7 Ways A Brand Refresh Will Make You More Productive And Increase Sales

It’s often human nature to resist change because persisting with the comfortingly familiar feels ‘safer’. Sadly the marketplace is littered with case studies and examples of once very successful brands now gone forever, often because their leaders didn’t implement the critical changes needed, together with a brand refresh, that were essential to ensuring a successful future.

 

“A Business That Doesn’t Change

Is A Business That Is

Going To Die”

Frank Perdue

 

The most recent example of this kind of demise is Stuttafords, a 159-year icon leading department store in South Africa, which will permanently close its doors at the end of July 2017.[1]

 

Another example is Sears, America’s previously largest retailer. It was a mistake their leaders made to assume no one could overtake them, and yet both Walmart and Amazon have. Sears failed to adapt and as a result, in June 2017, closed yet another 72 stores.[2]

 

Related: How Do Challenger Brands Become Market Leaders?

 

Both Stuttafords and Sears could still be flourishing today if they had been more open to real change and the sad fact is, to quote Buckminster Fuller, “You never change things by fighting reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete” so a well-timed brand refresh underpinned by a thorough brand audit could have resulted in a very different story for both.

 

In this article, we’ll uncover the 7 ways a brand refresh could have prevented the downfall of some of the world’s greatest companies, to make them more productive so they could have maintained and increased their sales.

 

What Is The Meaning Of “Brand Refresh”?

A brand refresh means giving your core proposition a health check, using a brand audit, to identify where weaknesses, strengths and opportunities for innovation exist.

 

The findings can change the very foundation of a business, indeed the whole business model. It may have kept Sears, once the largest American retailer, and the doors of Stuttafords open.

 

 

 

 

For example, a brand refresh may mean a change in communication emphasis internally and externally, or a change in operations or perhaps an aspect of the brand story needs leveraging differently or the development of a whole new product or service is required to add a new revenue stream and meet customers’ needs. It may be that the company’s messaging, language and copywriting needs re-evaluation because it’s no longer relevant or appropriate to where the market has moved.

 

Related: Rebrand or Refresh? That is the Question

 

Refreshing your brand may even require a change at the very core of the business and what it stands for, and how that manifests in the organisation’s culture. What’s often misunderstood by many is thinking that a “brand refresh” entails cosmetic changes in the form of design only — that is a big mistake!

 

Changes such as design, video, photography, fonts, colour palettes and so forth should only be instigated as a result of much deeper strategic input where the brand has been fully evaluated, re-codified and mapped out for current and future market relevance.

 

 

 

 

In fact, nothing in the visual aspect of a brand should be touched or given a visual refresh until the strategic rationale behind that change has been fully developed in depth because it’s the outputs from that process that informs and provides much-needed direction for a design change.

 

 

Approaching your brand refresh in this way ensures a successful result and strong return on investment while also avoiding decisions based on uninformed subjective preferences.

 

Zopa Brand Refresh

Image via Zopa

 

Zopa, a UK based company founded in 2004 and consisting of approximately 200 staff members, was the first peer to peer lending company, and provides clarity on what “brand refresh” entails:

 

 

 

Related: The Power of Disruptor Brands and Challenger Brands

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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

 

Digital Brand Identity Essentials – How to Build, Resonate and Grow

Successful branding requires consistent communications both on and offline. The question is, is your digital brand identity consistent and congruent with what your brand stands for? Does your brand strategy fully integrate your digital brand identity? Does it congruently express what you stand for? Is it well thought out and compelling? Does your digital brand identity connect with your customers, serve them and give them great value? Do your customers even care?

 

As you build your winning brand on its fundamental pillars, you fill its heart with the essential values of your organization, be that a product or service. You craft your brand promise to let people know what your brand will deliver. To make that commitment heard, it’s mandatory that your brand is active and fully engaged wherever your customers (and potential new customers) are. Increasingly, that’s digital and especially via mobile.

 

 

Google Goes Mobile-First

 

Google got everyone’s attention in April 2015 with an update that put mobile-first indexing on every marketer’s lips.[1] In today’s “always connected” marketplace, small businesses (including those with a bricks and mortar presence) must think digital…more specifically, mobile first, desktop second.

 

 

 

Years ago, marketplace presence might have meant a choice corner shop location in a vibrant neighbourhood, busy shopping mall or flashy billboard advertising supplemented by a basic website.

 

google-maps-seo

 

These days, “A successful website has gone from a ‘nice-to-have’ to an absolute necessity for almost all businesses,” counsels the UK’s National Federation of Self Employed & Small Businesses Limited.[2]

 

Your digital brand — and what others think about it — is in your customer’s pocket on a 24/7 basis.

 

 

Always-On Brands Mean the Future is Now

People just love their mobile devices. Your customers don’t leave the house without their smartphones. In fact, research[3] shows that one-third of Americans check their phones before brushing teeth in the morning.

 

toothbrush-and-mobile-phone

Image via GigaOm.com

 

Approximately three-quarters of mobile phone owners sleep with — or next to — their mobile phones (71%).

  • Younger Millennials (ages 18-24) are most likely to sleep with their smartphone on the bed (34%).
  • In the morning, more than one-third reach for their mobile first thing (35%), before coffee (17%), or a partner (10%).
  • A majority (89%) check their phone several times a day (89%), or constantly (36%).
  • Nearly half (44%) of Americans say they couldn’t make it a day without their mobile device.
  • About one in 10 (11%) respondents say they would last less than an hour. Of those, more than half (52%) check their smartphone at least every 5 to 10 minutes.

 

 

Brands Must Avoid Band-Aid Solutions if They Want to Build a Winning Digital Brand Identity

A band-aid solution is nothing more than a quick fix for a systemic problem that’s bound to re-emerge later. If your mobile communications strategy is lagging, there’s a good chance that your brand needs a refresh or a rebranding.

 

Best practice says that if you’re not reaching mobile customers, it’s time to start…yesterday. It’s no longer a question of which brands gain increased market share by attracting customers via the internet. It’s now a basic question of brand survival.

 

Writing in the Harvard Business Review, digital consultant and investor Barry Libert says, “Transforming an organization is difficult, and the research proves it. But it is still worth doing. Forrester’s assessment is that by 2020 every business will become either predator or prey. As a leader, you likely already know the basics of managing change, but a digital transformation goes deeper…”[4]

 

There’s little point for a small business to invest in online presence without taking a deeper dive into the life and the long-term health of your brand. Perhaps that’s where the expression “like brand new” comes from?

 

If you need to evaluate your brand’s weak points, areas in need of innovation and change and opportunities for growth then now is the time to use the Auditing Analysis Accelerator™ for your brand. It’s an online programme that takes you through, step-by-step, the process of giving your brand a health check. In fact the Auditing Analysis Accelerator™ is a critical brand evaluation process that’s an essential part of every brand owner’s or manager’s toolkit.

 

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

 

How to Know When a Brand Refresh is Required

Consumers and businesses alike are aware that brands age, just like everything does.

  • Has your brand seen a drop in sales?
  • Is your brand losing market share?
  • Has competition for your brand heated up?
  • Does your brand message lack oomph?
  • Is your brand logo and supporting brand collateral outdated?
  • Does your brand still reflect your customers’ preferences?
  • Have you got a great new service or product?
  • Are you looking to expand your brand’s customer base?
  • Has your brand had a merger or created a partnership?

 

At Persona Design, we share the top reasons why SMEs may need to refresh, revitalize their brand or a complete rebrand and how to achieve successful outcomes for both processes.

