Sometimes memes don’t help your brand; that said, don’t inspire harmful memes by doing stupid things to your own brand. In other words, don’t pull a Jeb Bush.
Let me point out right away that this is not a political post. Target Marketing is in no way for or against any presidential candidate. What we do care about is what lessons marketers can learn from the mistakes candidates make. To that end, we bring you the fiasco that is JebBush.com.
I typed JebBush.com into my Web browser on Tuesday afternoon and landed on DonaldJTrump.com.
“Last November, Bush failed to pay his renewal on the browser name, and someone in the Trump camp noticed and swooped in with a bid,” according to Tuesday’s NewStatesman. “Now, the site immediately redirects you to Trump’s main campaign website.”
Actually, I thought it took a long time to redirect. But that’s a tangent.
Here’s how marketers can learn from this redirection:
Step 1. Renew Your Domain. Seriously. Make it someone’s job, put a reminder on the calendar, tie a string around your finger. Something.
Step 2. Renew Quickly. Even though the JebBush.com redirect to Trump’s site went viral this week, reports show that the incident actually happened in December. Also, if there’s nothing you can do about it, at least address the matter when it goes viral. Although it won’t stop your harshest critics from saying something nasty, it may stop the more run-of-the-mill jabs, like this one:
Step 3. Watch Out for the Competition. Trump pounced. Marketers may know how this feels when another brand squats on a site. Chances are, that brand won’t bother redirecting from your name, but your opportunity to have that URL is still gone.
Step 4. Grab Up Similar Domains. JebBushForPresident.net doesn’t redirect to Trump’s site, but it doesn’t direct anywhere good for Jeb’s brand, either. (I’m not even going to show a screenshot of this site. It’s mean.)
Step 5. Avoid Constant Rebranding. Overly Attached Girlfriend meme may have said it best: “Who’s Jeb?” Is Jeb! Jeb? Or is Jeb “Jeb can fix it” or “Jeb 2016” — or something else entirely? Who are you, marketers? Do consumers know?
Can marketers name a brand doing something this dumb?
Please respond in the comments section below.