How to damage your brand image beyond redemption.

This whole story comes down to the fact that you are your brand. Braun in this case have undone themselves with their New Zealand service.

You use your toothbrush a lot. Twice a day if you are a good person in regards to tooth care. The Braun toothbrushes come with some great features like timing, pressure sensitivity, digital displays etc. There is this thing that has always bugged me - the cost of the toothbrush heads. That is one of the typical scenarios like cheap printers and rip off toner. But these toothbrushes for the more top tier models are worth hundreds of dollars - as much a decent laser printer these days. So in that space of small consumer goods worth anywhere from $99-$399 we don't want them to be disposable items like printers have become.

When the toothbrush does not hold it's charge for as long, and dies mid brush on two bars of juice - what do you do? If you are like me you look up "replacement battery" for your model of toothbrush. Then the penny drops a bit for me then - they take Ni-MH batteries. This is an older technology which suffers from a shorter life due to the memory effect. So with that in mind you should never charge your Braun toothbrush before it is nearly dead if it has an Ni-MH battery. 

So that was a revelation but a solvable problem - so I contacted the local Braun distributor and got through to their help line and this was their response which for me killed any respect I have for this brand:

  • I described my problem and due to the research I had done then asked about battery replacement.
  • The assistant then said the "power packs" in those toothbrushes are not replaceable.
  • They offer "free servicing" to check for issues - on products they can not fix at that point by saying:
    • We can service your item and if it is deffective and outside warranty we can suggest a replacement product for you.
  • This is where I pushed back:
    • "So you can not replace the battery?" I say
    • "It's not a battery" says the assistant repeatedly as we discuss
  • So please look below....

So it is a battery, just a special type of battery that's soldered to the logic board. 

I took it upon myself to do this, you can get the replacement batteries easily online landed here in New Zealand for around $25, and all you need is a bit of electronics skill - the guides are out there for you to follow. YouTube has a lot of them of course. So no need to post them here.

So what this means and what has killed the Braun brand for me is they appear to:

  • Lie and deceive.
  • Dupe customers to re-buy.
  • Price-hike components.
  • Use outdated battery technologies for their own gain.

It's a sad day when these values come to the fore for a company. And it is these actions that have hurt the brand for me. So this is another example where how the logo does not show values - the actions attach values.