 

 

The good news is that you don’t necessarily need to start from scratch. But, let’s be perfectly clear about what a brand refresh is not. A brand refresh is not just a new colour for your logo, a tweaked tagline to accompany it and an updated website! A brand refresh is a strategic re-think that provides the key to a company’s long-term survival and market leadership.

 

The bad news is that procrastination will only make the problem worse.

 

 

Why a Brand Audit is the Way Forward for SME Businesses

Large corporate brands are constantly refreshing coupled with developing and launching new services to market. We’ve all seen the parade of boxes on the grocer’s shelf declaring “new, improved.” Car manufacturers produce new models every season to sustain the ever hungry consumer appetite for ‘new’.

 

Interest builds as Pantone® unveils a new colour of the year to reflect the latest colour trends — also enabling colour aficionados to leverage colour psychology to the full to further increase sales.

 

 

 

As an SME / SMB or smaller business, the timing for a brand refresh is actually a larger undertaking because it isn’t such a frequent occurrence. The first question is: Do you need a refresh or a rebrand, and where to begin? The quick answer is: Don’t guess.

 

Rebranding strategy is a complex process that allows no wiggle room for getting it wrong. Happily, a brand audit provides a tried and tested tool to nicely remove the urge for any guesswork.

 

Fine-tune your brand’s identity. A professional brand audit will identify weaknesses and shine a light on opportunities, identifying new areas to grow your brand and potential new customer audiences. These steps are critical before investing in a rebrand, refresh, new website presence or any other brand collateral for that matter.

 

If your brand message isn’t responsive and on point, there’s no point in an astonishingly beautiful mobile app or web site. If you’re struggling with your brand message to make it standout and be trusted, loved and referred by your preferred customer then the Personality Profile Performer™ is the online brand building programme you need right now.

 

 

PPP-eProduct-Enroll-800x700px

 

 

What a Branding Agency Can Do For Small Brands

It’s enlightening to study big budget, big brand name examples of successful updates that have harnessed the power of the internet. Great case studies emerge:

  • The swagger of Old Spice on YouTube (53 million views)

 

 

 

  • The cultivation of Harley-Davidson fans

 

 

 

 

  • The story about rebirth of heritage brands like Converse

 

 

 

 

However, SME brands can achieve big successes with rebranding to include digital presence. Here are several examples:

  • A restaurant called Mama’s Pancakes serving only breakfast has added lunch and dinner. A rebrand draws attention to the new hours, midday and dinner menus coupled with a proactive digital brand strategy developed for Instagram and Facebook.
  • An accountant’s firm named A Hand for Small Business who focused on business accounting has added individual tax return preparation. A rebrand ensures that her brand speaks to both types of customers. Her digital strategy ensures expert posts on LinkedIn support her repositioning brand strategy, raise her profile and highlight her specialist services.
  • A primary school that expands its class offerings, age groups, or single sex status must rebrand and develop a strategy to reach parents of infants and toddlers. Facebook for Business is one way to target custom audiences by demographics and geography.
  • A barbershop called Billy’s Beard changes its focus from men’s grooming to a unisex salon needs to rebrand both in-store and online. The owners embrace a presence on Pinterest and Instagram to supplement their mobile responsive website.
  • A long-term serviced apartment complex called Urban Homes that now markets to short stays needs to rebrand to compete with hotels and private home rentals such as Airbnb. A completely revamped online presence is required.

 

Are you an SME / SMB business owner?

Think about these six questions to ask yourself about the state of your brand’s health:

  1. How can I identify new growth opportunities?
  2. Am I completely happy with my current market share?
  3. Is my brand promise resonating with my customer base?
  4. Does new business walk in every day? If so, do I know what prompts it?
  5. Am I completely happy with my brand packaging? My brand’s online presence?
  6. Do I have a 1-year, 3-year, and 5-year business plan in place?

AAA-eProduct-Promo-Start-Today-800x700px

 

[1] https://support.google.com/adsense/answer/6196932?hl=en

[2] http://www.fsb.org.uk/first-voice/fifty-great-tips-to-building-a-winning-website

[3] http://newsroom.bankofamerica.com/files/doc_library/additional/2015_BAC_Trends_in_Consumer_Mobility_Report.pdf

[4] https://hbr.org/2016/07/7-questions-to-ask-before-your-next-digital-transformation

 

 

Rebrand or Refresh? That is the Question

A Rebranding Strategy Guide for Brand Owners and Managers

The business world is in a constant state of flux. Markets change, new trends emerge, disruptive competitors alter longstanding rules, and customer preferences evolve — all of which impacts your brand. Consequently brands are constantly evolving to ensure future growth and relevance. Even the longest standing and greatest brands in the world need rejuvenation, if not a total rebrand, in order to maintain their market leadership.

  

Like the foundation upon which a house is built, a strong brand is essential, indeed it is the lifeblood for any successful organisation. When cracks appear in that foundation, a wise owner or manager must take action to repair, introduce procedures to prevent deterioration and take steps to strengthen the brand for future growth. Experts say that organisations and brands change their corporate identities on an average of once every 7-10 years. [1]

 

On a regular basis, diligent brand owners and managers need to take a step away from an organization’s day-to-day operations to examine and re-evaluate their position and strength in the market. If your brand isn’t achieving its objectives or driving business growth, there’s little time to be lost wondering what to do about it. Its time to give your brand a health check. Frequently asked questions about the two brand revitalisation routes include:

  1. What’s the difference between a brand refresh and a rebrand?
  2. How do I determine which one is the most suitable choice?

 

Rebranding or revitalization can take many guises from the complete wholesale change of a company, service or product, inside and out, including; name, culture, values, vision, mission, proposition, positioning, purpose, behaviours, tone, visual collateral and all that entails with no connections to the legacy entity. Alternatively, it can be something less dramatic and of a more subtle, evolutionary nature in the form of a brand refresh.

 

In each instance though, the change to whatever degree, be it a total rebrand overhaul or brand refresh, affects a change in the minds of the target audience in terms of their perceptions of the brand. That change is a process of giving an organisation, product or service a new meaning and image, both in terms of brand experience and culture to its visual brand collateral, in order to make it more successful.

 

In determining whether it’s time for a refresh or a rebrand, one of the most effective tools for re-assessing your brand’s state is a brand audit health check to examine external and internal drivers that impact your brand. Like any checkup, a brand audit is best done as a proactive and preventative measure. Aside from determining the health or state of your brand, a brand audit also helps determine the level of potential change required — to rebrand or refresh.

“A brand audit is effectively a health check of your brand to identify and address problem areas with a net result of helping you turn things around and grow your bottom line.

Brands are like living entities with life cycles. They start with much excitement and promise, grow and then eventually plateau. A brand audit helps you innovate, re-invent, re-invigorate, and ensure market leadership and continued relevance so you can maximise your commercial return and fend off your competition.

The scale and depth of a brand audit is largely determined by your primary objectives coupled with timelines and resources.”

 

 

 

 

What’s the Difference between Refresh and Rebrand?

 

The reasons for rebranding and or refreshing an organisation, product or service are numerous and decisions should not be taken lightly without sound strategic reasons before launching into the process.

Once you know why you’re considering either a rebrand or refresh and what your primary objectives are in making this strategic decision, consider the following differences:

Rebrand or Refresh? A Quick Reference Checklist

RefreshRebrand
What: Expand reach and market impact, get new customers, attract new talent, increase profitability

 

Why: Declining market share, diminishing growth, changing client’s or customers needs, tired and dated with lack of brand relevance, insufficient new leads, significant new product/service launch, lack of brand distinction, entering a new market, aggressive new competitors, new technology changes, struggling to describe what makes your firm, organisation, product or service different, difficulty attracting new talent, competitors poaching key employees, need to take your organisation to the next level, change in brand architecture or hierarchy

What: A re-positioning to change market perceptions, re-evaluate who are we, why do we exist? What’s our mission, vision, values, promise? How do we define and articulate our brand proposition and purpose? How is our brand really different to our competitors?

