Rebranding: 15 Do’s and Don’ts for Brand Success

Since 1903, the Pepsi-Cola (and later Pepsi) logo has seen many changes and facelifts in the form of rebranding and revitalisations. Through the last 100-plus years, the logo has evolved from what we might consider today an old-fashioned typeface through many fresh new looks.

 

Image via Pepsi

 

But while it’s interesting to follow the evolution of a well-known brand, let’s be perfectly clear. Changing a logo, altering the colour or even tweaking the name is not a rebranding strategy. Rebranding is much more than a design facelift. It may result in the design of new logos and the creation of new brand names, but it all starts as with your brand strategy first long before anything else relating to design is considered.

 

It’s essential to note that branding is NOT marketing or design but the bedrock foundation underpinning your whole business so getting your rebranding strategy right is critical to your success. In short, your rebranding strategy provides the direction for all your marketing, communications, positioning, language, messaging along with design.

 

And there are many strategic reasons to rebrand. A company may need to rebrand to:

  1. Re-establish its market prominence
  2. Acknowledge and reflect a major acquisition
  3. Announce a new technology or invention that changes its mission and vision
  4. Revitalize the voice and significance of the brand
  5. Refocus the company around major customer and/or industry trends
  6. Reflect a strategic move to reach new markets
  7. Give new life to flagging sales
  8. Move beyond a negative event

 

Whatever the reason, the key is to use your rebranding to help move your business and its products and services forward. Regardless of whether you’re rebranding a bank, hotel, power company or canned fruit, having the right strategy makes all the difference.

 

 

Want to discover more about rebranding to build your standout, №1 powerhouse, premium priced brand working with us so you can increase your profits and leave your competitors way behind?

  1. Schedule an appointment — we can meet in person or online
  2. Allow us to create a customised plan for you
  3. Let’s implement the plan together  
  4. Contact us brand@personadesign.ie or ring +353 1 8322724 (GMT Dublin/London time 9:00 – 17:30 weekdays)

 

One study of the hotel and hospitality industry in the United States attributes a 6.31% increase in occupancy to rebranding—and 60% of that to the power of the brand.[1] As researchers explain in their study, “Corporate Rebranding: An Integrative Review of Major Enablers and Barriers to the Rebranding Process”:

“Critical to successful corporate rebranding is the identification and application of six major enablers, including strong rebranding leadership and coordination among multiple functions and stakeholder groups.”[2]

 

To this end, we’ve compiled our list of 15 Do’s and Don’ts for Rebranding Success in order to help you navigate your next strategic rebranding and focus on critical leadership and coordination issues. We’ve been leading clients through all the various aspects of rebranding for more than twenty years so we want to ensure you engage in the process successfully by starting off on the right foot!

 

 

Also to help you achieve success, get our free download “Top 20 Rebranding Mistakes to Avoid.” here

 

We know that sometimes it’s a struggle to rebrand or revitalise your brand successfully yourselves so we’ve developed three different ways of working with us to help you rebrand successfully. So depending on your preferences:

  1. We can build your brand for you – find out more here or get in touch brand@personadesign.ie or ring +353 1 8322724
  2. 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
  3. Want a DIY solution? Check out our ‘How to Audit Your Brand’ eprogramme here and How to Build a Brand eprogramme here

 

Top Rebranding Do’s and Don’ts

 

How important is your brand? The market research firm Millward Brown attributes more than 30% of the value of companies in the S&P 500 to the brand value.[3] Your brand is just as important, which is why you can’t cut corners during your rebranding.

 

1. DO challenge your reasons for rebranding

It’s not enough to “feel” that it’s time for a change. Whether you’re rebranding a product or the company, question the strategic advantage of your decision. What do you gain? Are there any other options or avenues open to you short of a complete rebrand? In other words, go into this with your wide eyes open and a clear sense of where you’re going and why.

 

When the Langham Hospitality Group decided to refocus its business to better serve a large middle-income population, it rebranded the business to focus on its new mission of service. In this discussion on Bloomberg, CEO Robert Warman clearly articulates their thinking:

 

 

 

2. DON’T focus your rebranding on simply redesigning your logos, changing colours and replacing fonts

There’s nothing wrong with giving your brand a facelift; just don’t confuse a design initiative with the objective of a true rebranding which is driven by a specific strategic intent. When you rebrand, you are communicating a fundamental change in the business.

 

In this video, UPS helps its SME / SMB customers understand the power of branding (and by extension rebranding). This is a strategic endeavor that extends to absolutely every aspect of your business…right down to a greeting and a handshake.

 

 

 

3. DO assess exactly what’s not working or what needs to change (and why) as well as what needs to remain the same by giving your brand a health check before rebranding

Just as you need to challenge your decision to rebrand (#1) you also need to dig deep into all aspects of your business to ensure you change/expand/update those things that need to be rebranded. And at the same time retain what’s still working and still reflects how you are doing business going forward.

 

 

 

If you need direction and support in giving your brand a health check feel free to get in touch brand@personadesign.ie or give us a ring T: +353 1 8322724 (GMT hours). Alternatively, you can also give your brand a health check yourself to identify its strengths, weakness and areas for potential innovation and growth using our Auditing Analysis Accelerator™ programme. This is a step-by-step DIY walkthrough, complete with downloads, questionnaires and checklists, to help you audit your brand yourself. You can watch a section of the programme here.

 

Want to give your brand a health check. Use the Auditing Analysis Accelerator™ programme – get it here

 

 

Consider Malaysia Airlines. After the Flight 370 tragedy, you might think that their decision to rebrand would mean starting completely fresh—even changing the name. But as the new CEO Christoph Mueller tells CNN, there is so much loyalty to the brand that they feel that they need to keep the name.

 

 

 

 

4. DON’T use your competition as the focus of your rebranding

While it is essential that you know what your competition is doing and how you fit in among your key competitors, don’t let the competition drive your decisions. Do what is best for your business, what makes the most sense in terms of your products and services and what attracts your customers.

 

When you let the competition drive your business decisions, you’ll almost always end up playing a game of catch up or “me too.” To stand out, you need to be true to your vision, your culture, your philosophy and how it intersects with the values of your customers.

 

 

5. DO your homework on industry trends and your market before rebranding

While you need to know who your competition is and what they’re doing, your best insight is going to come from having a thorough up-to-date understanding of both industry trends and the wants and needs of the customers you are trying to reach.

 

This is doubly important if part of your rebranding strategy is to try to expand into a new industry or new marketplace. And your research should include talking with prospective customers in this new market. The more you know going into your rebranding effort, the better your position and your potential to succeed.

 

 

6. DON’T rebrand because it’s supposedly ‘cool’

Familiarity can breed boredom. And who’s more familiar with a brand than the people who deal with it every working day. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that you need something fresh and new just because it’s been around for a while.

 

But here’s the good news: If you understand the strategic importance of your brand and how it stands for who, what and why you’re in business, you’ll be less apt to fall into this trap. Maybe you need to refresh your logo, change your packaging, advertising, update your brand collateral or bring something new to your social media approach. But these are more tactical changes—window dressing—and not a dramatic change in strategic direction.

