Brand Revitalisation: 9 Strategies to Revive Your Lagging Brand

Are your sales are slipping or have you been losing customers to your competition? Or is it a case that your brand simply isn’t performing as well as it did previously?


Regardless of how successful your brand has been or is at present, at some point in its life cycle every brand needs re-evaluation and revitalisation to stay relevant and keep up with changing trends and market demands to ensure its continued healthy growth and profitability.


Rebranding strategy or brand revitalisation can take many forms. A business may choose to make small but significant changes that affect the subtle ways customers perceive their brand, or it may embark on a massive rebranding campaign that transforms every aspect of the brand, giving it a whole new tone and stronger market position.


As with any effective branding strategy, your decision to revitalise your brand should be based on a thorough brand health check or evaluation which includes reviewing what’s going wrong or what should be improved and so forth, to ensure you implement a rebranding strategy that will deliver the required results.


A brand audit, brand health check or brand review typically underpins the first stage of any rebranding strategy and it’s the first stage we engage in when working with any of our clients using our Audit Analysis Accelerator™ system. The insights and outputs from the brand health check are then what help us decide which combination of rebranding strategies are then best suited to our clients needs. The following nine brand revitalisation strategies are examples of some of methodologies we often consider and deploy amongst a full array of different approaches when developing solutions to help re-energise or revitalise our clients brands.



9 Strategies to Revive Your Lagging Brand

Here are nine strategies you can use to revive a lagging brand, to recover and even expand your brand influence, your market share, and your profitability.


1. Become Customer-Centric

Your customers are vital to the success of your brand. If you’re experiencing problems with a flagging brand, one highly effective way to turn things around can be to really focus on them—essentially, to find out what your customers want, and give it to them. Of course, this is not a simple process. But with market research, insights, and thorough planning, you can identify the needs or desires of your target audience, and restructure your brand to deliver.


 Delta Red Coat Customer Service

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As an example, Delta Airlines recently instituted a more customer-centric approach that saved the organisation from near-certain failure. Facing near bankruptcy, the airline turned things around in 2013 by identifying and focusing on the things that mattered to their customers.


Some of the customer-focused changes Delta implemented for their brand revitalisation included:

  • Bringing back Red Coats—highly visible, “elite” customer service agents who are empowered to solve passenger issues on the spot, rather than going through management


  • Adding WiFi to their flights sooner than their competitors


  • Implementing a “flat tire” policy that lets passengers waive change fees and get seats on the next available flight if they’re delayed by unforeseen circumstances


  • Improving performance and efficiency to achieve 95% on-time performance with no flight cancellations


The move towards increased customer service saved the company, and restored Delta to one of the top airline brands.



2. Rename Your Brand

For a faltering brand, a name change can have a powerful effect. Renaming your brand can enable you to start with a clean slate, and go a long way towards reversing any negative perceptions that might have been associated with the previous name.


The New Zealand deer industry overcame preconceived notions about their venison products, particularly in the American market, by renaming their offerings “Cervena” as a way to differentiate from other venison brands.



Cervena Logo 

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Brand name changes can also be effective when the new name is more reflective of your brand platform and values. Recently, New Zealand dairy product company Fonterra launched a rebranding campaign by changing the names of their RD1 stores to the more descriptive and engaging “Farm Source”.


  Farm Source By Fonterra

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In addition to the name change, Fonterra deployed a farmer-centric marketing strategy that highlights the provenance and roots of their products which creates stronger connections, transparency and authenticity for customers.



3. Streamline and Simplify

As brands grow, they may often experience slowdowns or lagging sales due to the expansion itself. Brand growth can result in sprawling product lines, confusing offerings, and diluted brand cohesion across the organisation. If your brand is suffering from dilution through growth and expansion efforts, a streamlined strategy can help you recover from falling sales and diminished brand recognition.


Technology company IBM successfully used this type of strategy to recover from substantial losses and setbacks due to increasing competition. In 1993, the company experienced a quarterly loss of $8 billion—which represented the largest corporate loss in history at the time. IBM’s successful revitalisation strategy was a return to the basics. The company discontinued business areas that didn’t align with its core competencies and focused on just three areas: hardware, business software, and IT services. Today, IBM remains one of the most successful global technology companies.



4. Reach Out to Your Community

Similar to appealing to customers, becoming a community-oriented brand can help you revitalise your image and revive lagging sales. Focusing your brand strategies on community connection and outreach can help you build a strong and engaging brand image—and in many cases can help you capture word-of-mouth, the most powerful marketing method for any brand.


One successful example of a community-oriented brand is Chipotle Mexican Grill, a restaurant chain based in Denver, Colorado. Chipotle’s actually based their brand strategy on giving back to the community from the beginning. The company spends very little on traditional advertising channels such as TV adverts—in fact, its yearly advertising budget is less than what competitor McDonald’s spends in 48 hours. Instead, the first Chipotle’s restaurant drew in customers by giving away lots of free food, and letting the product speak for itself.





