Avoid a brand fail – 5 ways to make sure your brand doesn’t go west

20th January 2020

The iconic Australian retail brand Jeanswest has appointed KPMG as voluntary administrators after announcements were made last week about its collapse. Established in 1972 and employing nearly 1,000 people, the clothing retailer is now looking to restructure or sell.

What is striking about this announcement is that a 48 year old household brand like Jeanswest can be here one day and gone the next. Although KPMG state that Jeanswest will continue to operate while an urgent analysis is conducted.

For any brand or business owner, this kind of news must create a sense of unease. Being well established doesn’t always ensure continued success. Employing hundreds of people doesn’t necessarily improve the situation. Enjoying iconic brand status isn’t enough either. Seemingly no brand or business is 100% safe.

Many factors are involved in a case like this, including the increase in online shopping, increased competition, high costs and changing customer habits.

So what can your brand do to reduce the risk of business failure and how can Angle help?

First let’s look at some common reasons why businesses can fail:

NZBizBuySell lists 5 common reasons why businesses can fail:

  1. Failure to connect with customers
  2. Failure to communicate
  3. Failure to adapt
  4. Failure to manage effectively
  5. Failure to ensure adequate cash reserves

At Angle Ltd, with our branding knowledge, strategic and creative skills, we can help your brand with at least three of the five points above:

1. Connect with customers

Angle Ltd can help you to define who your customers are, understand what they want and establish why they should use your brand, buy your products or services. Branding always puts the customer at the core of everything – after all, a brand exists in your customer’s mind as a set of feelings or emotions connected with your business, product or service.

We can help you with a well conceived brand strategy (including customer insights, brand positioning and value proposition). We can design and develop a unique and relevant brand identity that helps you to stand out, attract attention and drive loyalty and success. We can devise appropriate messaging, communications and marketing campaigns that will go a long way towards helping you connect with your ideal customers.

2. Communicate

No matter how great your products or services are, if no one knows about them success will be a bit of a struggle. That’s why Angle designs, writes and creates excellent brand communications – online, in print, through social media and via exhibitions, events and signage. The more targeted and relevant your marketing, the higher your chances of success. And not forgetting internal communications – the more cohesive and consistent your team’s understanding of your brand, the better they are at being brand champions and conveying positive brand messages and experiences.

3. Adapt

Angle Ltd can help you understand your competitors better – we regularly develop competitor audits for clients and explore brand positioning (where your brand sits in the market or sector in relation to competitors). These exercises help to develop a sound brand strategy and a solid understanding of who is doing what, so you can anticipate and react accordingly. And make changes if necessary.

4. Manage effectively

While Angle can’t promise to make you a better manager, that fact that clients choose to engage with us as brand and communications experts, rather than try and do everything themselves, is a wise move which frees up their time to keep doing what they are best at. And we’ll always aim to educate about good branding along the way.

5. Ensure adequate cash reserves

Of course we have very little direct influence in this matter! But what we can offer is Angle’s non-traditional agency model. This provides distinct advantages including cost, expertise, no hierarchy and no top-heavy teams – just world class people that have all done their ‘big agency’ time. We’ve stripped back the layers so it’s a friendly and down to earth approach that will help your budget go a long way.

Construction brands get demolished

Business failure is obviously not limited to the retail sector – a point that has been highlighted in New Zealand over the past 24 months, where the construction sector has regularly made the headlines. Not least because of a number of high profile business closures including Ebert, Stanly Group, Accent, Arrow and Orange-H.

Building brands that last

Among our varied client list, Angle Ltd works with a number of New Zealand brands in the construction sector and related businesses:

  • Cassidy Construction
  • Kalmar
  • Dunstans
  • Structus
  • Earthco Civil
  • RDT Pacific

The common strengths among these clients are:

  • Great management
  • Stable finances
  • Strong branding and communication

All of these brands have excellent foundations in place, including effective management, a strong financial position and well developed and communicated brands. We help them to connect with their customers effectively, communicate consistently and in a unique, relevant way. A way that will hopefully see them continue to successfully build for many years to come.

Talk to Angle Ltd about branding and communications

If you want to build a strong, competitive brand, contact Angle Limited.

Contact Angle about branding

We are a full service branding agency with a solid track record of branding projects. We deliver the full package of skills that you need to get your brand fighting fit. Find out about our branding services and how we use branding as a powerful business tool or contact us, we’re experts with a down to earth approach.

Rob Holloway is the Owner & Creative Director of Auckland branding agency, Angle Limited. Angle has clients in NZ, Europe & Australia. Our point of difference is our ability to create a point of difference for our customers. We help people grow successful brands by making them stand out, by solving problems, building customer loyalty and driving results.

Read more about the Jeanswest story here in the New Zealand Herald.