 

 

7. DO involve all your employees in the rebranding discussion

When a business decision requires rebranding, it needs to be felt and carried out at all levels of the company. Everyone from the CEO to the newest hire has to be on board. But rather than hand down a new brand directive from the top, start your rebranding at the grassroots. Involve everyone in the process. Invite their input. Ensure that where management thinks it needs to take the brand is something that everyone can deliver on. Your employees will be more willing to do their part when they are empowered to participate in the process.

 

 

 

8. DON’T forget to interview your customers and get their perspective before rebranding

Just as you want to talk with prospective customers in any new markets you plan to reach, you don’t want to leave your current customers behind. Remember, it’s easier to retain customers than acquire new ones. So make sure that customers understand your decision to rebrand and feel comfortable that you’ll still be able to meet their wants and needs. And invite them to share their thoughts. They may have a perspective that you need to incorporate into your rebranding strategy.

 

 

9. DO work with experienced brand experts who can help guide you through the rebranding process successfully and ask the right questions along the way

There are so many moving parts to developing and executing a rebranding strategy that it pays to work with experts—people who live and breath the branding process. Not only can a branding consultant make your rebranding process easier, they can also help ensure that you don’t overlook some critical steps.

 

 

 

10. DON’T wait until after you change direction with your rebranding to think about the rollout

While it’s easy to get caught up in the details of the rebranding strategy itself, there are a lot of tactical steps to launching your rebranding—e.g., the event, a strategic location, how to employ social media. These are not afterthoughts. It’s not as simple as one day posting a new logo on your website, announcing an acquisition or creating the content and brand collateral needed to reach a new market.

 

You need your rebranding to launch without a hitch. So be sure to assign part of your marketing team to create the tactical plan that will help you relaunch your brand successfully.

 

 

11. DO manage your customers’ expectations with your rebranding

In addition to getting your existing customers’ perspectives on your brand and where you’re going in the future, you don’t want your rebrand to blindside your loyal customers.

 

If you have field reps, plan for them to speak with customers. Let them give their customers a head’s up as well as reassure them that their needs will be fully met going forward. If you rely on inside sales and don’t have a sales force, you might have a top executive call key customers or send out personal letters. You don’t want to lose the trust of the customers that have helped you build your business.

 

 

12. DON’T try to keep the old brand alive in any form with your rebranding

During your relaunch, you’ll announce that X is now Y. And once you’ve made the announcement, don’t try to make a slow or gradual transition. Dump the old logo, the old name, the old brand collateral…everything that represented who you WERE. Trying to phase out or use up old brochures or letterhead is confusing and actually defeats the purpose of the rebranding. The transformation must happen across all your brand touch-points consistently and congruently at the same time—not months apart! Move on with confidence, strength and clarity.

 

 

13. DO communicate your new strategy and tie it directly to the rebranding so everyone understands what you’re doing and why

Few things are more important than communication. The more people understand what you’re doing, why you’re doing it, how it will impact them and the timeline for everything you’re doing, the easier it is for them to support you and help ensure a smooth rebranding process.

 

After TriNet, an outsourcer of HR services acquired a large company, it quickly went through a rebranding. This brief video is a clip from a longer presentation showing how TriNet keeps its customer-facing employees informed and completely in the loop.

 

 

 

14. DON’T forget to register any new trademarks as part of your rebranding

Whether you’re changing the name of the company or adding new branded products, sub-brands or services, you’ll naturally check to make sure the names are available. Don’t forget to register and protect these names for your exclusive use in every country or market where you plan to do business. Without registering your brand names (and the relevant brand assets like your logo artwork) you may find yourself in a losing battle later to protect the brands you’ve worked hard to develop.

 

 

15. DO discuss the ownership of any copyrights on creative outputs as part of your rebranding

Finally, there’s the matter of creative ownership. When you hire a freelance artist or graphic designer or design agency you want to make sure that you have exclusive use of the intellectual property. While the law differs slightly from country to country, you’ll probably want to establish a “work for hire” arrangement. Talk with your attorney and your brand consultant on how best to proceed. Even if you don’t end up owning the creative outright, you can pay to lock up its exclusive use.

 

Rebranding Case Study #1: Putting Some New Kick in Old Spice

 

Although Old Spice has been creating personal grooming products for more than 70 years, the brand began to stagnate in the 1980s and didn’t improve even after Procter & Gamble bought the company. That changed, however, in 2010 with an extension to the product line and the funky rebranding in the guise of the Old Spice Guy. P&G didn’t simply reposition the product; it sold women on the idea of buying its new line of body washes for their men.

 

 

 

 

Old Spice is an often-told story of a great brand comeback through rebranding. Best of all, they didn’t make the mistake of losing the trust and following of loyal customers. If there’s one weakness in the Old Spice strategy, however, it may be that they’ve failed to stay one step ahead of other brands that have followed in their footsteps with equally off-beat videos.

 

Takeaway: With rebranding, you can bring new audiences to an old, established brand. But once you get the momentum going (or have the good fortune of going viral) you need to keep it going with marketing automation and strong data management techniques that allow you to interact with customers.

 

Rebranding Case Study #2: ABM Does More Than Windows!

 

Image via ABM

 

Just three years after the 1906 earthquake, San Francisco was rebuilt and booming—enough so that Morris Rosenberg started up his window-washing business. In 1913, Rosenberg renamed his one-man operation American Building Maintenance Company and expanded into comprehensive janitorial services. Today the 100,000 employees of ABM Industries provide janitorial and facilities management around the world.

 

 

 

But ABM had a problem. While the company’s capabilities had expanded dramatically, most prospective customers still thought of it as a successful custodial service. ABM needed to build awareness for its expanded capabilities, including security and property systems engineering. It used the 2010 acquisition of the Linc Group to gain that awareness through a strategic rebranding that;

  1. Reorganized and simplified the range of service offerings
  2. Focused on the overall value ABM delivers through its integrated facility solutions
  3. Included a whole new brand identity

 

Takeaway: Rebranding your company can help you get the attention you need when you have a big message to deliver. In the case of ABM Industries, they capped off the whole process—new logo, reorganization of services, a new tagline—by ringing the NYSE closing bell in October 2012. ABM sent a message throughout the industry that this company is still growing and looking to the future.

 

 

Are You Ready for Rebranding?

If you think your company will benefit from a rebranding, ask yourself:

  1. Do we have a good reason for rebranding? If so, you need to be able to articulate it clearly.
  2. What are the strategic implications for our business? Is there any potential downside? Will this move leave any of our stakeholders behind?
  3. Have you presented the task to the entire company—from CEO to newest hire?
  4. Have you looked at your brand through your customers’ eyes and talked with them about your decision?
  5. Have you considered how you will bring your business plan into alignment with your brand going forward?
  6. Do you have a thorough plan for rolling out and implementing your rebranding? Do your employees understand the plan, know how it impacts them and have confidence they can live up to the objectives?

