Brand Revitalisation: 6 Vital Signs For Evaluating If It’s Time to Revitalise Your Brand
A brand is an important asset for a company and like everything else with a life cycle, eventually needs brand revitalisation. It can give the company’s products or services pricing power, build customer loyalty, help establish sales relationships, attract and retain top talent and generate a stronger sense of purpose for all its primary customers and employees alike.
Just like the human body, a brand may seem unchanging but is in fact a living, breathing entity. It can start to look old, or in poor health. It can be sick. There are tell tale signs that help to signal when a brand is starting to fade, lose relevance or struggle to appeal to its target customers.
Here we’re sharing some vital signs to help you evaluate where your brand sits in its life cycle and whether now is the right time to revitalise or refresh your brand.
6 Vital Signs for Identifying If It’s Time to Revitalise Your Brand
1. Brand Revitalisation Can Help When Your Brand Loses Uniqueness and Pricing Power
One critical role of branding strategy is to differentiate your product or service from competitors in the marketplace. So if your brand lacks genuine perceived uniqueness, it is failing to do this. If you don’t give your customers a compelling reason to buy they’ll default to price based decisions and possibly buy from your competitors.
For some discretionary categories, the sale will simply be lost altogether. At any one moment, lots of brands lack uniqueness. Sometimes, a brand has never been unique. At other times, the flattery of competitor imitation means that a successful brand suddenly finds that it no longer looks as distinct as it did before.
Brand revitalisation can help you find new, compelling ways to help potential customers understand what is different about your brand versus the competition.
It can also help you understand the key elements of the brand purpose, vision, mission, values, promise and story, which as well as helping in communications can help you identify a product roadmap for future development.
Related: How to Use Brand Values to Drive Unwavering Customer Trust and Commitment
A case study is the dairy brand Cravendale. For most consumers, milk seems like an undifferentiated commodity. That is one reason why dairy farmers struggle to control much pricing power.
Related: Why Do I Need A Brand? I’ve Got A Great Product and a Logo
Cravendale found a way to stand out in this crowd, by using a filtering technology and ownable tone of voice, as seen in this video.
This has helped them to stand apart in the milk aisle in shops. Once consumers think differently about your brand, the pricing comparison link to the rest of the category is weakened and you have more permission to command a premium price.
We know that sometimes it’s a struggle to build a brand strategy that really engages your ideal customers effectively so we’ve developed three different ways of working with us to help you build your brand, depending on your preferences, so if you’d like us to:
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- Empower you to build your brand – check out the Persona Brand Building Blueprint™ Mastermind here. This is a two-day intensive where you work on your brand with us codifying and mapping out your brand strategy for business growth. Alternatively, join our half-day Branding Accelerator Masterclass for a fast-injection of brand building essentials. Ask about our Personal and Corporate Leadership Brand Alignment Masterclass or the Persona 7-Figure Business Building & Brand Strategy Mastermind
- Want a DIY solution? check out our how to build a brand eprogramme here and our how to audit your brand yourself eprogramme here
2. Struggling to Generate Communication Ideas can Mean Brand Revitalisation is Required
Sometimes you may find it difficult to generate communication ideas for your brand. This might manifest itself in advertising copy which gets low uniqueness scores in testing, or not being able to come up with digital advertising ideas that are distinctive. But it can also mean that at a simple level, such as explaining what is good about your brand at a networking event or dinner party, you find yourself struggling for words.
A strong brand with good brand strategy and well developed brand architecture will always lend itself to powerful communication. Struggling to generate communication ideas can be a sign that it is time for a brand health check. Brand revitalisation may be in order.
Consider as an example the directory enquiries market. After deregulation, it had low barriers to entry and potentially highly lucrative. That meant that many companies entered the market. However, most of them have not produced strong brand strategies or advertising which is well remembered. An exception is 118 118. By crafting their brand carefully, they have enabled a consistent stream of communications for over a decade.
