Bruce’s Blog

Sad To Say, Killer Brands Always Keep Their Promise


Mention the words “killer brand” and a few companies probably come to mind. Apple may top the list for many people but, for others, Nike, Starbucks, Disney or something far more obscure might sit atop the leaderboard.

Number one on my list is Alzheimer’s disease. Unlike the popular brands mentioned above – of which I often indulge – true killer brands, like Alzheimer’s, never break their promise. I’ve learned this the hard way by witnessing the effects of this killer brand on my mother.

Alzheimer’s simple brand promise is to obliterate the memory and other important mental functions – and indeed it does. In a recent 10-minute telephone conversation with my mom, she asked me the same questions over and over again:

Mom: Now where do you live?

Me: I live in Kansas City.

Mom: How long have you lived there?

Me: Nine years now.

Mom: What’s your wife’s name?

Me: Her name is Kelly.

Mom: What are your sons’ names?

Me: Jacob and Ben

Mom: How old are your boys?

Me: 11 and 9

In the not-too-distant future, I expect to field some even tougher questions from my mom, such as:

Mom: Who are you?

Me: I’m your son.

Mom: What’s your name?

Me: My name is Bruce.

Alzheimer’s is getting the best of my mom and living up to its brand promise. Everything I’ve ever heard about this disease is true. Its reputation speaks for itself.

Unfortunately, I’ve also witnessed the effects of other killer brands on friends and loved ones. Prostate cancer decimated Elmer. Parkinson’s disease shattered Aunt Carmine. And other illnesses – like Cystic Fibrosis and depression – are lurking in the lives of others in my circle and holding true to their brand promises as well.

I can only hope and pray that support organizations, pharmaceutical companies and healthcare providers do their best to live up to their brand promises to combat killer brands.

And maybe one day we’ll have a cure for Alzheimer’s disease so people, like my mom, won’t ever have to ask their child: “Who are you?”

Bruce Tieves is an accomplished freelance copywriter and brand aficionado. He specializes in creating buyer interest in products and services for businesses of all sizes.

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