 

We know that sometimes it’s a struggle to rebrand or revitalise your brand successfully yourselves so we’ve developed three different ways of working with us to help you rebrand successfully. So depending on your preferences:

  1. We can build your brand for you – find out more here or get in touch brand@personadesign.ie or ring +353 1 8322724
  2. 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
  3. Want a DIY solution? Check out our ‘How to Audit Your Brand’ eprogramme here and How to Build a Brand eprogramme here

 

Want to discover more about rebranding to build your standout, №1 powerhouse, premium priced brand working with us so you can increase your profits and leave your competitors way behind?

  1. Schedule an appointment — we can meet in person or online
  2. Allow us to create a customised plan for you
  3. Let’s implement the plan together  
  4. Contact us brand@personadesign.ie or ring +353 1 8322724 (GMT Dublin/London time 9:00 – 17:30 weekdays)

 

Your Client Satisfaction Guarantee

  1. When you work with us we’ll create a customised brand building plan and strategy with clear investment for you tailored to your specific requirements and preferences
  2. You’ll know each step of your brand building journey before we start because we’ll discuss it, document it and agree on it with you before work commences
  3. You’ll have timelines, key milestones and deliverables to evaluate and approve for each stage and part of your brand building process
  4. 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
  5. 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 brand@personadesign.ie or ring us +35318322724 (GMT 9:00-17:30) and ask about our VIP Brand Strategy Discovery.

 

Image via Zillon Designs

 

 

[1] http://journals.ama.org/doi/abs/10.1509/jmr.13.0221?code=amma-site

[2] http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/ijmr.12020/abstract

[3] http://www.economist.com/news/business/21614150-brands-are-most-valuable-assets-many-companies-possess-no-one-agrees-how-much-they

 

Eleven Branding Lessons: Keeping a Sharp Eye on Your No.1 Asset

Once the heavy lifting in creating your brand is done, basic care and ongoing maintenance to preserve and protect it must not be overlooked. “Nurture your brand as you would a child,” says brand expert Jagdeep Kapoor, author of the bestselling “Twenty-Four Brand Mantras.” Just like all living things, a brand requires nurturing to remain healthy and to grow.

From creation through to end-of-life, a brand can encounter unexpected challenges arising from all sorts of corners, not just from the competition. From a poorly planned campaign to a corporate takeover, and from an outspoken CEO to a badly chosen name, a few examples that made recent headline news are worth a closer look to form takeaways and lessons learned for brand owners and managers everywhere.

Case Study: Rhode Island Is Not Iceland – Tourism Campaign Has Too Many Mistakes, Says Governor

America’s smallest state ought to know that details matter. When Rhode Island set out to create its new $5 million integrated tourism and new business promotion campaign, big guns were brought in. Who better, you might think, than Milton Glaser, the graphic designer who created the iconic  I ❤ NY campaign?

Lesson #1: Politics matter! Milton Glaser and Havas PR North America, chosen for the PR contract, are New York City firms, not Rhode Island firms.

Rhode Island Logos 600px

The newly launched campaign featuring a slogan “Cooler & Warmer” left many people cold…and guessing. What does it mean, they queried across social media channels. One Commerce Corporation board member said he saw “no emotional connection” and “no personal brand to the state or the people.”[1]

 Rhode Island And Harpa Tweet

An ATOM Media executive in Providence, RI said, “Usually a slogan is something that people know instantly and understand. I think the fact that you need to explain it could be a little problematic.”[2] That sentiment was echoed by the owner of a Newport, RI marketing and graphic design agency, who said the slogan, “Doesn’t make any sense to me. In order to create a good tagline you have to have a brand strategy.[3]

Lesson #2: Brand strategy comes before name, tagline and logo creation.

Lesson #3: Graphics must reflect and express a brand’s persona, and that must be one that resonates with people, not one that needs to be explained.

Lesson #4: Social media matters! A tagline containing a special character or symbol (such as the ampersand in Cooler & Warmer) won’t function as a hashtag[4]. Ever.

That wasn’t all. A YouTube video released with great fanfare was yanked within 24 hours when it was pointed out, “Hey, that’s not Rhode Island — that’s the Harpa concert hall and conference center in Reykjavik. Iceland.”[5] Other footage featured a highly acclaimed restaurateur who had already moved his operation to Boston. And the video also claimed 20 percent of America’s historic sites are in the little Ocean State, when it’s actually 2 percent.[6]

This was the ‘alternative’ Rhode Island Cooler & Warmer ‘spoof’ version produced by The Wonderful Show!

Lesson #5: Accuracy matters! The state’s marketing director resigned. Media partners are returning their contract fees to the taxpayers. Cooler & Warmer was scrapped.

After an initial attempt — picked up internationally, even by The China Post[7] — Governor Raimondo took a different tack at a news conference, saying, “One of the things I’ve learned from listening and engaging with people is that there should’ve been more public participation in this thing from the get-go.”[8]

With that in mind, Newport Buzz posted a public contest, pitting “Cooler & Warmer” against the previous slogan, “Discover Beautiful Rhode Island,” and a local  amateur entry, “Sea to Believe.” With 15,000 votes in so far, the local resident’s idea is clear away the favorite with 80 percent, versus the traditional one at 18 percent and the costly new-fangled entry coming in dead last at 2 percent.

Lesson #6: There’s no room for ivory tower decision-making. Consultation is critical, brand audits are essential.

AAA-eProduct-Promo-Start-Now-800x700px

More Takeaways: All brands should consider geographical location of their contractors and supply chains when performing due diligence in order to avoid potential embarrassment. The look and feel of the brand via tagline, logo, adverts, all brand collateral, media and all touchpoints must resonate with its audience, make an emotional connection and be authentic. The importance of fact-checking and the need to eliminate exaggerated claims cannot be overstated. Handle a brand crisis with carefully thought-out strategy, not something to poke fun at.

Case Study: Brand Takeover – Richard Branson Reacts to Virgin America Sale

Sir Richard Branson is himself a brand who runs a brand that has sub-brands. The self-made billionaire wasted no time addressing the Alaska Airlines purchase of Virgin America — just in case of any tarnish rubbing off on the overall Virgin brand name.

 Richard Branson On Virgin America 600px

Image via www.virgin.com and Virgin America

Well aware of the fierce loyalty of Virgin America fans for what they consider a superior product at parity prices, Branson let everybody know, “I would be lying if I didn’t admit sadness that our wonderful airline is merging with another. Because I’m not American, the US Department of Transportation stipulated I take some of my shares in Virgin America as non-voting shares, reducing my influence over any takeover. So there was sadly nothing I could do to stop it.”[9]

Lesson #7: Confront a brand crisis. Deal with it, manage it, communicate about it professionally and do not hide from it.

In a statement that’s a pleasure to read in its entirety, due to the passion readers can sense, Branson goes on to discuss the importance of the brand, “…once Alaska witnesses first-hand the power of the brand and the love of Virgin America customers for our product and guest experience, they too will be converts and the US traveling public will continue to benefit…”

Even in the face of a forced merger, the rest of the Virgin brand received immediate reinforcement from the top. “Our Virgin airline has much more to do, more places to go, and more friends to make along the way,” Branson stated.