With videos like these below they have managed to produce instantly recognisable, brand building communication year after year even for a largely undifferentiated product.
Related: Use Humour in Branding to Create Strong Emotional Bonds so You Increase Sales
In the business to business space, the same applies. Brewing giant AB Inbev isn’t a memorable name around which to build communications for customers such as bars and retail chains. Therefore the U.K. business of AB Inbev has repositioned itself as “Budweiser Brewing Group”. This isn’t exactly a rebrand – the “B” in AB Inbev stood for Budweiser. But by emphasising this recognisable brand which allows easier communication, the brand expects it will be “more recognisable”.
Related: What’s In A Brand Name? Lessons Learned From 5 Brands Who Made A Change
3. Your Category is a Lot More Crowded than Before Resulting in The Need for Brand Revitalisation
When not many suppliers provide a product or service, branding doesn’t have such a huge comparative role required to influence customer choice. However, as a category becomes more crowded, it is more challenging for any given company to win over a customer. In that situation, brand is a crucial differentiator. If you find that your marketplace has become crowded, it is a sign that it may be time to consider revitalising your brand to help it stand out from your competitors.
Think about the case of the drinks brand Innocent. When they launched, they were a pioneer in the smoothie market with a playful, upbeat tone of voice. But rapidly other brands noticed Innocent’s success and moved into the smoothie market, often using a similarly simple, positive branding strategy.
Innocent revitalised their brand by promoting elements of it which helped them stand out, for example fostering engagement amongst older lonely people. By getting them to knit little hats to put on Innocent bottles, as part of the campaign seen in this video, they were able to communicate their brand revitalisation with brand packaging instore in a unique way.
Related: How to Use Brand Activism to Mobilize Your Customers
Are you a business leader, manager or entrepreneur who wants to re-evaluate, revitalise or build your brand strategy so you can have a brand vital enough to increase your sales? Are you curious about how to build or scale a highly successful standout brand? Join one of our branding workshops because they empower you to build your brand, enhance customer experience, expand your market impact and create higher perceived value so you can command a premium.
In fact, the Persona Brand Building Blueprint™ Mastermind is all about fast-tracking you, your brand and your business through the brand building, brand strategy process using big-brand know-how with proven systems that get results so you can grow your business faster and more effectively.
If you want a tailor-made solution specifically for your brand then we also provide inhouse bespoke Persona Brand Building Blueprint™ Intensives working with you and your team so you can grow your business faster and more profitably. Contact us to discover more [email protected] or +353 1 8322724
4. Brand Revitalisation Can be Very Effective if You’re Not Getting Enough New Customers
A fall off in new customer acquisition can be a sign that your brand is in trouble. Unfortunately, this can sometimes take time to notice. If you have a loyal existing user base, it can be years before you realise that your business continuity is being driven by repeat business without new customers joining the franchise. That is fine in the short term, but to survive over the long term a brand needs to be recruiting and retaining new customers.
Related: Rebrand or Refresh? That is the Question
A case study of the risk of not revitalising a brand is the Yellow Pages. The directory market was shrinking due to competition from the Internet. However, there is still a directory business in some markets and directory brands have continued in other formats. Yellow Pages was a well-loved brand with deep brand equity, as captured in this video.
But it failed to keep up with the changing landscape, and struggled to attract new customers. In the end the brand vanished and the physical directory business stopped. A brand refresh earlier on could have helped revive the brand for use online or elsewhere.
Related: 5 Red Flags That It’s Time For A Brand Audit Health Check
Vodafone’s B2B division refreshed its brand in 2018, shifting from Vodafone Enterprise to Vodafone Business . The company wanted to attract business customers across a wide range of purchaser personas. The revised name reflected this broader target market including SMEs, not just large-scale enterprise.
5. Customers Threatening to Delist Your Brand Can Mean It is Time for Brand Revitalisation
Retailers often have a choice of different brands to sell. They may have a range of considerations, from profitability to the relationship with the supplier. If there is not sufficient pull through from consumers, they may decide to drop your brand (or not to list it in the first place).
