Written by Lucia Paulis

Risky marketing: what happens when brands take risks?

What does it mean to take a risk in marketing?

Traditionally, the thought of taking a risk has always been tied up with negative connotations – a fear of loss, danger, or doing something you shouldn’t. However, isn’t this a pessimistic approach born out of apprehension to be involved in something undiscovered?

What about if we told you a risk isn’t just something that is detrimental. Of course, with every risk there is the potential of damaging your social status, financial reputation and customer loyalty. But we’re talking about calculated risks; having a strategy, being confident in your bold decisions, challenging perceptions and essentially, creating marketing that is memorable.

Which is why when you get it right, taking a risk can be defining, exciting and hugely significant for positioning your brand – whether that be re-evaluating your image or building on a brand that is already reputable.

This month in our bda podcast, we discuss what makes marketing risky, the brilliant impact it can have on a brand but also how to reduce those risks that don’t always go to plan.

We look at everything from the high-end Harvey Nichols’ controversial Try to Contain Your Excitement campaign to outdoor retailer REI’s anti-Black Friday #OptOutside success, not to mention the utter outrage at Apple’s decision to generously giveaway U2’s album with the iPhone 6 – yes, free music really can cause mayhem.

Whether it flies or it’s a flop, we question: isn’t all exposure good exposure? That’s the risk you need to take…

Next time: We look at inspirational marketing –  where we find inspiration for our amazing ideas.

If you would like to download or subscribe to the bda podcast, you can find the iTunes link here.