Lesson #8: Find the silver lining. Notice how Branson uses this corporate takeover event as an opportunity to reiterate the ongoing benefits of a Virgin travel experience.

Case Study: Tarnished Brand – Trump Empire?

In his run on the US presidency, Donald Trump’s raucous attention-grabbing style and statements is affecting custom at Trump Collection branded apartment towers, hotels, resorts and golf courses.

Trump Brand Versus Trump Candidate

Image via http://www.npr.org

Polling and consulting firm Penn Schoen Berland survey results found that 45 percent of respondent US residents with annual earnings of $200,000 or more will make a point of not visiting a Trump hotel or golf course over the next four years. Within that group, 77 percent indicated they would actually boycott the Trump brand.[10]

Lesson #9:  From the CEO to front line employees to the back of the house operation, your brand is represented by everyone in each and every customer (and potential customer) interaction. Everyone is, or should be, an ambassador for your brand.

Case Study: Stay Relevant, For The Times They Are A-Changin’

In the 1980’s, four-time Olympic diving gold medalist and five-time world champion Greg Louganis was passed over for one additional honor — an appearance on the Breakfast of Champions Wheaties Legends cereal boxes. Louganis is openly gay, HIV-positive and an LGBT activist. He is also “widely viewed as the greatest diver in the history of the sport,”[11] according to a recent communication from the Wheaties maker, General Mills.

Calling it “a ground swell of love,” Louganis told Hollywood Today that a petition signed by 40,000-plus people brought the oversight to the attention of General Mills. At age 56, Louganis joins a highly decorated Olympian swimmer and hurdler, a woman and a black man, in the brand’s revamped Wheaties Legends series packaging, available on the grocery store shelves (one million boxes!) from May 2016.

 Wheaties Legends Breakfast Of Champions 600px

Image via http://www.blog.generalmills.com

Lesson #10: A brand needs to stay relevant to stay alive. The brand must respond to feedback and act to correct an out-and-out mistake.

PPP-eProduct-Promise-Promo-800x700px

 

Case Study: What’s In a Name – Law School Learns to Study Harder

Experts highly recommend that even the smallest of brands invest time and effort in getting a name right from the start to avoid potential legal issues and massive upheaval if a change is required. That advice takes into consideration everything from spelling to acronyms to trademark and domain name. Later, a brand might tweak a logo, revamp packaging design, shift media channels, or even undertake a rebrand if necessary.

AdWeek reports that a recent study by U.K. research firm MillwardBrown found “many brands that change their names can expect an immediate 5 to 20 percent drop in sales, and that the new brand image ‘may not be as strong as it was before.’”[12]

After U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia passed away in February, George Mason University outside Washington D.C. renamed their law school after Scalia upon receiving a $30 million gift to do so.

George Mason Ass Law Tweet

Several tweets later[13], the school realized the awkward acronym they’d created and made a swift change away from Antonin Scalia School of Law, or ASSOL.[14] A crisis was averted at Antonin Scalia Law School before any signs went up or ribbons were cut.

 George Mason Uni (After) 600px

Image via https://www2.gmu.edu

Spelling Counts: When Small Brands Make Big Mistakes

Branding experts point out that misspellings, bad foreign language translations and tricky signage is an area frequently causing trouble at small companies which attempt an in-house branding effort. Even big brands don’t always get it right, with sometimes alarming results.[15]

Amusing examples can occur when random neon lights fail and the Essex House becomes Sex House and Dynasty Restaurant becomes Nasty Restaurant.

 Dynasty Restaurant Sign

Image via Reddit

Even an airport parking garage can be considered part of the airport’s brand. Here’s a curious example of why details matter, right down to vetting your contractors and proofing the signage.

 Parking Before Existing Sign 600px

Image via Reddit

Lesson #11: Seek professional assistance in naming a brand to avoid potentially disastrous errors and oversights.

 

Questions to consider:

• Would you agree that branding is even more important and valuable for small businesses than it is for big companies?

 

• Have you fully addressed your brand profiling, positioning and brand strategy prior to jumping into logo design or tagline development?

 

• Have you considered consumer research and due diligence of supply chain as part of your brand audit prior to brand launch or re-branding?

 

• Have you fully considered and defined differentiation within your brand? How is your brand really different distinctive and memorable?

 

• Have you determined that your brand rings true and authentic for its target audiences? Have you developed you purchaser personas for each of your different customer types?

 

• Have you seen other examples of common mistakes amongst other brands that you can learn from?

 

 

[1] http://pbn.com/Commerce-RI-board-member-Throw-Cooler-and-Warmer-slogan-out,113203

[2] http://turnto10.com/news/local/ri-commerce-corp-releases-state-promotional-video

[3] http://pbn.com/Commerce-RI-board-member-Throw-Cooler-and-Warmer-slogan-out,113203

[4] http://mashable.com/2013/10/08/what-is-hashtag/#tQ14Pph.xuqT

[5] http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/mar/30/rhode-island-tourism-video-mistakenly-features-reykjavik

[6] http://www.abcfoxmontana.com/story/31604583/rhode-island-governor-says-iceland-video-may-draw-tourists

[7] http://www.chinapost.com.tw/life/offbeat/2016/04/01/462288/Rhode-Island.htm

[8] http://wpri.com/2016/04/01/ri-chief-marketing-officer-resigns-after-cooler-warmer-debacle

[9] https://www.virgin.com/richard-branson/virgin-america

[10] http://www.npr.org/2016/04/05/473146450/how-will-trump-the-brand-survive-trump-the-candidate

[11] http://www.blog.generalmills.com/2016/04/evans-louganis-and-moses-get-wheaties-honor

[12] http://www.adweek.com/news-gallery/advertising-branding/11-brand-names-simply-couldnt-survive-times-163440

[13] http://fortune.com/2016/04/06/antonin-scalia-school-of-law

[14] http://www.cbsnews.com/news/antonin-scalia-school-of-law-renamed-due-to-awkward-acronym

[15] http://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/spelling-grammar-mistakes

 

  

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

Image via www.mashable.com

    

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

Image via www.mashable.com  

     

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!

Packaging Design: How It Can Make or Break Your Brand

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. In fact research shows that you have less than 9 seconds to engage your customer and close the sale!

 

  

 

 

What Are The Characteristics of Highly Effective Brand Packaging?

What goes into a fantastic package design? The best packaging engages customers at a multi-sensory level that includes a visual and tactile experience of your brand which communicates your brand promise and evokes a memorable, emotional response.

 

Successful packaging is a combination of powerful shelf impact or standout and a strong visual aesthetic, coupled with other triggers such as additional sensory memorability through its feel, sound, or sometimes smell and taste too.