The company has continued this community focus in high-profile ways. During the 1997 trial for a devastating bombing in Oklahoma, the company regularly delivered free food to the courthouse. Chipotle’s also currently sponsors a multitude of local programs and pioneered a campaign called “No Junk” that helps millions of school children eat healthier.



5. Amplify Your Brand Story

In order to have a successful brand, it’s vital to create a meaningful connection with customers. One powerful way to do this is through a compelling brand story, which is a key part of our Personality Profile Performer™ system, and used to created and develop your whole brand profile. You can revitalise a falling brand by refocusing on your unique brand story, and conveying your brand’s origins, values, promise and driving characteristics.


Brand storytelling can be highly effective for all categories and types of business, including premium brands. Recently, Chanel launched a video series that has sparked attention and driven customer engagement on social media to new heights for the brand—based on the powerful story of Chanel’s origins. Part five of the series, which tells the story of founder Coco Chanel, has been especially connective for audiences.




6. Wrap-Up in Something New

Your packaging design is absolutely crucial to effective branding. Research has found that 70 percent of customer purchasing decisions are made at the shelf, and 90 percent of those on-the-spot decisions are made simply by looking at the face of the product in less than 9 seconds. If your brand is struggling, launching a package redesign can help you refresh and restore success.



Lees Snowballs And Jam Teacakes 

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A recent package redesign for a UK confectionary company led to incredible results. After creating a clean, simple uncluttered look for their iconic brand, their first image refresh in five years, Lees of Scotland realized a sales increase of 20 percent for its Snowballs and Teacakes treats.



7. Go the Extra Mile

For suffering brands, another powerful revitalisation strategy is to choose an aspect that your brand excels at, and make it even more effective—so that your brand stands out sharply from your competitors. This may be pricing (for discount or premium brands), faster delivery (such as Domino’s Pizza 30-minute delivery guarantee), additional features or innovations, or even exceptional customer service, a quality that online shoe retailer Zappos is well known for.


Enhancing the unique offerings of your brand will help you differentiate, and over-delivering on your brand promise can help to revive a flagging brand.





8. Go Against the Grain

It can be challenging for brands to stand out from a sea of competition. If your brand is struggling to remain solvent, think about how you can make changes that will give you a competitive edge. Often, the most successful brands have distinctive differentiation that make them more innovative, valuable, or desirable than the competition. The bottled water industry, for example, was transformed when companies began adding nutrients, flavours, and carbonation to various brand lines.


   Lush Organic Skincare 600px

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As an example of powerful differentiation, UK cosmetics company Lush has realised phenomenal success and gained a cult brand following by providing organic cosmetics ranges amidst an ocean of competitor brands made with chemicals and formulations. This organic-style branding extends throughout the brand—all of their products are handmade and use minimalist packaging, and Lush retail stores are designed to create an exceptional, luxurious customer experience.


 Lush Handmade Skincare 600px 

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9. Change your Price Points

Though it may seem counterproductive, you can effectively revitalise your brand by charging more for your products or services. Elevating to a premium brand can bring you greater market share and higher profits—but of course, it’s essential to offer customers something that justifies the higher price point. Rebranding for premium pricing involves an increase in either perceived or actual value for your offerings, and this can be accomplished in many ways.


Some premium rebranding strategies may include:

  • Constant innovation, such as Apple and Gilette
  • Unique product mixes, such as Whole Foods and Sharper Image
  • Selling an experience, such as Nordstrom and Starbucks
  • Creating a brand community, such as Red Bull and Harley Davidson


By increasing the perceived value of your products or services, you can turn a slumping or stagnant brand around and find new audiences who are willing to pay premium prices, and will remain loyal to your brand above and beyond your competition.


So, what do you think?


• How could you make your brand more customer-centric? Community-centric?


• Does your brand have a differentiation factor that you could enhance through your brand collateral and marketing campaigns?


• Is your brand packaging inconvenient, outdated, or too similar to the competition? How could your packaging stand out?


• What are some ways your brand could go the extra mile and over-deliver on your brand promise?


• How is your brand story currently incorporated into your customer touch points and overall brand presentation? Is there a way to enhance your brand story?


Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments. We’d love to hear from you!

Brand Audits: 10 Things Successful Brand Owners and Managers Must Know

Building and maintaining a thriving brand takes work, but it’s well worth the effort. A strong brand is the single most effective marketing component your business can have. When your brand is performing well, your business enjoys increased visibility, greater customer loyalty, and a healthier bottom line.


So how do you grow a great brand, and keep it on top? One of the most powerful tools for maintaining or improving brand performance is a brand audit – a comprehensive evaluation of your brand’s positioning and market performance that should be done on a regular basis. Here’s what you should know about brand audits in order to drive successful growth for your brand.


Top 10 Things Successful Brand Owners and Managers Must Know about Brand Audits 


1. What a Brand Audit is (and isn’t)

A brand audit is a comprehensive analysis of the current state of your brand. Effectively, it is a brand health check, helping you identify any problem areas with your brand strategy, collateral, positioning, and market value – with an eye towards turning things around and increasing the effectiveness of your brand.