 

Why: New ownership, merger or acquisition, legal issues, reputation damage, rationalisation, outgrowth, globalisation, new primary target audience(s), competition, new sectorial challengers and disruptors

What: Evolutionary logo update

 

Why: Better reflection of brand platform and values

What: New brand identity

 

Why: To streamline and simplify or a complete change in core business

What: Evolve, update tagline

 

Why: Tweak the message, spotlight the business, stay current, introduce a new brand promise reflecting enhancements provided by the business

What: New tagline

 

Why: New line of business, new audience or an innovative advancement, new positioning

What: Health check your brand personality and primary characteristics using brand profiling — elements reference check

 

Why: Increased competition, slower sales, insufficient brand relevance and resonance, create enhanced distinction and market recognition, develop stronger brand resonance with customers

What: Redefine your new brand personality and brand characteristics

 

Why: Make it more relevant, engaging, compelling, distinctive, different, memorable and referable

What: Evaluate your brand promise and enhance consistent delivery

 

Why: Customer feedback, lack of strong distinction, difference and referability

What: Change your brand promise

 

Why: As a result of new products, services

What: Re-evaluate customer base versus profitability, evaluate brand equity

 

Why: Customer research, re-evaluate existing buyer personas (customer profiles)

What: New primary audience, need to change existing or previous customer perceptions

 

Why: Customer research, develop new customer buyer personas

What: Build new leadership and employee training modules

 

Why: People represent the brand and need the knowledge to be effective brand champions

What: Revamp leadership and employee training programmes

 

Why: To interpret and support company culture, develop new brand ambassadors

What: Expand market share

 

Why: Changes in competitive set and customer wants/needs

What: Find and capture new customers

 

Why: Change of price point and positioning

What: Introduce new products, services congruent with primary offering

 

Why: Business expansion within existing customer base and to attract new customers

What: Discontinue or retire some existing products, services

 

Why: Lack of market demand, no longer relevant, changing customer needs, competitors

What: Launch within a shorter timeline

 

Why: Competitive edge, attract change hungry customers, capture / maintain lead market share

What: Stage a rollout over a year or longer

 

Why: Extensive impact throughout the business, firm or organisation requiring change management internally and externally

 

So, refresh or rebrand? Here we take a look at both options and evaluate the most significant or typical reasons for deciding to choose one over the other. We’ll also review several case studies and key learnings to be extracted.

Rebranding or Brand Refresh Process

Establishing the reasons behind any brand change is fundamental. Whether your brand audit points to a refresh or a rebrand, both routes require a process of due diligence to determine the changes required and to what degree. Both routes require an inclusive approach, from the C-suite to the newest team member, ensuring that everyone in the organisation sees themselves as an essential part of the brand.

 

Engagement with the external market, customers, stakeholders and influencers alike is also hugely important. There many examples of brands which failed to address this adequately and consequently suffered significantly at the hands of voluble detractors.

 

While it may be tempting to jump into the visual brand design aspects, the process of investigation, discovery, analysis and brand strategy development cannot be overlooked or rushed — at your brand peril.

 

Broadly speaking a typical rebrand or refresh process includes:

 

Are you struggling with how to make your brand highly visible, different, distinctive memorable and likeable? Take a look at the Personality Profile Performer™ Programme. It’s a step-by-step process to make your brand No.1 in your target market — especially if you’re a getting lost in the market amongst all your competitors.

Rebranding Strategy

Approaching a rebranding or brand refresh process without strategic planning, market insights and customer engagement can have disastrous consequences. The strategy leading to a brand refresh or to rebranding requires much more than changes to a logo; it requires an understanding of strategic objectives for the brand.

 

Research involves consultation with staff, with existing, lost and prospective customers, former clients, and competitor insights to get a full picture of current brand associations as well as customer perceptions, wants and needs.

 

Therefore, an investment in time for research and assessment is required to flesh out areas of strength and weakness and their impact on the brand to see whether a total rebrand or just a refresh is required. The brand audit will also typically reveal new opportunities and point the way towards what you need to do to leverage them for greatest impact.

Rebranding Deliverables

Define deliverables to the organisation. These typically include a brand positioning statement that summarises the pertinent research and brand profiling outputs regarding the unique selling points and key brand characteristics that set the brand apart and make it highly visible, different, distinctive, memorable and liked while also providing the roadmap or GPS direction for the brand moving forward.

 

Brand messaging is delivered to include some or all of the following: values, vision, promise and mission statement, brand story, value proposition (for aligning brand product and services to customer communications), identification of target audiences, development of purchaser personas and a key messages crafted for each. Deliverables might also include problem statements and problem solutions.

 

Lastly, the design aspect of visual and / or audio deliverables should be identified e.g. logo and a tagline, packaging, stationery, website, social media platforms, apps update or overhaul, brochures, uniforms, PowerPoint or Keynote templates, sales supports, vehicle livery, uniforms, signage, site interiors and exteriors, exhibition stands, possibly music, videos, and more. It’s critical that your new or revitalised brand collateral properly reflects your brand, is consistent throughout every touch point and most importantly reflects and amplifies your key brand differentiators and brand personality in a way that’s really meaningful to your primary audience.

Rebranding or Brand Refresh Rollout

To avoid miscommunications, a new or refreshed branding launch is staged first internally. An organisation must provide insights, education and training to everyone, top down from senior management to general employees to ensure they are onboard to advocate the new brand. Front line employees’ communications are essential to the successful external customer roll out which follows.

Top 15 Tips for Ensuring a Successful Rebrand or Refresh

  1. Consult management
  2. Conduct a brand audit
  3. Determine refresh or rebrand requirement
  4. Set objectives
  5. Establish a timeline
  6. Set budget appropriately
  7. Create a balanced project team internally and externally
  8. Evaluate all customer touchpoints
  9. Re-develop / overhaul brand proposition, positioning and differentiators
  10. Re-visit brand strategy; sales and marketing messages and channels
  11. Develop brand strategy, brand profiling documents to provide the essential brand directions or roadmap
  12. Develop brand design brief
  13. Commission brand design agency (with relevant expertise)
  14. Determine methodology and markers for measuring ROI
  15. Plan and execute brand rollout to market

Hit or Miss: Brand Refresh and Rebrand Examples

Taking the time and consulting the experts to get it right is critical; a miss can be a costly affair.

 

Accenture: Rebranding Involved the Entire Global Organization

Amid much fanfare, Andersen Consulting hung a huge banner at the New York Stock Exchange to announce its 2001 reorganization from partnership to public company and a rebranding as Accenture. Following arbitration involving accountancy Arthur Andersen, the new name (meaning accent on the future) resulted from an internal competition won by a Danish employee in the company’s Oslo office, chosen from 2,677 submissions from 42 countries.[2]

 

Accenture-Brand-600px

Image via Accenture

 

Time magazine pegged Accenture “as a generic corporate nonsense word only a management consultant could have come up with…“[3] Only this was not the case. Currently the world’s largest management consultancy, Accenture might have made more of the positive PR storytelling opportunity about the brainstorming naming contest and the winner’s inspiration.

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP: A Leading Law Firm says Brand Audit and Teamwork Are Key to Rebrand Success

America’s largest law firm undertook a rebrand over a 15 month period. Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP had experienced two mergers, and the rebrand was intended to “define and raise awareness of our practice and industry expertise, commitment to client service, and seamless global reach.”