 

Effective packaging design should deliver the following:

  • An immediate sense of your brand story, promise and core values i.e. ‘What your brand stands for?’ also known as its Brand DNA, Brand Essence or Genetic Code etc.
  • Trigger a positive emotional response through design simplicity, elegance, a sense of fun, mischief, healthiness, honest natural nourishment or whatever sensory experience is appropriate to your brand and what it represents
  • Have a clear, strong call to action with a really significant and compelling point of difference to every other competitor in its category i.e. an incomparable selling proposition backed up with reasons to believe this proposition (note: this must be authentic and honest)
  • Reflect your brand’s primary characterizations and personality whether your products offer luxury, security, environmental awareness, corporate social responsibility, reliability, tradition, or pure unadulterated pleasure etc.
  • Use impactful brand visuals and verbal differentiation that separates your products from competitors on retail shelves or displays, through irresistibly strong brand design that hooks your core target audience immediately

 

  

Elements to Consider in Winning Package Design

Successful branding through packaging design requires more than just reproducing your brand collateral on the container your products come in. Multiple factors must be considered to create a coherent and unified design that conveys your brand message, separates you from the competition, and makes your brand instantly recognizable. Some of these factors include the following:

  

Signature Colours:

Your brands colours should be integrated with your package design in order to maintain brand continuity. Successful FMCG brands make use of carefully chosen colour palettes and colour coding to differentiate their product lines and expedite choice for customers who are often brand or category conditioned by colour application. Colour psychology has a huge bearing on attracting customer attention, pick up and conversion, particularly in the visually chaotic environment of retail. 

  

Logo:

As an iconic representation of your brand, your logo should feature prominently in your packaging design to preserve and promote your brand identity and ensure customer recognition and trust transfer. Conversely if you brand is an iconic one like McDonalds, Marmite or Heinz than your logo on pack may be a less significant requirement because the rest of your brand messaging is so powerful and highly recognizable as an embodiment of the brand the logo is no longer always necessary.

  

 Debranded Packaging 570px

 

Image via www.selfridges.com  

  

Tag Line:

You may have a single strong tag line e.g. Uncle Ben’s Rice – Never Sticks, or multiple tag lines to represent different product lines. Strategic integration of your tag line on your brand packaging can help reinforce your brand messaging and amplify your brand promise.

  

Shape:

The shape of your packaging is a vital consideration. Distinctive or iconic packaging shape designs, such as Coca-Cola’s contoured bottle or Johnny Cupcake’s paint can T-shirt containers, can be powerfully effective as brand assets with instant recognition value which over rides everything else. In fact structural shapes when done well can become valuable intellectual property assets in themselves.

 

Other elements that may be considered in your package design include the materials used, the way the package is opened, the unique rituals around its use or consumption with text to support this message, the on pack messaging and text, and any visual or tactile aspect that will affect a customer’s experience with your product. Each of your package elements should work together to create a cohesive and fully engaging branded experience.

 

The following are some examples of brands that got their packaging right—and one that failed to communicate its brand promise, with damaging results.

 

 

Vivid Water: Differentiation Through Environmental Awareness

Environmental responsibility is a strong selling point for many modern customers. Few products are more environmental than water – a product that generally comes in non-eco-friendly and relatively unhealthy plastic bottles. In 2013, Vivid Water introduced Water In A Box, the first Tetra Pak carton-packaged water product in the UK.

 

 Vivid Water In A Box 600px

 Image via www.waterinabox.co.uk

 

 

Every part of the package design for Water In A Box reinforces the simplicity, purity, and responsibility of the brand, from the clean and uncluttered visual design to the instantly recognized water drop icon. The packaging is made with renewable, responsibly sourced paperboard, and unlike plastic competitors, contains no PET.

 

Water In A Box packaging clearly conveys a brand promise of fresh, pure water that considers environmental impact and promotes health and vitality.

 

 

Toscatti: Simplicity and At-a-Glance Convenience

Toscatti offers premium kitchenware with a very distinctive design and unlike most reusable plastic storage containers, Toscatti is made with food-grade stainless steel. The brand is committed to minimizing its planetary footprint while providing the highest quality food-grade stainless steel containers – independently certified to be free of BPA, PVC, phthalates and lead. The durability, high quality, easy to clean, and aesthetically appealing qualities of this premium brand are reflected in its unique packaging system – which helps reinforce and underpin the brands’ promise.

 

 Toscatti Product Range 600px

 Image via www.toscatti.com 

 

The packaging for this kitchenware product line uses a Pantone™ color scheme, with bright, bold colors to categorize different sizes and capacities of the containers. The minimalist packaging – an easy-to-remove paperboard sleeve, are made memorable with colorful geometric shapes and a rounded typography that appears friendly and approachable.

 

Toscatti Extra Large Container 575 600px 

  Image via www.toscatti.com 

 

This packaging, combined with the unique qualities of the product itself, makes Toscatti stand out on shelves, creating instant recognition and very strong visual impact.

 

 

 

Festina: The Proof is in the Packaging

Packaging can make a bold statement about your brand without saying a word. Such is the case with Festina diving watches. This German company’s brand promise is quality and performance – and their highly unique packaging conveys this promise instantly. Festina diving watches are displayed at the point of sale inside clear bags filled with distilled water, unarguably proving that the watches are indeed waterproof.

 

 Festina Engineered For Water 600px

  Image via www.festina.com

 

The packaging carries only the Festina name and logo, and the brand’s clearly demonstrated promise in a succinct tag line: “engineered for water.” This innovative packaging makes a powerful statement about the quality of the Festina brand while winning high recognition value coupled with instant customer loyalty.

 

 

 

 

  

Tropicana: Fixing What Isn’t Broken

When considering a new package design, rebranding strategy or package redesign, your business can’t afford to ignore your existing brand equity. This was a lesson Tropicana learned the hard way, when a packaging redesign for its Tropicana Pure Premium orange juice line resulted in a 20 percent decline in sales over less than two months, dropping roughly $33 million and sending the company rushing to restore the previous packaging.

 

 Tropicana Before Rebrand Fail

 Image via www.tropicana.com

  

The Tropicana carton design, with its vibrant straw-sporting orange, had become synonymous with the brand for customers. The redesign replaced this iconic image with a juice glass featuring weaker colouring, shrank the bold stripe at the top identifying the juice type to a thin strip, and replaced the conversational product titles No Pulp, Some Pulp, and Lots of Pulp with the starker and less interesting Pulp Free, Low Pulp, and High Pulp.

 

Tropicana Rebrand Fail Reject

 Image via www.tropicana.com

  

The rebranding was an effort to create a more refined contemporary image for the Tropicana brand, but customers clearly demonstrated they weren’t interested in sophisticated orange juice – and further, the complete and abrupt change suggested the contents of the packaging might have changed.

 

  

  

 

Whenever we start work on a new brand packaging design project, or even revitalizing an established brand for our clients, all the key ingredients discussed and various methodologies mentioned are automatically integrated into our brand packaging design process everytime –  to ensure we achieve the best results for our clients.

Effective package design that reflects your brand profile,  brand story and conveys your brand promise collectively helps strengthen your brand, increases customer loyalty, and ultimately supports growing your bottom line.