A brand audit is not a quick review of your numbers. Effective brand audits are comprehensive investigations of all the aspects that make up and effect your brand.

  Brand Audit Magnifyer


2. Reasons to do a Brand Audit

There are many reasons to do a brand audit, but some of the most common are business performance issues that can be tied into the strength of your brand. If your business is sliding down, you are losing customers to competitors, or your revenue is sinking, a brand audit can enable you to revitalise flagging performance and recapture your market – or take your brand to new, profitable heights.


3. What a Brand Audit can do

The benefits of a brand audit are numerous and substantial. Just a few of them include:

  • Highlighting the strengths and weaknesses of your brand


  • Showing where your brand currently stands in the market compared to competitors


  • Painting an accurate picture of your brand’s market perceptions


  • Enabling you to align your brand with customers’ expectations


  • Identifying new trends and market opportunities to expand your brand



4. Conduct Brand Audits Even for Healthy Brands

If your brand is performing well, you may feel that there’s no need for a brand audit. But the fact is, even healthy brands need to be monitored for performance. When your brand is already winning, a brand audit can show you why it’s winning – enabling you to focus your brand strategies and efforts on the most effective areas for high brand performance.

   Brand Audit Team


5. Brand Audits Increase Your Profits

Strong brands simply make more money. When you have a robust and consistent brand, you’re able to engage and inspire your audience, building brand loyalty that translates into more returning customers, more word-of-mouth visibility, and less money spent on attracting new customers. You can also implement premium pricing strategies with a stronger brand that’s able to command higher prices.


A powerful brand is an investment that pays for itself, and a comprehensive brand audit can unlock your brand’s potential.


6. Brand Audits as Competitive Strategy

A highly competitive brand is a successful brand – and every brand has competition. Done correctly, a brand audit will show you how your brand stacks up against your most direct competitors, and reveal tactics and brand strategies you can use to gain a higher market share. For brands that require an aggressive competition strategy, brand audits will help you pinpoint the exact areas your brand is underperforming compared to your competition, and make improvements that lead to greater market success.

   Brand Audit Girl


7. A Brand Audit Reviews Every Piece of Brand Collateral

If you’re looking for an effective brand audit that will truly help you grow your brand, you need to review and analyse every touch point and piece of brand collateral for your brand, from your logo and brand colors, to product brand packaging and merchandising, to website and online presence, to your organisation’s business cards, letterhead, and email signatures. Both internal and external brand collateral must be included in a brand audit.


8. Internal Brand Perceptions are Important

A successful brand audit will analyze your brand from your employees’ point of view. Engaging employees and earning employee buy-in for your brand audit is crucial to success – after all, your employees must participate in the changes you implement according to the brand audit results, or you’ll be unable to effect real change or maintain brand consistency and your efforts to revitalise the brand will fail.

This means brand aspects such as your employee orientation and training programs, sales force training, human resources material, and employee engagement strategies must be included in your brand audit.

    Brand Audit Man


9. Your Customers Should be Part of Your Brand Audit

One of the greatest benefits of a brand audit is the ability to gain an accurate picture of customer perceptions of your brand – and there is no better way to do this than going to the customers themselves. Customer participation and feedback should be an integral component of your brand audit.


There are many ways to solicit customer feedback during a brand audit. Online polls and surveys are common methods that can bring results faster, and help you gain a wider reach for your customer data pool. It can also be very effective to gather customer feedback at your point of sale, whether that is online or in a retail location, or over the phone or in a meeting. This is another reason why it’s valuable to involve employees in the brand audit process – they will have direct access to customers and can solicit the feedback you need to move forward effectively.


10. The Real Value of a Brand Audit

Many brand owners make the mistake of believing the value of a brand audit lies in the data that is collected. But in order to make brand audits work for you, it’s important to realize that the most essential value lies in the actions you take as a result of the insights gleaned through the process. The brand audit is a diagnostic tool, offering a detailed look at the current position of your brand – but the real work begins when the brand audit ends.


For this reason, it’s vital to make your brand audit rigorous, engaging, and objective. A brand audit can reveal hard truths about your market standing that you may not be prepared to accept.

We have found when conducting brand audits, using our Auditing Analysis Accelerator™system, that when clients take on board all of these factors their brand audit provides very insightful and invaluable information which has a significant impact on their brand strategy and the growth of their business and its profitability going forward. 



The Benefits of Working with a Specialist Brand Consultancy

The need for objectivity in brand audits makes a strong case for your organisation to work with an outside party when implementing a comprehensive brand audit. An experienced brand consultancy can help you create an impartial picture of your brand, enabling you to visualize the strengths and weaknesses clearly and take corrective action that will be truly effective in strengthening your brand. This type of collaboration provides you with both objectivity and the ability to integrate insights with your brand strategy going forward, without preconceptions that can skew the results of the audit.


So, what do you think?

• Has your business hit a plateau or encountered a decline, which a brand audit could help turn around?


• If your brand is healthy and performing well, do you know exactly why? Could a brand audit help you focus on your strengths?


• Does your brand need to be more competitive in your industry?