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

The brand audit health check process involved many thousands of pieces of content, including 2,000 lawyer biographies to be re-written, according to the firm’s chief business development and marketing officer. The takeaway? To “cultivate a really strong collaboration among all of the constituents responsible for launching a new brand…No single person could have accomplished this alone; this was truly a team effort.”[4]

 

Massey Bros.: One of Dublin’s Largest Funeral Directors Rebranded to Amplify its Brand Leadership Positioning and New Innovative Services

Massey Bros. Funeral Directors is a very successful family owned and managed business established in Dublin in the 1930s. They operate in a sector which is traditionally very conservative yet they’re industry leaders in terms of their premium service together with ongoing innovative solutions offered.

 

Massey-Bros-500px

 

They also have the added complication of having more than six competitors also operating legitimately under the ‘Massey’ name. In addition to this they themselves also operated under two names before their brand refresh! Their brand revitalisation strategy helped them fully leverage their leadership positioning and amplify their multiple new innovative service solutions offered.

 

 

Dublin Tourism Board: Refreshes the Destination’s Strategic Positioning

Tourists have a finite number of vacation days and discretionary budget for holidays, so every destination competes to capture that spend. Visit Dublin undertook a study[5] to determine reasons for declining tourism numbers since 2007, resulting in a new positioning crafted to a visitor-focused strategy further analyzed by length of stay, reason for visit, country of origin and more demographics. As a 5-year plan, the realigned strategy, “A Breath of Fresh Air” gets buy-ins from the stakeholders and community to highlight both urban and outdoor visitor experiences.

 

Old Spice: Rebranded to Reposition – It Used to be on Your Grandfather’s Bathroom Shelf!

 

Marketing pros everywhere love the transformation of Old Spice[6] fragrance for men from an ageing brand to a sexy one. Aimed at a younger, newly targeted consumer audience, the “Smell Like a Man, Man” campaign (52 million views and counting) smells nothing like 1938, the classic brand’s year of birth.

 

 

 

Learn from these well-known rebranding and brand refresh failures, now text book case studies on approaches to avoid. The primary lesson in each of these examples is do your due diligence before rebranding or refreshing your brand!

 

Royal Mail:

Consignia was a £2 million investment launched in January 2001 for the U.K. postal service. Calling the new name, “Nine letters that spelled fiasco,”[7] the BBC joined others to prompt a U-turn to return to Royal Mail 16 months later.

Royal-Mail-Rebrand-600px

Image via Royalmail

 

Tropicana:

When parent company PepsiCo removed the leafy green logo and juicy orange pierced with a straw in favor of a one-dimensional glass of juice, Tropicana sales plummeted by 20 percent. On top of whatever the rebrand and reversal cost, sales suffered to the tune of $137 million between January 1st and February 22nd 2009.

Tropicana-Rebrand-Packaging-600px

Image via Adage.com

 

Gap:

Perhaps the fastest rebrand turnaround ever, the new Gap logo lasted only six days at Christmas 2010. Consumer reaction was negative and outspoken. In going back to square one, the whole exercise has been estimated to have cost Gap $100 million.[8]

Gap-Logo-600px

Image via Gap

RadioShack:

RadioShack, founded in 1921, once operated 8,000-plus retail locations around the world. In 2015, after 11 consecutive quarterly losses, RadioShack filed for bankruptcy. Instead of spending millions on a refresh as “The Shack”, the company needed to completely rebrand. Service in RadioShack was reportedly abysmal, selection regarded as limited, prices perceived to be high and the USP as an electronic supplier of parts was no longer considered relevant.

RadioShack-The-Shack

Image via RadioShack

Can we help you with your brand refresh or rebranding?

Ask yourself:

  • Does your brand strategy plan reflect the time commitment involved in making a change?
  • Have you identified strategic reasons for a brand refresh or rebranding? 
  • Is your brand still truly relevant to your target market now and into the future?
  • Is your brand really distinctive, different and memorable from a customer/client perspective? Do you need to re-evaluate your brand profile?

  

PPP-eProduct-Promise-Promo-800x700px

 

  • Are you considering a rebrand to solve a brand challenge and / or a commercial challenge?
  • Have you really evaluated the impact of new disruptors and challengers entering your market and how your brand will compete against them?

 

You may also like:

 

[1] VIM-Group.com

[2] https://newsroom.accenture.com/subjects/accenture-corporate/andersen-consulting-announces-new-name-accenture-effective-010101.htm

[3] http://content.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,1914815_1914808_1914804,00.html

[4] http://www.infinitespada.com/news/what-it-takes-to-rebrand-americas-largest-law-firm

[5] http://www.failteireland.ie/FailteIreland/media/WebsiteStructure/Documents/4_Corporate_Documents/Strategy_Operations_Plans/Destination_Dublin_GDT_2020_Full_File.pdf?ext=.pdf

[6] http://www.personadesign.ie/blog/brand_resurgence_4_lessons_learned_from_amazing_brand_comebacks

[7] http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/2002480.stm

[8] https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/million-dollar-branding-mistakes-from-pepsi-radio-shack-quinn?trkSplashRedir=true&forceNoSplash=true

Rebranding Strategy: Gems of Wisdom from 5 Successful Brand Revitalizations

Rebranding is a relatively broad term, as it encompasses both large and small-scale changes to an existing brand, which aim to resurrect a failing brand, reposition the brand and allow the company to reach out to a new target market, or simply help the brand keep up with the times.

  

While some brands adopt a “back to the drawing board” strategy and change everything from their logo and name to their brand values and product packaging design, a good brand revitalization strategy can sometimes be limited to a few low-key changes that enable the brand to stay relevant or differentiate itself from the competition.   

 

 

When Should a Company Invest in a Rebrand?

An impressive 61% of consumers stated that an exceptional customer experience was a major determining factor when choosing a brand, and 48% of consumers expect brands to understand their needs and assist them in finding the right product and services based on those needs.[1]

   

    

Digital Trends Target The Always On Consumer 600px 

Infographic via Cube.com [Digital Trends Target the Always-On Consumer]

  

  

Brands that have trouble understanding or catering to the customers’ needs are prime candidates for a brand relaunch, but a company can also have trouble with brand incongruence, a tarnished reputation or pressure from the competition.

 

However, the reasons for a rebrand can also be of a positive nature – a brand may experience rapid growth, as well as significant changes in the production process or the expansion of their product portfolio due technological innovations. Repositioning an economy brand as a high-end brand is another good reason for rebranding.

  

Since a successful rebrand involves performing a brand audit, market research, developing a detailed brand implementation strategy and effectively communicating the rebrand to customers and media, it is not recommended for young brands. You must have a well-established brand identity and a good level of brand awareness before you can embark on a brand revitalization journey.
 

 

Lessons Learned from 5 Successful Rebranding Strategies

1.   Harley-Davidson – Improve the Actual Product

The Harley-Davidson motorcycle company initially had many advantages over their competition. For one, the brand had a purebred American provenance, a long history – their motorcycles were used by the US army in both World Wars – and were associated with an image of a powerful, fearless and rebellious man and an adventurous lifestyle that was alluring to a fairly large percentage of men in their mid-twenties and mid-thirties.

  

The brand had a good story tell, but the company still had numerous problems over the years, and faced bankruptcy on more than one occasion. The main issues that the company faced were:

  • Their products were objectively less reliable than what their competition had to offer
  • They faced very aggressive competition from a number of quality Japanese brands
  • The brand had become associated with biker gangs, notably the Hells Angels
  • They were seen as old-fashioned and outdated

 

In other words, Harley-Davidson had to address their reputation issues or face extinction. However, this was not something that could be fixed by merely changing the logo – their products didn’t meet the quality standards that the customers were accustomed to and they didn’t appeal to the younger generation. The brand actually adopted an incredibly smart strategy – spend less money on marketing and focus on making the product better.