It’s vitally important that you place as much emphasis and care on your packaging design as you do on your products themselves, to ensure a consistent and memorable brand experience that drives repeat purchase, referability and increased profitability.

 

What do you think?

• Does your current product packaging design accurately reflect your brands’ promise?

  

• How can you reflect the best qualities of your product through your packaging design?

  

• What innovations or brand differentiation does your product packaging convey?

 

• Is your packaging congruent with your overall brand collateral? 

  

• How recognizable are your packaging designs? Do they strongly stand out on shelf from the competition?

 

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

Rebranding : How To Do It Successfully and Avoid Pitfalls

One of the world’s biggest brands – Coca Cola – has done it eleven times, albeit in a largely evolutionary manner, since selling their first sugar-laden fizzy drink in its now-iconic bottle. Thousands of other very successful well knows brands have also done it over the decades. It’s a critical and strategic part of all successful businesses regardless of size, be they global giants or much loved more local national players. If a brand wants to stay relevant and connected then rebranding is an essential part of its continued success.

 

The degree of change in rebranding can take many forms from a gentle evolutionary update to a radical overhaul, the decisions for which are driven by strategic business objectives. Done correctly, whether evolutionary or radical in nature, rebranding can have a hugely positive impact on the bottom line, and be responsible for driving a significant increase in a business’s profitability.

  

Equally, a poorly thought out rebranding strategy can pose serious risks to your business resulting in loss of credibility, brand equity and the hard won brand asset value which you’ve painstakingly built up over the years. Successful rebranding must be given careful thought, research and planning to ensure the successful results desired.

   

To give you some further insights into both the ‘hows’, ‘dos’ and ‘donts’ of rebranding we’ve included some examples in this article, which will provide you with some direction, if considering rebranding in your business. Disasters and successes are both learning tools when analysed from an informed perspective, there are always invaluable lessons here for us all!

 

 

Top 3 Reasons to Rebrand

1. Brand Evolution : Over Time We’ve Changed…

Sometimes a company moves on but its brand doesn’t. In other words, it doesn’t represent what that business ‘stands for’ or does any more. This was the case with American Airlines when its executives felt they needed to rebrand earlier this year. The rebrand included a complete re-evaluation of what the brand stood for, and how it was perceived by stakeholders, both internally and externally in the market.

 

Evolution Of American Airlines Logo

Image via Lost Press Marketing

 

Part of the rebranding process included an update of its visual icon, the brand identity, which hadn’t seen much change since its introduction back in 1968. Its important to note that brand logos are a shorthand way to remind us of a brand’s relevance, associations and reputation in the market and are a by-product of all a company’s brand building efforts over time. They are the visual aid or trigger that reminds customers of all the emotional and rational reasons of why they love (or in some cases dislike) a brand but they are not the ‘brand’ in themselves, merely the visual identifier.

  

When American Airlines analysed its brand logo in the context of what the brand stood for now in the current market, the old symbol wasn’t seen to meet current needs or communicate the core brand message any longer. America’s number one airline needed a more streamlined and vibrant visual image to represent the brand in its full context. They also wanted to let go of what they termed the ‘bullying emphasis’ they believed old logo represented, according to one senior AA executive:

 

“The old identity was slightly skewed to a more powerful American image. We needed to move it to [what we call] ‘American spirit,’” he said.  “That’s the side of America people really, really love. People have huge love for the eagle, but not necessarily the eagle in the downward position potentially attacking someone.”

 

 

   

2. Reputation Management : Negative Brand Sponsorships…

Brand sponsorship of significant high profile events, causes or people such as celebrities can reap immense rewards, through the association for the brand. Equally it can also cause reputation risks too, if for example the person concerned suddenly becomes embroiled in a publically unacceptable behaviour or expresses a controversial opinion or becomes aligned to something which is the opposite of what your brand stands for.

 

A simple example from the USA is a Missouri restaurant owner who’d named his restaurant after a Missouri basketball star (Albert Pujols). When Albert Pujols left the Missouri St. Louis Cardinals to play for the Los Angeles Angels suddenly ‘Pujols 5’ wasn’t the go-to restaurant in town anymore. In fact, it became the opposite, the owner received numerous cancellations, his premises were vandalized and a police cordon had to be set up to deter further damage. Sales dropped a whopping 75 per cent and it seemed as if the business was about to go bust. Indeed customers are filmed saying they doubted it would survive even a year.

 

A radical rebrand became critical to the fundamental survival of the business. In fact the rebrand required a complete name change to ‘Patrick’s Restaurant & Sports Bar’. The restaurant re-established itself successfully in the market with the rebrand and most importantly, in the minds of its target market, enabling the business to grow again profitably.

 

Unfortunately, in the case of US family-run firm ‘Ms & Mrs’ their brand wasn’t just broke but demolished – thanks to a much-anticipated promotion in a TV show which turned out to be a definite brand breaker as opposed to booster. The presenter on the ABC talk show, mispronounced the name of their company to Mr & Mrs. 

 

 Mr And Mrs Emergency Kit

 

Image via Audrey Lifestyle Magazine 

 

As a result, all that much-looked forward to thousands of dollars worth of free publicity and increased sales for the firm (it provides a variety of ‘emergency personal care kits’ for for all sorts of occaions) never happened.

 

That wasn’t the only time the name had been mispronounced. Vloggers had accidentally altered it too or even had trouble saying it in the first place. Enough was enough. It was time to do something. So the family rebranded and changed their brand name. In order to avoid any confusion, they chose a new name completely different from the original and became ‘Pinch Provisions’.

 

 Pinch Minimergency Brides Kit

Image via Pinch Provisions

 

They also did a brilliant pre-name change video – using humour to make fun of themselves (and no doubt endearing themselves to thousands more customers in the process). 

 

 

  

  

3. Brand Name Translations : Bad Interpretations

One of the key guidelines to brand naming is ensuring the name and its tag line translates appropriately across different languages and cultural boundaries. Sometimes this consideration has been overlooked resulting in unfortunate connotations or interpretations when translated into foreign languages, such as the following examples:

 

A sports drink in Japan, produced by Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co and aimed at replacing electrolytes lost in sweating is named Pocari Sweat (which we reckon wouldn’t go down well in English-speaking countries).

 

Pocari Sweat Ion Drink

 

In Germany the computer Commodore VIC-20 had to be renamed to the VC-20. The reason for this is that VIC in German would be pronounced fick which means (well, in English you’d put a ‘u’ in place in the ‘i’).

 

The American SciFi channel wanted a new text friendly name. Unfortunately they choose SyFy which in many countries turned out to be slang for syphilis.

 

Online marketing company PinCrusher used to be known as PinBot – until they realised the word ‘Bot’ didn’t have particularly good connotations (being associated with as a web crawler). It could also be extremely confusing considering their business was internet based and involved the selling of a Pinterest app…

 

Rebranding isn’t something that can be taken lightly. It needs to be strategically driven and supported by considerable market research to find out what’s working, what isn’t. Most importantly new potential rebrand approaches should also be ‘tested’ and researched, before full development and launch to market, to get feedback and ensure target audience ‘buy in’. Make sure you find out and know where and why to keep the good stuff, and bin the out of date or compromised, to ensure your rebrand launch is successful and increases your profitability.