• Have you been considering a premium pricing strategy? How would you use a brand audit to help you implement higher pricing tiers?


• Have you performed a brand audit before? How comprehensive were your results?


Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments. We’d love to hear from you!

Top 10 Branding Articles in 2014

Have you ever wondered which Persona Branding and Design articles are the most popular with readers?

We’re always interested to see which of our posts resonate most with you. Even though we do lots of research and planning, there are no guarantees which topics will get the most attention.

Today we’re giving you an exclusive peek into our top ten most popular posts of 2014, some of which you might have missed.

I know you’ll find at least one that will be very useful to your business.



  Top 10 Branding Articles 2014



1: Top 20 Branding Trends for 2015

As 2014 draws to an end, now is the time to review, revamp, and update your branding strategies for the year to come. Successful branding is the key to driving business growth and profitability – and in 2015, it will be more important than ever to have a strong, thriving brand.


2: 30 Ways to Differentiate Your Brand

Building a strong brand is the undisputed key to success in today’s business world, and robust differentiation is an absolute must to build a powerful and compelling brand. There are many ways you can differentiate your brand. The skill lies is developing and applying the most effective brand differentiation strategy in a way that appropriately reflects your brand’s personality, values, promise, way of doing things and key characteristics.


3: Rebranding: How to Make It Through a Rebrand and Emerge Stronger

Brands are not static, unchanging identities – the most successful brands live and breathe, evolving along with changing shifts in market tastes, trends and demands. Rebranding or brand revitalisation, when properly planned and implemented, can be a powerfully effective strategy for rescuing or reinventing a failing brand, jump-starting a stagnant brand, expanding your markets, or initiating substantial business growth. A rebrand may be subtle or evolutionary in nature, or it may involve radically transforming a product, service, or entire brand.


4: Brand Audit: Tips for Determining Your Brand’s Health – Can It Be Improved?

Have your sales hit a slump? Are hot new brands drawing your customers away? If your brand seems to have lost its shine, it may be time for a brand audit or brand health check. Brand audits are effectively a health check for your brand. These comprehensive, honest evaluations look at the overall effectiveness of a brand and its current position in the market compared with the competition, as well as pinpointing inconsistencies and weakness, and identifying potential areas for improvement.


5: Packaging Design: How It Can Make or Break Your Brand

Research shows that you have less than 9 seconds to engage your customer and close the sale. In a fast-paced and highly competitive world, packaging design has become one of the most crucial elements for communicating your brand and standing out from the competition. Your brand might be the best in its category, but without packaging that grabs your target audience, customers won’t investigate your product to find out more or see what’s inside.


6: Brand Naming: Top Ten Methods for Brand Name Creation

Brand Naming is all about strategic rationale, not emotion and not politics. It’s your first impression so it’s critical you get it right. A good name is a compact easy-to-communicate piece of information. It grabs peoples’ attention and makes them want to know more and it carries a hugely significant portion of your brand recognition all on its own. 


7: Brand Personality: Is Your Brand’s Character Big Enough to Compete?

Creating a brand with an authentically strong character is central to your branding strategy success. Just as people can be larger than life, a brand’s personality can take on a life of its own. Creating a brand with an authentically strong character is central to your branding strategy success and effectively the decider between just another average price fighter or a truly magnetic and profitable brand.


8: Brand Promises: Are You Consistently Delivering Yours?

A brand promise is what your company or brand commits to delivering for everyone who interacts with you. A strong brand promise describes how people should feel when they interact with your brand, how your company delivers its products or services, and what sort of character your company embodies. Is your brand promise authentically ‘walking the walk’?



9. Branding Amazon: 3 Lessons to Learn For Your Brand Success

Amazon is one of the most recognizable companies in the world, occupying and serving more global regions than any other organization. While your company may not have the reach and capabilities of Amazon just yet, there are still several branding lessons you can take away from the mega-store’s strategies, positioning and brand management.


 Ceo Leaders Logos


10: CEO Brand Leadership: How Does Your Leadership Impact Your Brand?

The company leader is the single most powerful influencer on branding, the visionary and voice behind the brand, particularly in a small, medium or large businesses (SMEs). Phil Knight, Sir Richard Branson, Maxine Clark and Johnny Earle are all very different visionary leaders behind their brands but they have shared characteristics – the secrets to their incredible brands success.



Which is your favourite?

• Do you have a preferred article from Persona Branding and Design that didn’t make the top 10 list?

• Which of these top 10 posts did you find most useful?


Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments! We love to hear from you!



Rebranding: How to Make It Through a Rebrand and Emerge Stronger

A strong brand is the key to success and sustainable growth for your business. However, brands are not static, unchanging identities – the most successful brands live and breathe, evolving along with changing shifts in market tastes, trends and demands.


Rebranding or brand revitalisation, when properly planned and implemented, can be a powerfully effective strategy for rescuing or reinventing a failing brand, jump-starting a stagnant brand, expanding your markets, or initiating substantial business growth. A rebrand may be subtle or evolutionary in nature, or it may involve radically transforming a product, service, or entire brand.