  

 

Harley Davidson Free Wheeler 600px

Image via www.harley-davidson.com

 

 

Once they worked out all the little problems that had plagued their motorcycles, the company experienced impressive growth – Harley-Davidson, a brand that was on the verge of bankruptcy twice before, is now worth around $1 billion.  

 

The company still faces a big problem, their average customer is a white American male pushing fifty, but they have shown that they are ready to reach out to a more ethnically diverse and younger target audience. The brand plans to shift its focus towards marketing in 2016. [2]

 

 

2. Massey Bros. – Leverage Your Premium Service, Tell Your Brand Story and Ensure Your Brand Identity Creates Distinction

Massey Bros. Funeral Directors is a successful family owned and managed business established in Dublin in the 1930s. They operate in a sector which is traditionally very conservative yet they’re industry leaders in terms of developing innovative solutions. They also have the added complication of having more than six competitors also operating legitimately under the ‘Massey’ name. In addition to this, they themselves also operated under two names before their rebrand!

  

  

Massey Bros Logo 2012 72dpi

 

 

Massey Bros. have always offered a very premium service but this five star, tailor made, message, their industry leadership coupled with their multiple first to market new innovative services solutions just wasn’t been properly represented in their brand profile, tone-of-voice or brand communications strategy. They also lacked a strong brand identity or consistency across their brand collateral.

  

  

Massey Bros Brand Guidelines Cover

 

 

We conducted research and a brand audit health check, re-evaluated their whole brand proposition and purpose, their positioning, signage, uniforms, brand collateral and brand strategy. The outputs and findings from this initial body of work then provided the direction for a complete brand overhaul resulting in absolute clarity over their brand proposition, a much stronger brand identity, a higher profile with distinction in the marketplace, consistency across all the brand collateral and most importantly strong staff brand custodians throughout the business that continue to pro-actively manage their brand in the marketplace. And of course, increased market share. You can read the full details of this rebranding case study here.

 

 

3. Target – Know Your Audience and Keep Things Simple

Target was initially envisioned as a brand that catered to a somewhat more sophisticated shopper, a person looking for a more sophisticated shopping experience than one would normally find in extremely low-priced stores like Walmart, but who also wanted that stay within a reasonable budget. The problem was that, over the years, the “deal-hunting” aspect became more prominent, which essentially lead to Target being equated with the very same economy shopping experience that they originally strived to distance themselves from.

 

This caused brand incongruence, with fashionable clothes on one end and cheap food items on the other, and they simply could not compete with well-established economy brands that ruled this segment of the market.

 

Target performed a brand audit health check, and found that they were neglecting a very important demographic. In the words of Brian Cornell, Target chief executive: “Our guest is going to be increasingly a Hispanic shopper.” [3] The brand, realizing that over 50% of Hispanic Millennials identified Target as their preferred shopping destination, even created several Spanish-language adverts, with a unique hashtag – #SinTraducción (without translation).

  

   

  

  

 

Another big step towards engaging their primary audience was the decision to unite their smaller “mini urban stores” under the Target brand logo. The company previously distinguished these smaller outlets as TargetExpress and CityTarget.

 

 

 Target Express Store 600px

Image via Target.com [Target express store]

 

  

The logo design for the mini urban stores proved confusing, the words “express” and “city” were simply placed next to the classic bull’s-eye Target logo, and will only feature the Target logo going forward. With these changes, the brand has revitalized its image. However they still apparently have a bit further to go according to USA Today as things like the infamous 2013 security breach, and their latest OCD sweater has reportedly put their customers’ loyalty somewhat to the test.   

 

 

Target Ocd Sweater

 

  

  

4. Hybrid Technology Partners – Don’t Pigeonhole Yourself with a Poorly Thought Out Brand Identity 

 

Formerly known as HybridIT, this Limerick-based company offer a wide range of services, including IT, software development and customer support. They even offer a product – a unique business management ERP (enterprise resource planning) system. However, anyone who saw the “IT” in their brand name immediately thought of them as just another IT company. [4]

 

This prevented the company from accessing a larger market share, and the fact that their logo didn’t communicate their core brand message effectively threatened to keep HybridIT in the shadows. Luckily, this “more than just an IT” company caught on and decided to revitalize their brand.

 

   Hybrid Technology Partners

 

 

When working on creating appropriate brand identities for our clients, we focus on ensuring all the brand foundations have been fully developed using our Personality Profile Performer™ system before we even look at the aesthetics or design. The outputs from this system provide the roadmap for ensuring the brand identity outputs together with brand messaging and tone of voice are market and target audience appropriate, unique and in keeping a brand’s core values.

 

At first glance the change was subtle, they became HybridTP, but that one little letter was a monumental step in the right direction. The new brand identity, Hybrid Technology Partners made two things very clear:

  • The brand offers diverse technological solutions for streamlining a business
  • The company views its clients as partners, and works with them to find the best solutions

The new brand identity, coupled with some light modifications to their website, allowed HybridTP to convey their brand values – honesty, cooperation and trust – and connect with a much larger audience more effectively.

  

 

5. Narragansett Beer – Learn How to Appeal to Millennial Consumers

 

Pabst Blue Light used to be the beer of choice for blue-collar workers and hipster Millennials, but in recent years an old New England beer has stolen their title as the number one “cheap and cool” US beer.

 

The Narragansett brand has a long history, it was established 125 years ago, but the company recently made a very wise business decision and revitalised the brand, targeting Millennials. They didn’t stray away from their roots, their New England provenance, and long history being the key elements that distinguished the brand from the competition, but they did make some notable changes to the product packaging and re-evaluated their branding strategy.  

  

  

 

  

The old slogan, “Made on Honor, Sold on Merit”, remained unchanged, but with fun and colourful commercials, local girls photographed in the traditional pinup style for their calendar and increased social media activity, Narragansett has successfully made a transition into the digital age.

  

   

Narragansett Beer 2015 

Image via www.narragansettbeer.com

  

  

We know from personal experience that the Millennial demographic can be a powerful driving force that launches a struggling brand to new levels of success. Understanding both what makes their brand unique and what appeals to a Millennial audience, has allowed this low-priced craft beer to secure its position on the market. Saying that the rebrand was a success would be an understatement – the brand brought in $12 million in revenue last year, 120 times more than in 2005.[5]

   

These five successful rebrand stories all carry an important lesson for any struggling brand. A brand audit can help you reveal your weaknesses be it a problem with the quality of the product itself like in Harley Davidson’s case, an issue of brand incongruence, a dissonance between the brand logo and core brand values and the services offered by the company or a lack of awareness of your primary audience’s needs and preferences.

  

A brand relaunch is not something to be taken lightly or done for the pure sake of change, but if a brand has fallen on tough times, lacks relevance or isn’t leveraging its full potential with its target market, implementing a carefully planned brand revitalisation strategy is a big move in the right direction.     

     

You might also like:

 

Rebranding Strategy: Why Your Rebrand Must Embrace Storytelling

   

• Rebranding Strategy: Using Premium Repositioning To Increase Profitability 

 

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

  

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

 

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

 

• Brand Naming: Top Ten Methods for Brand Name Creation    

 

• Humanizing Your Brand: Why It is Key to Commercial Success

 

• Brand Profiling: Top 6 Components to Creating a Strong Brand Personality

 

• Creating New Brands: Top 10 Tips for Brand Success

 

• Brand Profiling: How to Use Emotion to Make Your Brand More Profitable  

 

 

So, what do you think?