 

• If you’re considering rebranding do you really know what works well for your brand and what aspects of it could do with a revamp?

 

• Have you researched your target audience to test brand sentiment and get feedback both at the beginning of you rebranding project and again at an advanced stage of development to test your new positioning/concepts etc.?

 

 

When Is The Right Time for a Logo Redesign?

2012 could be seen as The Year of Logo Redesign with some of the world’s largest brands taking a fresh approach to their corporate logos. From simplified updates of existing logos to completely new designs, the last few months has seen brand design success and fails from well-known global brands.

 

The evolution of brand logos is far from a new phenomenon and brands such as Coca Cola can track the transformation of their current logo over nearly 100 years. Latest trends in brand logo strategies however show that logo updates signify far more than an evolution in design-over-time.

 

 Coca Cola Logo Evolution

 

 

4 Reasons Why Your Brand Logo May Need A Redesign or Update?

 

Logos are the corporate face of the brand. The logo in itself is not the brand but it acts as the visual hook reminding customers about what the company stands for, its brand personality and values. It is the glue that binds all the brand information together. With the brand’s visual corporate identity at stake a logo change is no small matter. But how do you know when a logo redesign is necessary?

 

1. Change in Company Structure

There are often obvious reasons behind logo redesigns. Mergers, acquisitions or company spin-offs often necessitate a new logo that symbolizes the new company.

 

2. Audience Misperceptions

Sometimes there may be misperceptions and confusion among key audiences about what the brand represents. Powerful brands are ones that have strong values, with an authentic story, which are clearly understood and lived both internally and externally amongst stakeholders and customers alike. If the brand values and story no longer resonates with the target audience or, customer brand experiences differ from the brand promise, then a logo redesign as part of a complete brand revitalization programme, repositioning and re-launch strategy can help realign the brand with the customer and their brand expectations.

 

 Ebay Logo Old New

 

3. Shift in Corporate Strategy

If your company is expanding its offering, such new products, new features etc. then an updated logo can signal the brands evolution and change in the marketplace. Ebay recently launched their refreshed logo to reflect the company’s plans to shift their corporate strategy away from auctions and move towards full-priced merchandise. The new logo keeps the colours of the original logo but changes the letters and streamlines the design to reflect the new direction of the brand.

 

 Band Aid Logo Old New

  

4. Update of old design

Brands that have been around a long time with a extensive legacy often require a careful evolutionary logo refresh to remain relevant in the market without losing any of the much valued old brand provenance. Johnson & Johnsons’ BAND-AID brand has been in existence since the 1920s and, prior to its latest update, the logo had remained the same since the 1980s. Their latest bolder, more distinctive logo was deemed necessary to create something that feels contemporary and modern yet honours the heritage of the brand.

 

 Budweiser Brand Evolution

 

Budweiser has again refreshed its logo. It is hoped the re-evaluation of their brand strategy together with its visual refreshment, which emphasizes the colour red and reflects their ‘continued commitment to quality’, will reverse reduced consumer interest in the brand. Critically the brand’s updated look incorporates the core brand hallmarks that loyal brand followers will recognize.

 

 Twitter Logo Old New

 

Earlier this year Twitter launched their revitalised logo. While still a relatively young brand, the company saw a need to simplify and streamline the iconic blue bird. The new logo is created from three overlapping circles, which according to Twitter head of design is “similar to how your networks, interests & ideas connect and intersect with peers and friends”. The new logo reinforces the brand identity with the customer and strengthens the consistency of the brand image online.

 

 

  

In contrast Microsoft launched their new logo design, which is the first time the brand has updated their logo in a quarter of a century. The new design was created to attract and embrace a younger broader demographic to the brand.

  

 

 

The Potential Risks

 

While logo updates are often necessary to remain relevant in the market it is critically important not to damage any brand equity developed over previous years. The last thing logo refreshment should do is to alienate or confuse loyal customers.

 

 Jc Penny Logo Confusion

 

American retail brand JCPenney has redesigned their logo three times in as many years. The changes were designed to coincide with the brand’s repositioning strategy but have left many customers confused as to what the brand stands for and its identity.

 

 New Old Gap Logo

  

Retail giant Gap suffered one of the biggest logo redesign disasters in decades when they launched a completely new logo last year. The brand made a fatal flaw when they failed to research and explore the influence of the logo on their customer base. The new logo received major criticism from both loyal customers and design critics alike, who slated the company for changing the brand’s iconic blue square.

 

While the brand’s desire to modernize the logo for the digital world was understandable, they missed an critical opportunity to engage with their customers and the online community in the redesign of the logo.

 Maguire   Paterson Old New Logo 2008

  

Brands need to constantly manage their engagement, reputation and image in the market in order to remain relevant with their customers. Sometimes it is small updates to the logo, as was the case with the old Maguire & Paterson Matches brand, dating from 1882, that can breathe new life into a brand and update it for the current market to keep it relevant and take it into the future.

 

• Is your brand still relevant and resonating effectively with your target audience or in need of revitalization for continued growth?

 

• Does your current logo meet the needs of both your brand and your target market?

 

• Have you undertaken recent research to identify your customer’s perceptions of your brand?

 

If you’d like to find out more about what’s involved in a Brand Revitalisation and Re-launch Programme, and if it’s the right strategy to support your business growth, then feel free to give us a call. We’d love to talk.

 

Risky Business: How to Safe Guard Your Brand

Over 80% of the Fortune 500 Company CEO’s identified ‘their brand’ as their company’s number one asset. Their brand was valued as being what defined their business and what made them unique in their market.

 

Your brand is what sets you apart from your competition. It is the differentiating factor used by your consumer’s in their decision making process.

 

In our home lives we tend to take great care of our valuable assets. We try to preempt things that can go wrong and insure against them. Not only is your car insured against any potential accidents, you also wear your seat belt, maintain the speed limits, drive with care. You try to identify and reduce potential risks before they occur. If your brand is the greatest asset to your business then what measures have you put in place to protect it from potential risks?

 

 

Brand Risks

Brands face exposure to a huge amount of risk (product or service), many of which will be specific to each individual brand, not to mention industry categories or specific sectors, be they B2B or B2C. In addition to the obvious risks faced from product liability lawsuits or adverse regulatory decisions, other risks your brand could face include:

 

Costa Concordia Runs Aground 600px

 

Structural Risk

These are risks where exposure might affect an entire industry or market segment. The sinking of the luxury cruise liner Costa Concordia may have destroyed the reputation of its parent brand Carnival Corporation but it also damaged the entire industry with numerous cruise liner brands suffering the effects

 

Brand Equity Risk

Brand Equity risks undermine your brand’s ability to maintain desired differentiation and competitive advantage. If your brand identity is the only thing that differs your offering from that of your competitors then the loss of brand affinity by consumers will affect your entire business.

 

Reputational Risk

These risks arise from failure to meet basic expectations that apply to the market in which your company operates.

