JebBush.com Brand Mistake Reminds Us to Focus on Branding

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reputation managementOwn your assets — that’s the bottom line. As seen in the news recently, Donald Trump supporters saw an opportunity to bully another candidate by making Jeb Bush’s life more difficult . What did they do? They bought www.JebBush.com and redirected it to www.DonaldTrump.com, a rookie mistake for the Jeb Bush campaign. Talk about a branding mistake — Jeb pretty much lost control of his brand by overlooking this critical asset.

In today’s online world, owning assets related to your brand is no longer  just a good idea or strongly suggested; it’s a necessity.  The first place many consumers go for information is the Internet. The website is used to search for products to purchase, as well as to validate the decision to purchase from a particular company. Owning your website and any relevant URLs is important.

Before Jeb Bush resigned from the Presidential Campaign, a visit to JebBush.com revealed only information on Donald Trump. Some people suggested that this wasn’t a big deal. But think about it, even the movie companies make sure they own the domain name for the movie, as well as the Facebook page name and other assets.  The same is true for authors of popular books.

There are a number of ways that the JebBush.com URL could  have be utilized:

1.      A secondary source of platform information

2.      A personal blog focused on Bush and his activities and interests outside of the campaign

3.      A redirect to www.Jeb2016.com, the actual campaign website

The point is this — even if it is your name, it isn’t an asset unless you own it.

How did www.JebBush.com get overlooked?  Good question!  Marketing companies make mistakes every day.  Consider the Marco Rubio campaign video.  The opening scene shows footage of the Vancouver harbor along with a voice over that says, “It’s morning again in America.” Looks like the Rubio campaign needs a geography lesson and the Bush campaign needs to pay more attention to brand assets.

On Feb. 20, Jeb Bush dropped out of the 2016 Presidential campaign race — did this one mistake cause his downfall? Certainly not, some think that Jeb Bush campaigned much too soon after his brother George W. Bush, and that America wasn’t ready for another Bush in the White House. However, did this situation help? Again, certainly not. It reflects poorly on his name, campaign, staff and public persona. It says, “I or my team isn’t savvy, informed or strategic enough to buy my name and put it to good use.” When you’re a public facing candidate running for a major office, all of these things need to be taken into consideration.

An example of this would be the expansion of gLTD (generic top level domains) such as .sucks. A disgruntled customer can buy Comcast.Sucks, Google.Sucks or Apple.Sucks. Your mortal enemy can buy YourName.sucks. When people are disgruntled or upset, they can go to great lengths for revenge or payback at the expense of someone else’s reputation.

If you don’t own your name, someone else will, and likely does already. Unfortunately, they probably have it for all the wrong reasons. Take action to secure your assets. Research and purchase relevant URLs and turn them into brand advocate pages. Create blogs with your name. Create social media profiles with your business name. Create or claim review sites such as Yelp and the Yellow Pages. Then, once these assets are created or claimed, create quality content to show your best face to the public. Public relations and reputation management are both growing practices today. With easy access to the Internet, today’s consumer can hide behind a fake or anonymous profile to create negative reviews and negative online assets to hurt companies that have upset them.  The moral of the story? Don’t be like Jeb, think ahead.

At mRELEVANCE, LLC, this is what we do best. We run reputation management programs for clients who need it; not because their products are bad, but because pleasing 100 percent of people 100 percent of the time is not possible. When things “hit the fan,” so to speak, it’s nice to have a plan in place to mitigate the crisis. Contact us for more information or call 770-383-3360 to find out how mRELEVANCE can help your company stay on the cutting edge.