  

• Does your brand have trouble staying relevant?

  

• Did you perform a brand health check to determine if there are any weak points you could improve upon?

  

• Are you targeting the right audience, and do you really understand the needs of your primary audience in terms of their needs, wants, loves, hates and aspirations?

  

• Are your products and services up to standards, or are you having problems keeping up with the competition?

  

• Is your brand identity consistent with your core values, and the type of products and services you offer, or is it unnecessarily pigeonholing you into a single niche?

   

[1] Steve, Cubemc.com, Digital Trends: Understanding and Targeting the ‘Always-On’ Consumer, April 2015

[2] Mark Ritson, Branding Strategy Insider, “Can The Harley Davidson Brand Age Gracefully?”, October 2015

[3] Sarah Halzack, WashingtonPost.com, “Target’s new strategy: We need more than just minivan moms”, March 2015

[4] IrishExaminer.com, Small Business Q&A: Paul Brown, September 2014

[5] Kristina Monllos, Adweek.com, “How Narragansett Beer Rebuilt Its Brand With a Meager $100,000 Media Budget, Deep roots and word of mouth”, June 2015

  

Top 10 Branding Articles in 2015

Are you curious which Persona Branding and Design articles have been the most popular over the past year?

 

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

 

Here you’ll find an insider’s peek into our top ten most popular branding articles of 2015, some of which you might have missed.

 

I’m sure you’ll find at least one that will be very useful to your business in the year ahead.

Wishing you growing success in 2016!

   

  

Top 10 Branding Articles In 2015 600px

  

   

1. Rebranding Strategy: Why Your Rebrand Must Embrace Storytelling

 

The differences between a tired, old, has-been of a brand and a fresh, lithe and provocative one can be boiled down to a singular concept: storytelling. The art of telling a story, and telling it well, is integral to grabbing every potential customer’s attention, and a key part of your brand strategy.

 

The secret to success in the elegant art of storytelling lies in understanding its fundamental components. Though by no means comprehensive, what follows is a breakdown of some major elements that any good story should include. These are in fact some of the key ingredients we incorporate in our Story Selling System™ used when developing our clients’ brand stories:

 

The Top 5 Components of a Great Brand Story are as follows…

    

  

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2. Creating New Brands: Top 10 Tips for Brand Success  

 

Launching a new brand is both exciting and challenging. The excitement comes in the promise of something fresh and new that could be wildly successful, be it for your well established, emerging or new start-up company — and the challenge comes in getting it right the first time.

  

Evaluating, articulating, developing and documenting your new brand’s position and purpose is crucial to building a strong successful brand.

  

It provides the roadmap and rationale to get you out of the starting blocks and heading in the right direction towards your ultimate success. And similar to your business plan, it’s also a key foundation to any successful business, be it product or service.

 

The question here is, do you know the key ingredients required for building a new brand?

 

To help you move in the right direction with your branding here are some of the elements we typically include in our branding process every time we’re working with a client to help them build their brand, whether it’s revitalizing an existing brand or launching a totally new brand to market.

 

These are actionable points which you should reference and evaluate before you launch your new brand, product or service, to market.

   

   

 Top 10 Branding Tips For Success 600px 


  

3. What Customers Want: Top 16 Branding Trends in 2016

 

More than a half century ago, the customer-centric branding pioneer Walter Landor said, “Products are made in the factory, but brands are created in the mind.” [1] In 2016, the path to that consumer experience is a two-way street, and guess who’s in the driver’s seat? Brands with strong personality are the winners, because consumers equate experiences with brands.

  

Branding keywords for 2016 include: personalized, authentic, humanized, interactive, engaging, and mobile.

 

We take a closer look at some outstanding examples from brands that illustrate key 2016 on-trend pointers to successfully target today’s customers.

  

 

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Image via www.edelman.com

 

 

4. Brand Profiling: Top 6 Components to Creating a Strong Brand Personality  

 

Your brand is much more than merely a product or service, or a logo. Brands are an experience—the relationship between your business and your customers—and to create an exceptional customer experience, your brand must have an irresistible personality.

 

To quote Martyn Newman PhD “In the information age and globalised economy where values and meaning matter more in the market place, the value of emotional capital increases. This creates brand value and goodwill and results in repeat sales through customer loyalty, lifetime relationships and referrals. In other words, the brand is more than a name or a logo; it creates trust and recognition and is a promise and an emotional contract with each customer.”

 

Brand profiling is the systematic process of creating, developing and implementing your brand character and personality through shaping its brand promise, values, the do’s and don’ts of its behaviours, story, emotional benefits, its culture and what it stands for and so forth.

 

It’s this humanized entity that gets your brand message out into the market, cuts through the noise and gets the attention of your primary customers in a way that matters to them.

 

When creating and developing the profiles for our clients’ brands we use our bespoke Personality Profile Performer™, a systematic approach which underpins the commercial, rational, and holistic aspects of successful brand profile building.

 

The following six key elements are representative of some of the core ingredients included within this branding process, used to create and deploy a compelling personality for your brand.

  

  

 Martyn Newman Brands And Emotion

Image via www.eqsummit.com

 

 

5. Co-Branding: 13 Tips for Growing Your Brand Through Strategic Partnerships 

 

Co-branding is defined as a partnership between brands. It typically works best when Brand A partners with Brand B, each with a different set of customers and brand associations of their own.

 

As in the expression, “the whole is bigger than the parts,” co-branding can add value when synergy exists between the brands; it creates an emotional energy, starts conversations and creates buzz around both partners and can delivery significantly increased financial returns for all involved when done right.

  

In addition to brand revitalization, co-branding objectives may include getting more bang for your buck, growing market share, building audience reach and altering perceived positioning. Co-branding is primarily used an alliance of two brand partners, although there’s no rule against bringing three or more to the party.

 

Checkout here:

• The Top 7 Benefits of Co-Branding

• 5 Co-Branding Risk Management Guidelines

• The Top 6 Tips for Co-Branding Success

with case studies and examples of who’s done it really well.

  

 

 Co Branding Multiple Examples 600px

Infographic via www.missvinc.om

 

 

6. Colour Psychology: Cracking the Colour Code for Profitable Branding

 

Colour increases brand recognition by 80%. 93% of shoppers consider visual appearance over all other factors while shopping. It adds huge power to communications, opinions, recall and emotive influence. In fact when used correctly, colour is a pivotal tool to substantially influence purchasing decisions, service or product.

  

Since colour choices impact every aspect of a commercial enterprise, brand owners should aggressively re-evaluate that choice throughout their brand strategy.

  

The question is, has your brand’s colour palette been selected with the right intent and applied to best possible effect throughout all your brand communications and touch points to ensure your brand grow and increased profitability?

  

Find out more about why colour matters and how you can use it more effectively within your business.

 

  

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Infographic via Blueberry Labs

  

 

7. Packaging Design: How to Make it into an Irresistible Customer Brand Magnet

 

The growing proliferation of multiple different brands in the market place has made customers spoilt for choice, but often at the expense of easy decision-making.

 

When presented with an assortment of packaging options in which nothing decisively stands out, with a compellingly clear message that speaks to a customer succinctly, analysis paralysis sets in. It’s when faced with this situation that a confused shopper will typically default to making decisions based on price alone.

 

The question here is, where does your brand sit in the mix?

 

Leading brands cut through the visual and cognitive noise created by an oversaturated market full of aggressive competitors and hook their ideal customers by meeting their needs both emotionally and rationally.