Regardless of the extent of your rebrand, a thorough brand revitalisation strategy is a must in order to be successful. Here are the top tips on surviving a rebrand of any scale, and emerging as a stronger and more profitable organisation.


Understand Rebranding: It’s Much More Than Just Changing Your Logo

Even for those brands undergoing a subtle rebrand as an evolutionary step forward, there is much more to a successful rebrand than changing your company or product logo. Rebranding always results in shifted audience perceptions of your brand, no matter how large or small the changes – and this strategy should not be engaged lightly.





Approaching a rebrand without strategic planning, market insights and customer engagement can be disastrous to your brand, often resulting in storms of negative social media, if your brand is very high profile with an engaged audience.



Airbnb Belo Logo 2014



Airbnb, an online accommodations rental platform whose logo changed in July this year brought a flood of social chatter comparing the new logo to parts of the human anatomy. BBC News reported on the backlash, including a roundup of Twitter comments where it became the top trending item for a time. Others on the other hand praised the US home-rental services new look. Airbnb calls its new logo Belo, and says it represents “the universal symbol of belonging”. 



Airbnb Logo Change Twitter



Also earlier this year, the long-established candy brand Hershey’s caused a similar internet controversy when the company changed their logo from the traditional silver foil-wrapped Hershey’s kiss to a solid brown graphic with a gray curlicue to represent the iconic brand.  


Hershey Logo Change 


Hershey Rebrand Tweet 2

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Customers and commentators alike were also divided in their opinions with some having a field day online pointing out the shortcomings, as they saw them, with some very unfavourable comments compared to those who thought it fresh, demonstrative and sleek.


Hershey Rebrand Tweet 1

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Regardless of what your views are in relation to both these brands, simply launching a new logo is not the right way to approach a rebrand. You need a solid brand strategy based on a brand audit coupled with research, market testing, and an honest analysis of your current brand performance before making any changes that will impact your brand.





Make Sure Rebranding is Really the Answer

Prior to a rebrand, the most important consideration is knowing why you’re rebranding, what your goals are in making changes, and whether a rebrand is the right solution.


Some of the most common situations where it makes sense to undergo a rebrand include:

  • Relevance: In order to thrive, brands must stay relevant to their target market and keep up with evolving customer needs and desires


  • Competition: If a brand encounters aggressive competition that damages sales, rebranding can help to push back and restore a competitive edge


  • Innovation: In industries where rapid change is common and expected, such as technology, rebranding can help you preserve relevance to new markets and remain competitive  


  • Globalisation: Market demographics can vary from region to region. A brand that is looking to expand into new global markets can benefit from rebranding to suit a wider audience


  • Repositioning: Rebranding is required for a brand seeking to change its market position, such as moving from an economy level to a premium brand with higher pricing


  • Mergers and Acquisitions: If two brands merge, or one brand acquires another, rebranding is essential to establish the new, single identity of the separate brands 

On the other hand, there are some situations where rebranding or revitalisation is not the correct strategy. These can include:

  • Young Brands: Unless the existing brand solution is highly flawed, brands that have been on the market for a short time, such as 3 years or less, should not rebrand. Young brands would be better served to adjust marketing strategies or roll out new campaigns


  • Change for Change’s Sake: Rebranding should not be engaged simply because you feel like changing. There should be a compelling commercial reason to rebrand, since changing “just because” results in failure more often than not



Rebranding the Right Way: 4 Top Tips for Pulling it off Successfully

Once you’ve established that a rebrand or revitalisation is what your brand needs, how do you effectively plan a rebrand? Here’s how to build an effective rebranding strategy and make it through with a stronger and more compelling brand.


1. Assess Your Current Brand Perception Honestly

If you’re undergoing a rebrand, there’s a reason your brand is struggling. You need to know exactly what that reason is, and how your rebranding strategy will address it. This means there is no room for light observations or wishful thinking – you need to know the brutally honest reality of where your brand currently stands.


The best way to accomplish this honest assessment is through a comprehensive brand audit. A brand audit involves thorough examination of your market position, your brand’s performance relevant to the competition, its strengths and weaknesses, and a full view of both internal and external perceptions of your brand. Through this process, you may uncover surprising information about your target audience – and you may even discover new audience demographics that will be suitable for your brand with effective rebranding.



2. Obtain Organisational Buy-in

A successful rebranding relies not only on effectively changing customer perceptions, but also ensuring that everyone in your company participates in the rebrand programme. Each of your customer touch points must reflect the new brand collateral and brand values – which means your entire company, from sales personnel to general staff to CEO, top down, must understand the goals of the rebrand.



3. Ensure Seamless Consistency

Maintaining consistency is a primary key to an effective brand. When undergoing a rebrand, make sure that every piece of your brand collateral reflects the changes and the new brand vision – from product packaging and logo design to website, sales material, office and retail locations, staff uniforms, trade stands, presentation tools, in short all your brand collateral, and even email signatures.