This can be particularly problematic where products are seen as largely generic – which can be true for everything from beer and packaged sugar in retail, to dentistry and gardening services in the services market.
Related: 7 Ways A Brand Refresh Will Make You More Productive And Increase Sales
Giving customers reasons to choose and prefer your brand — to request it by name — helps combat this. For that to happen though, the brand needs to have a clear, ownable brand identity and customer appeal.
Beer is a very crowded market, even in the craft beer segment. Brewdog came in with a unique tone of voice and direct conversation with consumers that most beers lack, as seen in this video.
That helps them to justify why they need to be kept in retail distribution. It has also helped them launch their own bars, an unusual move for a single beer brand but one which we expect further helps them fend off any delisting threats in retail as it shows they are less dependent on retail distribution alone than many competitor beer brands.
If you’d like to discover more about building and maintaining a thriving, high performing, highly profitable standout brand, then get in touch because we’d love to help you make your brand into a profit powerhouse.
- Schedule an appointment — we can meet in person or online
- Allow us to create a customised plan for you
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- Contact us [email protected] or ring +353 1 8322724 (GMT Dublin/London time 9:00 – 17:30 weekdays)
Lorraine Carter is a professional speaker delivering talks that inspire and motivate along with masterclasses and workshops that inform and support transformational outcomes fast, and consultancy solutions that solve problems so you can outshine, outperform and leave your competitors way behind.
6. Has Culture and Trends Shifted Around You? Brand Revitalisation Can Help
In a time of swift social change and increasingly well-informed consumers, social or cultural shifts can turn a brand from an asset into a liability in a short amount of time because it loses relevance. Sometimes it may be best simply to abandon the brand, as News International did by closing down the News of the World and filling the gap with a Sunday edition of the Sun.
On other occasions, the brand may simply need to be revitalised to bring it into line with the shifting consumer market. Pret massively expanding its “Veggie Pret” footprint while retaining the base brand is a good example of brand revitalisation in the face of a fast increase in the number of vegetarian and vegan consumers .
The Caledonian Sleeper is a case study of this. The overnight train market has reduced in the U.K., due to cheaper flights, expensive ticket costs and a dated travel experience The sleeper train to Scotland first introduced Caledonian Sleeper branding, then recently reimagined the brand not as a functional transport offering but as a hotel on wheels. They showcase this in this promotional video.
A brand is a critical way in which a business can communicate to customers, users, employees and other stakeholders what is different and valuable about its offerings. But even a well considered brand can be in need of brand revitalisation. It may have lost its specialness, the market may have changed or consumer demands may have evolved. Whatever the reason, if you notice the signs that brand revitalisation may be in order, don’t delay!
Questions to Consider
- What makes your brand unique?
- What is the number one brand apart from yours in your area of business? What could you learn from them?
- How much help is your brand in converting new customers for your business?
- What do you offer business partners such as distributors that they cannot get from other brands?
- Are there cultural factors which challenge the relevance of your brand?
- Do you need a brand audit to help you evaluate the health of your brand so you can decide if brand revitalisation is required?
Your Persona Client Satisfaction Guarantee
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- You’ll have timelines, key milestones and deliverables to evaluate and approve for each stage and part of your brand building process
- Because we know the unexpected sometimes happens we can make adjustments along the way if you need it and if something extra is requested we’ll ensure you’re fully appraised about what that entails before committing
- As we achieve pre-agreed objectives you’ll be able to evaluate your brand building work and strategy in progress, coupled with the outcomes to ensure return on investment
Get in touch today because we’d love to get started helping you build your standout, powerhouse brand so you can increase your profits and leave your competitors way behind.
Email us [email protected] or ring us +35318322724 (GMT 9:00-17:30) and ask about the Persona 7-Figure Business Building & Brand Strategy Mastermind.