 

Here’s how…  

 

 

 Marmite Limited Editions 600px

Image via www.marmite.co.uk

 

 

8. Luxury Branding: How to Establish or Re-Position Your High-End Brand   

  

The combined value of the various luxury goods markets in 2014 was an estimated 865 billion euros, with luxury cars, personal luxury goods and luxury hospitality taking the top three places, with values of 351 billion, 223 billion and 150 billion respectively.

 

You might think those statistics make luxury branding a very interesting sector, however if you want to reposition or establish your brand targeted at a high-end customer then there are six keys factors you need to consider within your brand strategy.

 

Firstly there are four main characteristics by which the luxury customer defines a luxury brand. However the way in which someone perceives luxury will depend on factors ranging from their socio-economic status to their geographical location.

 

Here are the four main characteristics by which luxury brands are defined together with the six key brand strategies for building a winning luxury brand. 

  

  

Super Rich Shopping Habits Infographic 600px 

Infographic via Raconteur.net

 

 

9. Millennial Branding: 6 Ways Your Brand Can Appeal to Millennial Customers

 

Millennials, the newest generation of influential consumers (also known as Generation Y or Gen Y), spend more than $600 billion dollars annually with spending power expected to reach $1.4 trillion by 2020, (or 30% of US sales) according to Accenture 2013 research.

 

While these statistics sounds like ‘gold bullion’ for many brands, in our experience often smaller companies and organisations struggle to develop their brand strategy in a way that relates relevantly to this fast changing group of buyers.

 

Millennial consumers are a very fluid constantly moving target with multiple devices overflowing with content clamouring for their attention 24/7. However once you really understand this discerning consumer properly and tailor your brand to really meet their needs, you can, like many others tap into this incredibly lucrative market.

 

Here are our top 6 key brand attributes you need to consider when developing your brand strategy to attract your Millennial customer.

   

   

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10. Video Brand Strategy: Top 11 Tips for How and Why You Need to Use Video

 

The average consumer spends 88% more time on content with video and video is shared 1200% more times than links and text combined. A landing page with video gets 800% more conversion than the same page without video.

   

If you ever thought using video to promote your brand was too difficult or beyond your reach these statistics might make you think again.

 

Find out exactly how you can use video to grow your brand here.

 

You can even find out how one small start up brand used video to achieve worldwide distribution and now has more online viewers than its competing massive global brands combined!

  

  

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Image via Google / YouTube

 

 

Did your favourite post feature in one these top 10 branding articles of 2015? If there was an alternative that was your first preference, drop us a line and let us know. 

 

Meantime I’d love to keep you up to date with what’s happening in the world of branding and make this blog really useful to you. If there’s anything branding related you would like to read about in this blog or if you have any questions or comments, suggestions for a blog post, feedback or even just to say Hi, just send me a short note, I’m here to help!

E: brand@personadesign.ie

or give me a call at Tel: +353 1 8322724

 

Wishing you increasing success in the year ahead!

  

  

   

Baby Boomer Branding: How and Why to Market to this Lucrative Demographic

Although there’s a lot of talk about millennials and their desire to engage in consumerism, it’s important not to overlook the baby boomer generation, born from the end of World War 2 up to the early 1960s (roughly between 1946-1964). After all, Baby Boomers hold 70 percent of all disposable income in the United States.

 

Also, government data indicates that the baby boomers outspend other generational groups’ spending on consumer products and services by an average of $400 million.

 

  

 

Branding Strategies for Baby Boomers: A Unique Process

 

If those statistics have stimulated your curiosity and made it clear that to overlook the baby boomer demographic is potentially a very costly mistake, keep in mind that you can’t just retool most of your brand concepts currently used to reach out to older target markets.

 

For starters, baby boomers are usually very loyal to brands—and as shown by the opening statistics, they have disposable income. Also, don’t assume that this demographic will settle for less as they get older, or even that they’ll settle down.

 

When looking at the specifics associated with marketing to baby boomers, experts have found that this group prefers living in comfortable homes surrounded by the latest amenities. Also, they generally want to maintain very active lifestyles. Those findings align with what we’ve discovered when developing brands to meet the needs of affinity groups within this demographic.

 

 

 

Misconceptions about Baby Boomers are Common

 

Even marketers who are guided by solid research and good intentions sometimes miss the mark as they attempt to resonate with the baby boomer generation. Often, that’s due in large part to some pervasive misconceptions.

 

Earlier, we mentioned how baby boomers tend to be faithful to the brands they love. That’s true, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that baby boomers are set in their ways. According to Nielsen research from 2012, only five percent of advertising budgets were geared toward baby boomers, but some experts believe baby boomers are not as brand loyal as millennials.

 

There’s another prevailing assumption about baby boomers, which some of our clients have expressed: the belief that baby boomers are not tech-savvy.

 

Although baby boomers were not early adopters of technology, they tend to use tech devices more frequently than you might expect. However, they do so differently than their younger counterparts.

 

Whereas a younger person might primarily use social media to connect with friends, baby boomers may feel more compelled to do so because that’s the way their kids and grandkids share updates and photos. The shift over to technology, in many cases, probably wasn’t primarily out of desire, but because boomers realized social media was the quickest way to keep in touch with younger generations.

 

Additionally, apps that are related to health services frequently get built for cross-generational appeal. Some boomers have shown interest in using an app that might help them check in faster for a hospital appointment or enjoy easier access to medical records, for example.

 

Finally, some marketers seem to forget that the baby boomer generation encompasses anyone between the ages of 51 and 69. It’s not sufficient to believe that certain branding strategies will universally connect with everyone. A younger baby boomer might prefer very active vacations, while one who’s nearing 70 or older may want to go on a cruise instead.

 

Of course, that’s a very broad example. The point is, marketers should try to focus their brand strategy on reaching baby boomers of certain ages, through developing affinity groups as a tool for profiling them or at least recognizing that older baby boomers have different needs and desires than younger ones.

 

 

 

Examples of When Multi-Generational Branding Strategies Can Work

 

Even though you’ve now learned how there’s a fine art to baby boomer branding, don’t get discouraged and think it’s necessary to do away with every tactic you use to appeal to younger generations. In fact, research has shown there are some valuable commonalities. In fact, some of our clients achieved the best results with cross-generational approaches.

 

Specifically, both boomers and millennials love bargains, and a high percentage of them (more than 80 percent for either group) are very comfortable shopping online. Also, 75 percent of boomers and millennials are more likely to purchase something if it’s associated with a perk, such as a loyal discount or a coupon.

 

Now, let’s take a look at some actionable strategies, and case studies of companies that have used them well.

 

 

 

Case Study: J. Jill and the Uncomplicate Clothing Line

 

As discussed above, baby boomers don’t want to settle for less when they get older. The clothing brand J. Jill took that into consideration with its Uncomplicate collection, which is marketed toward baby boomers.

 

 

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Image via www.jjill.com

 

 

The goal is to show that like younger generations of females, older women also deserve wardrobe upgrades. With this clothing line, they can look forward to clothes that are equal parts fashionable and comfortable.

  

Focus groups held before the new line kicked off found that women prefer attire they can easily dress up or down. When analyzing details of the Uncomplicate line, marketers realized that baby boomers wanted to look their best, without wasting time that could be used for more important pursuits. J. Jill also embraces a mix-and-match style with its Wearever line. These proactive steps reflect the brand’s realization that baby boomers have just as many reasons to enjoy new clothes as younger generations.

  

  

 

 

 

No matter how you market to boomers, we’ve found that customers respond best when you make it easy for them to meet their identified needs.