4. Communicate the Rebrand Externally

Naturally, your new brand will be rolled out to customers but it’s important to get their feedback with some test research initially before you fully implement and launch to market. But don’t forget to involve stakeholders, shareholders, and media outlets with news of your rebranding. Awareness of a rebrand is crucial to its success.


Whether your rebrand is evolutionary or comprehensive, whether your reasons are to maintain relevance, beat out the competition, or reposition your brand to increase profits, surviving the rebranding process involves careful planning and strategisation and a willingness to ensure both internal and external consistency.


Your brand is much more than just your logo. Brands represent the total customer experience, and rebranding must be approached with care and forethought. But when implemented properly, a rebrand can deliver a wider audience, a strengthened brand platform, and higher profits for your business.


So, what do you think?

• Has your company undergone a rebrand in the past?


• What are the reasons you are considering rebranding now?


• Could your brand benefit from a brand audit, regardless of whether you’re rebranding?


• What would you change about your brand, and how do you think it would impact your target audience?


• How can you rebrand to improve your brand’s relevance?


• Could you raise prices and increase profits through brand repositioning?


Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments. We’d love to hear from you!

Brand Audit: Tips for Determining Your Brand’s Health – Can It Be Improved?

Have your sales hit a slump? Are hot new brands drawing your customers away? If your brand seems to have lost its shine, it may be time for a brand audit or brand health check.


Brand audits are effectively a health check for your brand. These comprehensive, honest evaluations look at the overall effectiveness of a brand and its current position in the market compared with the competition, as well as pinpointing inconsistencies and weakness, and identifying potential areas for improvement.


With a thorough and properly executed brand audit you can halt brand deterioration and refresh or revitalize your brand, giving it a new lease of life and effectively stopping the rot to grow your bottom line.



When Should You Perform a Brand Audit?

While a brand audit can provide you with valuable insight into your brand’s performance at any point, there are certain times when it makes more sense to have a brand audit done. One is at the peak of your brand’s evolution.


Brands typically follow a lifecycle that’s similar to most living things: they begin new and full of potential, enter a growth phase, and eventually reach maturity. At this point, you may begin to see market slippage as your brand loses relevance, or your customers move on to newer brands. Regular brand audits that are timed against your brand’s lifecycle can actually help you identify the signs that your brand is about to plateau, allowing you to refresh or revitalize before you begin to lose sales.


Another common time when a brand audit not only makes sense, but can actually be pivotal to success, is prior to a planned rebranding campaign. There are a number of reasons your organisation may be undergoing a rebrand, and a thorough brand audit is a crucial part of any effective rebranding strategy.


Brand Audit Team


Why Do You Need a Brand Audit?

Having a brand audit done at the peak of your brand lifecycle and prior to a rebrand are proactive strategies for preserving and developing your brand. There are also several circumstances that can merit a reactive brand audit—one intended to diagnose issues and problem areas, and turn around a flagging brand.


Brand audits can help you:

  • Determine the actual position of your brand in the marketplace, and develop effective strategies to elevate your market position


  • Identify the strengths and weaknesses of your brand, so you can address weak points and capitalize on your strengths for more effective brand differentiation


  • Discover the actual expectations of your target markets and align your brand more thoroughly with its intended audience


  • Gain a clear perspective on market perceptions of your brand, and make any necessary adjustments to strengthen your brand platform and customer experience


  • Address internal issues and repair your brand positioning within the company, in order to strengthen employee morale, productivity, and empowerment


A strong and consistent brand makes more money, both through increased sales and decreased market spend as the power of your brand drives more word of mouth, greater customer engagement, and increased brand loyalty.


Comprehensive brand audits allow you to strengthen your brand and make it the best it can be, illuminating new growth opportunities and new ways to create resonance with your audiences.



What Does A Brand Audit Involve?

There are several factors that define the depth and extent of an effective brand audit. These include the size of both the brand and the organisation itself, the power of the brand relative to the industry and market, the required timescale to complete the brand audit, and the available budget.


In any event, the first step to a brand audit is to clearly define the objectives of the audit. You may simply want to perform a health check for your brand and gain an accurate measure of your market standing, or you may be in the early stages of a rebrand and require an extensive brand audit. The brand audit’s objectives must be absolutely clear from the start in order to develop an effective strategy for analysis and measured against the desired deliverables.


The actual elements of a brand audit vary according to the objectives and the factors mentioned above. These elements may include:

  • Internal elements: Positioning, brand values, culture, voice, USP, product or service positioning etc.


  • External elements: Logo and other branded design elements, all brand collateral, website, packaging, social media, SEO, advertising and public relations, content marketing, sponsorships and CSR, videos, testimonials, customer experience etc.


  • System elements: Corporate brand standards, brand style guides, customer service systems, sales processes, touch points, HR policies, internal systems etc.


Additionally, a comprehensive brand audit will involve strategy reviews, market research, communications reviews, customer research, and employee and HR research.


Internal Brand Audit Support: Getting Employees On Board

Without internal support, a brand audit that is carried out for the purposes of revitalising, refreshing, or salvaging a brand will fail. An essential component of a brand audit is ensuring that both your management and employees understand the reasons for the audit.


