POM Wonderful isn’t what it seems

Tom Dougherty, CEO – Stealing Share

22 May 2012

Or it just needs to live up to its promise

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. Which is why I sought out POM Wonderful.

“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.”

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.

POM WonderfulFor 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.”

 

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. That’s called brand repair. 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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