 

The famous case of Tylenol is a textbook example of how brand risk management can save the reputation of a company and lead to stronger brand loyalty. When faced with a case of product tampering that would de-rail most brands, Tylenol’s excellent foresight about risk enabled them to rapidly implement pre-planned re-packaging that preserved the company’s reputation.

  

 Tylenol 600px

  

Why Brand Risk Management is Important

 

A brand is so much more than a name. The value of a brand lies in the unique emotional and functional benefits it offers its target audience. Often the biggest brand risk is not about new competitors coming to the market, it is about loosing the trust and connection it has with its consumers.

 

Strong well-known brands that are poorly managed can lose their distinction in the market place. Their products or services simply become commodities distinguished only by price. The brand name might prevail but the value of the brand erodes; market share, profit margins, and loyalty all decline. In essence, the power of the brand is lost.

 

The risk of a damaged brand is far more dangerous and costly to a business than risks to tangible assets. A factory destroyed by fire can be replaced with financial investment. A brand with a damaged reputation takes far more investment to repair and in some cases is too damaged and needs complete rebranding. It also becomes a lasting case study in how “not-to-do-it” with is an irreparable legacy association.

 

Rebuilding a brand’s reputation takes much more than just money. Changes in stakeholder perceptions can threaten the sustainability of current and future demand for a company’s product or services.  A risk to brand equity is a risk to a brand’s ability to create value or influence in its market, in short its ability to generate a profitable return.

 

 

Are You Brand Risk Aware?

Managing brand risk is really about running the business effectively and understanding, at the core, the fundamental risks facing the business.

 

Safe guarding your brand from potential risks must begin by developing a clear understanding of the value of the brand to the business. By clearly illustrating the brand’s contribution to earnings, you can gain perspective and properly assess the scale and nature of the risks attached to the brand. 

 

When unanticipated change occurs brands can be hit hard because typical crisis management does not include appropriate brand risk management strategies too. If you have spent time and resources to shape and build strong brand equity then you need to protect your investment and manage your brand’s future. Your brand strategy should also include mitigating potential risks to your brand too. Be proactive, preempt, plan, and safe guard your company’s revenue stream.

 

• Identifying and evaluating the existing practices and procedures that are used to develop, support and track brand performance will help identify potential risks that may contribute to brand erosion. Have you undertaken a brand audit?

 

• Have you identified the risks faced by your brand?

 

• Do you know what your stakeholders expect from you?

 

• Have you a contingency plan in place to protect your brand?

 

 

Top 10 Reasons For Rebranding To Grow Your Business

Brands are constantly evolving to ensure they keep abreast of changing needs in the market place. Even some of the greatest brands in the world need rejuvenation.

Brands like Guinness, Coca-Cola, Starbucks and Kellogg’s are iconic, global in their status. Yet when you look at their market leadership over the decades, they have all changed even if it has been in a more evolutionary sense over time, rather then radical overhauls. However some branding does require an extensive change in order for the business to achieve the required regeneration for growth and profitable returns.

 

Guinness Word Device

 

Guinness Logo

 

Revitalisation maintains and celebrates the history and heritage of the brand but shows its target audience (current and future) that you are adaptive to change. Change is necessary to stay relevant to the times in which a brand exists and to ensure its future success.

 

Starbucks Logo Evolution

 

Some of the reasons for rebranding, relaunching and revitalising a brand include the following: 

 

1. Relevance:

Brands need to stay relevant to their target market, to keep up with the times and keep pace with changing customer needs (e.g. services, accessibility, convenience, choice, changing trends, technology). A brand that has become old-fashioned in the eyes of its audience is in danger of stagnation if not already in a state of erosion and loss of market share.

 

2. Competition:

In a fast moving environment with aggressive competition, rebranding may be required to change the offering to the market in order to create a more compelling reason to buy, in the minds of the target audience. Rebranding can be used as a means of blocking or outmanoeuvring competitors or a way of handling increased price competitiveness.

 

3. Globalisation:

Sometimes rebranding is required because of globalisation where the same product sold across multiple markets is inconsistent or different e.g. Marathon’s change to Snickers, Opal Fruits change to Starburst, Jif’s change to Cif. 

 

Starburst Opalfruits Rebrand

 

4. Mergers & Acquisitions:

When two entities combine there are typically two unique audiences left to communicate with. Sometimes this can require a rebrand or relaunch in a way that will appeal to both. In other cases one of the brands may be more dominant requiring more of a revitalisation or refresh with it becoming the sole dominant player. 

 

5. Innovation:

Technology is constantly evolving and the rate of change often exponential. If a brand is technology related e.g. internet, software, hardware and the product offering constantly innovating then a rebrand frequently follows the natural and fast rate of change. Rebranding or revitalisation becomes an outward expression of the companies evolution and ensures the brand’s change hungry customers keep coming back to see “what’s new”.

 

Apple Logo Old And New

 

6. Repositioning:

Taking a brand to a new position is an involved process e.g. from an economy price fighter to a premium position, and invariably requires a rebrand to signal a change in direction, focus, attitude or strategy to its target market. Also again used as a means of blocking or outmanoeuvring competitors or a way of handling increased price competitiveness.

 

7. Rationalisation:

Rebranding can be used to decrease business development and operational costs, or a way of countering declining profitability or consumer confidence. It can also be used where there are complex and sometimes confusing mixes of product portfolios which frequently undermine the brands impact, (along with considerable advertising, branding clutter and media proliferation) all of which causes brand incongruence and audience fragmentation and consequently badly needs consolidation through rebranding to achieve brand impact and strong growth again

 

Mcconnells Old And New Logo

 

8. Outgrowth:

When small companies grow into bigger entities they and/or their products frequently require a rebrand or revitalisation to meet the needs of the bigger business. Typically smaller companies start with more modest brand offering, due to budget restrictions, which are inadequate to meet the needs of a bigger more sophisticated business and a rebrand is required.

 

9. Legal Requirements:

Occasionally legal issues may arise that require a company to make changes to their branding such as copyright issues or bankruptcy e.g. similarities between naming and designs e.g. The Jelly Bean Factory became The Jelly Bean Planet in Ireland to ensure differentiation from the USA brand Jelly Belly.

 

10. Morale & Reputation:

If a company brand has demoralised employees or confused customers then a rebrand may required. A thorough rebrand process will work to unearth the issues that need addressing and could be solved through key changes, including a completely new look and feel to the organisation. A rebrand in this instance can improve a brand’s competitiveness by creating a common sense of purpose and unified identity, building staff morale and pride, as well as a way of attracting new customers, enhancing relationships with existing customers and attracting the best talent to the business.

 

In the case of compromised or damaged reputations rebranding becomes a more pressing requirement. Obvious examples in the current market include certain aspects of the financial sector and banking institutions with damaged reputations which in time will need rebranding. BP is another example and its handling of the Gulf spill which may also require a rebrand in the US the help rebuild its reputation.

 

If you’re considering a rebrand to grow your business and would like to know more, give us a call. We’d love to talk T: +353 1 8322724