• About Tom Dougherty

    Tom Dougherty CEO, Stealing Share

    Tom Dougherty is the President and CEO of Stealing Share, Inc., and has helped national and global brands such as Lexus, IKEA and Tide steal market share over his 25-year career.

    An often-quoted source on business and brands, he has been featured recently by the New York Times and CNN, discussing topics ranging from television to Apple to airlines.

    Tom also regularly speaks at conferences as a keynote and break-out speaker. To find out more on inviting him to your speaking engagement and view a video of him speaking, click here.

    You can also reach him via email attomd@stealingshare.com.

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POM Wonderful’s brand isn’t what it seems

I live among a family of health nuts.

Whether they’re seeking the benefits of taking a long hike, going on a juice fast or contemplating a vegetarian diet, my family is keen when it comes to the matters of treating your body well.

So, in my desire to be one of the group, I tend to enjoy seeking out what may tickle the nourishment needs of my flesh and blood. Needless to say, when I noticed POM Wonderful hitting the news of late, I was intrigued. But as I dug deeper, my intrigue quickly turned sour.

For those of you unfamiliar with this “Super Juice” (as its site claims), POM Wonderful is made with a pomegranate base and sports a medley of blends.

Here is the problem. POM Wonderful has made powerful claims that its juice can be a risk reducer for heart disease, prostate cancer and impotence before having the evidence to back those claims. Turns out, as the New York Times reported, “an administrative law judge has issued a cease and desist order… [and that] The order will remain in effect for the next 20 years.” Adding, “[the order] was issued after a Federal Trade Commission complaint filed two years earlier which contending that POM Wonderful had engaged in false and misleading advertising.”

And so, POM Wonderful is now in dire need of rebranding as it has found themselves in a precarious position.

Why?

Because POM Wonderful is a healthy alternative as well as being beneficial for your body. The problem is that it has tarnished its image by making unsubstantiated claims and now have very little breathing room to prosper — and it should prosper as few juices have such rich levels of natural antioxidants.

There are several reasons to rebrand. The most obvious one is to grow market share. But one of them is to shed a negative image because the equity in the current brand has been tainted. You don’t want to overreact, but it’s something POM Wonderful should consider when caught in this net. On the other end of the health spectrum, the cigarette industry has actually done a pretty good job of rebranding to shed its image. So has AIG and others.

(The one that hasn’t: Radio Shack. “Radio” certainly constituted an old technology in terms of meaning, but rebranding to “The Shack” wasn’t the solution.)

My advice. When building your brand, never attempt to be what you are not, but embrace what it is that you are. POM Wonderful has attempted to be what it is not and now its brand is paying the price.

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