FAILED – MORE FAILED - MOST FAILED?
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Reasons, consequences and early warning signs for the failure of brand projects.

Break a leg. And if not: As is well known, you learn from mistakes. In most cases, however, project failure can be identified in advance and counteracted accordingly.

As part of a multi-method study, Dr. Marc Herz of Kleinundpläcking, together with his colleague Dr. med. Nicco Krezdorn of the Hannover Medical School, identified reasons, consequences and early warning signs for the failure of brand projects. In 2017, the authors conducted an international survey among brand managers (N =221) from 32 countries in which the failure of brand projects was analyzed in detail.

The following questions are answered:

(1) Why do brand projects fail? (2) What happens when brand projects fail? (3) How do you recognize the failure of brand projects at an early stage?

#projectfailure #brandmanagement #projectmanagement

Four reasons why brand projects will fail

  1. Mistakes in project planning: If you won’t think through and plan your projects properly, you will increase the risk of a brand project failing. Not only planning for time, demand and budget plays an important role, but inadequate revision of the project can also be a decisive factor.

  2. Unclear project goals: If the goals in a project are unclear, you are more likely to have problems with your project. Here the obstacles are unclear and unrealistic goals. Constantly changing targets are just as bad. After all, if the project goal is constantly being changed, it is difficult to stay on track.

  3. Critical stakeholder relationships: Basically, if stakeholders of a project don’t understand each other, things are starting to look bad for the success of a project. Poor communication and power struggles among partners not only promote the success of a project, but only have a positive impact on its failure.

  4. Principal-agent problem: Characteristic of the so-called principal-agent problem is that two parties in a project are asymmetrically informed, which significantly facilitates the failure of projects. If one side hides its intention, information, actions and relevant properties of the project, it will turn out to be a problem project faster and is therefore doomed to.

This is fine?

Not really. Because if you are dealing with a brand project that fails or is about to failing, you can expect three negative consequences:

  1. Waste of economic resources: Time is money - this catchphrase becomes reality here. When brand projects fail a lot of effort is wasted, resources have been invested in vain.

  2. Impaired career opportunities: Besides the waste of resources, the effects on the personal level of the responsible project managers are devastating. Anyone who has been involved in a project that didn't work out, won’t seem useful for upcoming marketing activities.

  3. Personal frustration: Inevitably linked to this is the personal frustration of managers from failed brand projects. After all, negative results won’t have a positive effect on one's mood, at least at first.

Reasons, consequences and early warning signs for the failure of brand projects

Keep your eyes peeled during the project

Project managers should not wait until it is too late and the brand project collapses. Damage control is a thing of the past. Early warning signs show when you should be alert and take countermeasures during the project or else you will end up in shambles later.

  1. Advance warning: If there are many similar projects that is often a bad sign for an upcoming project. In addition, possible negative predictions by experts should be taken seriously, these also tend to be a preliminary sign for failure of a future project.

  2. Ongoing warning: In an ongoing project, adjustments of project goals are often a sign of impending failure. Constantly shifting deadlines and changing schedules in an ongoing project are also warning sign that the success of the project is on the brink of failing. Finally, problems among stakeholders are often an early warning sign a project is about to fail.

Be smart don’t fail

You learn from your mistakes - so they say. But it's even better to learn from the mistakes others made. Analyze the reasons why other brand projects have failed, and don't repeat the mistakes. Recognize early warning signs before and during ongoing projects. And if your brand project does threaten to fail, take early precautions against negative consequences.

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