Employee Brand Champion


It’s critically important to get their full support and commitment on board, not to mention help get them excited about the upcoming changes. Employees who embrace your brand can become powerful brand ambassadors, allowing you to maintain brand consistency and cultivate a loyal customer base.

Some strategies for engaging employees in a brand audit include:

  • Communicate: Employees who aren’t aware that a brand audit is being conducted can’t contribute to the cause. Inform your employees early and often about the process, and invite them to ask questions and offer suggestions.


  • Solicit Input: Your employees are an excellent source of information about customer perceptions of your brand, as well as the business itself. Actively solicit employee input on how they view the brand’s strengths and weaknesses, what changes they would make if they could, and how they see customers responding (or not responding) to the brand.


  • Reward Participation: Employees who “live the brand” are powerful assets—and the more you have, the more effective your brand will be. Watch for employees who embrace the brand audit and strive to reflect changes, and reward them by publicly acknowledging their contributions, or even offering bonuses. This can also encourage others to engage in the process.



Enlisting Your Customers For Your Brand Audit

Public perceptions of your brand are a vital part of a brand audit, and may even be the main reason for performing one. The best way to learn what your target audience thinks about your brand is to ask them directly.


Online polls can be a simple and effective way to gauge customer sentiment about your brand. These one-question checks are quick for viewers to complete, they can be promoted easily online, and they can offer an honest starting point for more in-depth elements of your brand audit. If you have a Facebook page for your brand, you can run the Facebook Poll App and gain instant feedback from your fans.


For a more comprehensive customer view, you can create an online survey with several questions and multiple answers. Online surveys offer greater potential for detailed data and analytics from a wide sampling of your target audience, and can help you further refine your brand audit objectives.


Finally, hiring mystery shoppers is an effective and candid way to gain customer perspective on your brand. Mystery shoppers can engage with your brand at every touch point, and offer a detailed picture of the way customers actually view your brand from the outside—a perspective that is virtually impossible to gain internally.


We have found when conducting brand audits for clients using our Auditing Analysis Accelerator™ system that a combination of all these elements, together with face-to-face interviews, field and desk research  produce very insightful and valuable information, often throw up unanticipated surprises which can have a significant impact on the brand strategy going forward.


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ROI: What You Can Get Out Of A Brand Audit

Brand audits show you how your target audience truly perceives your brand, how your brand is actually performing, and how you compare to the competition. A well planned and executed brand audit will benefit your business in myriad ways:

  • Gain insight into your brand portfolio and brand architecture


  • Evaluate and refocus your brand positioning to improve engagement with your target audience


  • Align your brand collateral with your brand mission, values, and differentiation to strengthen the perception of your brand


  • Boost internal brand awareness and drive employee brand engagement


  • Refocus and improve your brand management and marketing communications


  • Provide direction for your brand into the future to maintain relevancy, consistency, and growth


As the success of a brand audit depends on honest, detached assessment, working with an experienced external brand agency is the most effective strategy to ensure a true picture of your current brand positioning, and to best identify areas for improvement to revitalise your brand.


What do you think?

• Has your organisation undergone a brand audit in the past?


• How could a brand audit help you identify potential reasons for business decline?


• If your sales are stagnating, what areas would you focus on for a brand audit?


• How would you measure the ROI of a brand audit? How many potential new customers would you need to justify the investment?


• What areas of your brand positioning may be slumped and in need of a brand audit?


• Would you consider a brand audit to identify potential loss of relevance and proactively refresh your brand to avoid declining sales?


Feel free to let us know your thoughts in the comments. We’d love to hear from you!

Are You Leading Your Brand Effectively to Maximize Commercial Success?

Branding is not just about big business. Regardless of whether you have a specific brand strategy in place or not, if you are operating in business then you have a brand – good or bad, weak or strong.


In small and medium businesses the single greatest influence on the business brand is the company leader. Think about it. Even if the company has marketing personnel, the final decisions and creative control lie with the executive director. This is something many leaders of small and medium enterprises fail to recognize.


Remember, your business brand goes far beyond the just the name and logo. Your website design, your marketing message, your staff, your pricing policy, the look of your business interior, your brand collateral, your customer service together with the whole culture of your business all shape your customer’s perception of your business and your brand. And who has overall control of these elements? The leader. So whether intentional or not, for better or worse, as leader you are currently shaping the development of your business brand.


Building a strong brand starts from the inside. Whatever happens inside the business reflects what the customers perceive from the outside.  I am sure we all know of a local business we love to visit because the staff are friendly and helpful. In more cases than not, this is because the owner is the friendliest and most helpful of them all. The owner is the influencer who affects everything around them within the business and beyond.


In fact, many of the world’s biggest brands are shaped by the vision of their leaders.  Anyone who has read Steve Jobs biography knows that he was the visionary of the Apple brand. He influenced everything about the brand. Apple is design obsessed because Steve Jobs was design obsessed.

