue Jul 27, 2010 via web

    Refreshing. Thanks

  • by henrydes Sat Aug 28, 2010 via web

    What a practical and nice way of thnking and putting things up! Excellent.!!

  • by Webmaster Wed Oct 6, 2010 via web

    I love this article. Well done

  • by Rumaizon Sat Nov 6, 2010 via web

    This is refreshing! I'm already hungry for Part 2.

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