Unfortunate branding

A Case Of Mistaken Branding

Are Your Branding Efforts Being Misinterpreted?

A case of unfortunate branding
Does your branding effort convey more than one meaning? While “Release On Demand” is a clever way to state your company sends out press release on demand, it also implies something else entirely for those receiving a steady stream of male enhancement spam.

A few months ago I signed up to receive emails from a company called Virtual Press Office (VPO) to determine if they would have any value for my clients.  VPO distributes press releases on their site and sends out emails with links to the press releases. After a little research on my own, I had determined there were more beneficial resources at my disposal, and never gave them another thought, especially after never seeing an email from them.

Today, I discovered I have been receiving email from them for quite some time. But, since the branding in the message header did not say VPO or Virtual Press Office, I was missing them. In fact, the branding in the message header on the emails I was receiving indicated to me that what I was receiving was more than likely spam to be circular filed with the Viagra, Cialis, and other male enhancement and performance improving drugs that inundate my inbox on a daily basis. So, a rule was setup in Outlook and I stopped seeing these bothersome emails altogether.

Does Your Branding Have More than One Meaning?

But today, one slipped by the rule for one reason or another. And before I could delete it, I caught a glimpse of the press releases listed in the email. So, I took a closer look. It was then that I realized I had been erroneously sending the emails I purposely signed up for to my spam folder. Yes, apparently for the first time in my life, I WAS supposed to be looking for “Release On Demand,” and it was not telling me about a miracle drug to improve my sexual stamina!

Wow, talk about unfortunate branding. I wonder how they came up with that name, and how many other people mistook them for a steady stream of male performance improving spam as well. I admit that it sounds clever at first (ignoring the other possible interpretation). Branding that that is not only catchy, but also states their purpose, which is sending out press releases on demand, would under normal circumstances be a win-win. But how could they have missed the double entendre? They must have much more robust email filters than I not to know about the other possible meaning. It would be ironic if I’m just one of many who has made this mistake as it would certainly make their efforts rather impotent. Quite the opposite of “Release On Demand.” And unfortunately, this is an instance where not even Viagra can help.

I admit, my web hosting/email provider is probably not as good at fighting spam as they are at accommodating my budget. This probably doesn’t happen to VPO very often, but really, should it happen at all? Just remember,when establishing a brand, it’s very important to think about it form every point of view–even below the belt.

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