Steve Jobs Apple


If we think about the brand personality of Ryanair, we think abrasive, sometimes downright rude, unfriendly, brash but invariably the best deal and on time. Now think about Michael O’Leary, Ryanairs CEO, any of those traits come to mind?! It’s no accident that these characteristics are cultivated as part of his public persona to congruently fit with the brand, like it or hate it!


Michael O Leary Ryanair

You can make similar leadership and brand visionary comparisons with Richard Branson and the Virgin brand, amongst others, a very different brand and leadership style but he is undoubtably a very shrewd leader of the Virgin brand. And these are global companies. In small and medium companies where the business leader has total control on decisions, they intentionally or otherwise shape the brand more than anyone else.


We know that some business leaders are better than others in terms of skills and knowledge and this has an obvious effect on the financial success of one business over its competitors.  But business acumen aside, when a business leader is closely associated with the embodiment of a brand their sheer existence in the company has an effect on people’s confidence in the company performance and ultimately the profitability of the business.


Steve Jobs is one of the greatest examples of how strong the influence of a leader is on a brand. When Steve Jobs resigned from Apple the company’s shares dropped as much as 7%. This company is a global titan, with some of the world’s greatest minds and strongest business strategists at its helm, and yet, without Jobs’ involvement customers were wary because Apple had become synonymous with Jobs and his utter embodiment of what made Apple ‘Apple’. Customers found it to difficult to separate the brand from the leader, ultimately affecting the company’s bottom line.


If your business is not performing or where you want it to be, you need to look at what you are doing to influence those in your company, your brand and how its perceived internally and externally and the service you provide.


If you don’t have a clear vision of what your business brand identity is, what your brand stands for and how it engages with your target audience in a way that matters to them, then how can your business have a clear strategy ?


The huge positive for leaders of small and medium businesses is that building a strong brand is not difficult, done correctly and with the right team expertise on board to support you, because it starts with you. 


If you are serious about building a strong brand for your company and maximizing your profit potential then the first step is to undertake brand profiling for your business. Understanding your brand’s current position and identity in the market will help you on your way to understand the role you can play in shaping it to greater profitability for the future.


Your business’ brand strategy lies in your hands and with it the growing profitability and success of your business.

As the leader of your business do you know what aspects of your brand are working effectively, or falling short and in need attention or just tired, out of touch and in need of repositioning and revitalisation to increase your commercial returns ? 

15 Reasons Why You Need a Brand Audit to Increase Your Revenue

Fact: Strong brands make more money, are more profitable and increase company value. They enable you to command a premium, ensure customer preference in buying decisions and build customer loyalty which reduces cost of sales and fends off competition


If your profits are falling and sales are not performing a “Brand Audit” will help give you insights into your brand’s impact and performance in the marketplace and, most importantly, why it’s not delivering.  


Fact: All brands, global or national or regional, need a health check. Brands are like living entities with life cycles. They start with much excitement and promise, grow and then eventually plateau. 


It’s at this mature stage of evolvement, when they potentially start to loose relevance as the market evolves and customers move on to the latest hot new thing, that you need to conduct a Brand Audit. 


A Brand Audit helps you monitor this cycle so you keep your brand fresh and relevant and know when to reinvigorate or revitalise before sales start to slip.


Brand Audit Team


Need some more reasons to use a Brand Audit to increase your bottom line ? Here’s 15 more to chew on . . .


1. Use it to grow your bottom line, your money’s in your brand. 

    N.B.: Products can be copied, brands can’t.

2. Get clarity with your marketing activities and step up a gear.

3. Know what your core customers think of your brand NOW and re-evaluate.

4. Create sharp focus in your bullseye customers mind.

5. Revitalise with multi-channel emotional connections with your customers.

6. Re-energise what your brand stands for and make it hit home.

7. Leverage it to be seen as an innovative trail blazer and increase your visability.

8. Get distinct and memorable competitive advantage.

9. Attract and develop more effective raving brand advocates.

10. Enhance your brand credibility and generate more buzz.

11. Differentiate your brand more strongly to become a money making magnet.

12. Enhance your internal sense of proud brand ownership with both the board and employees. It massively impacts on how everybody engages and interacts with the brand and your customers.

13. Leverage growth by using external professional validation

14. Discover new ideas, insights, tactics and strategies for your brand.

15. Get an outside experts point of view. You are too close to your brand and invariably can’t see your own brand shortcomings to address the problems objectively.


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These are just some reasons to engage in a Brand Audit. Do you really know how your brand is performing and where it could be improved ?


Is it coasting along but in need of re-evaluation before the competition catches up ? Or is it disconnected, out of touch, caught up in price discounting and endless promotions with a shrinking market and failing sales that will ultimately put you out of business ?

Now is the time for an audit to reinvigorate your brand to stay on top or, more critically, provide a life saver to identify and address the problem areas so you can turn things around and grow your bottom line


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To find out more about what’s involved in our proprietary brand audit process, and how you can use our Persona Brand Audit to greatly increase your performance, drop us a line or give us call today. 

We’re here to help you address your brand challenges and support you in growing your business/brand.

T: +353 1 8322724

E: [email protected]


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