 

 

 

Case Study: Harley Davidson’s Tricycles

 

Baby boomers don’t like to be given the hard sell. They want to see the benefits of a product, but not in an intrusive way. Sometimes, brands have enough of a built-in following that people of all ages understand there are inherent advantages to choosing them, so there’s no need for a massive marketing campaign.

 

 

 Harley Davidson Free Wheeler 600px

Image via www.harley-davidson.com

 

 

 

Harley-Davidson has released a three-wheel motorcycle called the Freewheeler that’s made for great stability, but still reaches impressive speeds. The Freewheeler is an improvement on a previous model of a three-wheel model, which was called the Tri Glide. In comparison, the Freewheeler is less bulky and features a lighter weight than its predecessor. Reviews of the Freewheeler trike are generally favorable, and the brand’s press release boasts, “Riding on three wheels has never been cooler.”

  

   

 

  

   

Going back to what you’ve read about baby boomers wanting to stay active, this trike is a perfect example of that principle. Sometimes it’s not necessary to reinvent a product so it caters to baby boomers, but to just tweak the details while preserving the familiar aspects that attracted consumers in the first place.

 

 

  

Case Study: Spirit 50

 

Across the world, there have been concerns that as baby boomers get older and require more medical attention, there will be an increased demand on the healthcare system. One forward-thinking Canadian entrepreneur named Erin Billowits is trying to keep baby boomers healthier as they age by marketing a fitness program that lets her demographic work out at home. The program, Spirit 50, combines instructional videos with step-by-step instructions. Users can even purchase consultations that take place over Skype.

 

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Image via  www.spirit50.com

 

 

In her research, Billowits found that a majority of baby boomers want to improve their health, and many are willing to make small, proactive changes without being prodded.

 

When designing her fitness program, Billowits looked at possible technological barriers. As you can see from the format of this YouTube clip, the exercises are explained in a straightforward way that’s not patronizing. Also, because the videos aren’t lengthy, most browsers should start playing them right away.

 

  


 

 

 

If you plan to market something to baby boomers that’s technological in nature, it’s important to do the legwork beforehand and make sure your concept doesn’t come across as overwhelming. Billowits identified that a need was there, but she recognized that some of her clientele may not be willing to embrace her exercise concept if it took them too far out of their comfort zones. 

 

Furthermore, to sign up for a fitness plan, users only have to submit usernames, passwords, and e-mails. That’s simple enough even for baby boomers who aren’t accustomed to filling out a lot of online forms.

 

  

 

 

Case Study: Japanese Convenience Stores

 

In Japan, convenience stores are doing whatever they can to appeal to an older demographic. Executives have realized that a growing number of people from the baby boomer generation are stopping into Japanese convenience stores to get what they need without delay. A few major brands are branching out by offering a home delivery service of nutritious and easy-to-make meals, including bento boxes. This strategy appeals to boomers who aren’t willing to sustain themselves on sodium-riddled frozen dinners of low nutritional value.

 

Some stores stock attire that’s marketed toward an older demographic, but others focus on more practical things, such as healthcare items that baby boomers might need. Others have thrown their hats into the ring and aimed to meet needs that are a little more obscure, but still have merit. Two examples are health advice counters, and karaoke equipment that turns convenience stores into social gathering places for baby boomers who want to have fun among their peers.

 

These kinds of purpose-based approaches make sense. If baby boomers feel alienated due to a perception that most of what’s available to consumers isn’t relevant to their lives, they’re less likely engage with a particular brand or shop at a particular establishment, no matter how convenient it claims to be.

  

 

 

 

Case Study: Ford Motors

 

As Ford Motors has discovered, successfully marketing to baby boomers starts during the engineering process. The company makes some of its auto engineers wear “aging suits” that mimic what it’s like to be an older driver. Dubbed the Third Age Suit, the device is designed to make a person physically feel approximately 30 years older. Using a corset and orthotic devices, the suit causes stiffness in the hip region, knees, shoulders, and feet. Earplugs simulate being hard of hearing, and special goggles mimic vision-related disorders that are common in older adults.

  

   

  

  

 

Although this case study doesn’t represent an example of direct marketing to baby boomers, it demonstrates an effort made by engineers in the early phases to understand how aging affects driver capabilities and comfort. This could eventually influence baby boomers to choose certain makes and models of vehicles over others.

 

 

 

 

A Worthy Venture

 

Clearly, the baby boomer generation is not to be overlooked when it comes to ensuring that your brand gets noticed by those with a great deal of purchasing power.

 

Although it’s necessary to tailor your branding strategies using some of the methodologies discussed above, the ultimate payoff could be a major factor in helping your business stay competitive and indeed become more profitable in a crowded marketplace. 

 

 

You make also like:

 

• Millennial Branding: Creating Brands to Appeal to Teens and Young Adults

 

• Rebranding Strategy: Why Your Rebrand Must Embrace Storytelling

 

• Brand Profiling: How to Use Emotion to Make Your Brand More Profitable

 

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

    

• Brand Strategy: 6 Lessons Learned from Tourism Queensland, One of the Most Successful Branding Campaigns Ever

 

• Packaging Design: How to Make it into an Irresistible Customer Brand Magnet

 

• Brand Personality: Is Your Brand’s Character Strong Enough to Compete?  

 

• Creating New Brands: Top 10 Tips for Brand Success

 

 

 

So what do you think?

 

• Have you used brand profiling and positioning is when marketing to baby boomers?

 

• Do you think a brand name that alludes to the baby boomer market, such as ‘Spirit 50’ is an important part of the brand strategy for connecting with a target audience?

 

Rebranding strategy was crucial for J.Jill when realizing, during a brand audit and through market research studies, that the fashion needs of baby boomers weren’t being met. Have you had a similar moment that has made you discover that baby boomers may be an untapped market?

 

• In Japan, several convenience stores have incorporated the needs of an older generation into the brand identity design. Do you think that will eventually mean that the majority of convenience store shoppers will be much older than in preceding generations?

 

Brand positioning was a crucial aspect for marketing the Harley-Davidson trikes to a market that was already likely cued into what makes the brand worth following. Do you think that the brand strategy was comprehensive enough, or should it have been more extensive?

 

 

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

 

 

Rebranding Strategy: Using Premium Repositioning To Increase Profitability

Repositioning or revitalizing your brand can be a powerful way to gain new market share and boost your profits. One of the most effective rebranding strategies is premium brand repositioning or premiumisation, which is about establishing higher perceived quality or specialness in order to achieve increased profitability by enabling you to charge more for your products and services.

 

Premium repositioning involves elevating demand and customers’ willingness to pay higher prices for your brand by adding value, which may be either actual or perceived. Checkout the following premium brand repositioning tips to help you make your rebranding strategy a success and grow your revenues.

 

5 ‘Premium Positioning’ Rebranding Strategy Tips

  

1. Increasing Actual Value

It’s only natural that improving the quality of your products or services will allow you to charge more. With a premium brand repositioning strategy, adding actual value typically represents a larger financial investment upfront but in turn leads to steady and substantial long-term growth profitability which considerably outweighs the initial investment. Some examples of actual value increase include new innovations, sourcing higher quality materials for product manufacturing, redesigning with new premium features, or delivering higher service quality.

 

Technology companies are a frequent example of adding actual value to achieve premium rebranding, in an industry known for rapid evolution and innovation. One of the most well-known rebranding campaigns involved Apple, which faced near bankruptcy in the mid-1980s before founder Steve Jobs returned as CEO to turn the flagging company around.

  

 Apple Logo

 Image via www.apple.com

 

Among several dramatic steps that included a partnership with primary competitor Microsoft, Jobs increased the actual value of Apple products and the company overall by eliminating a large, money-draining project, and introducing a new, sleek design for Apple personal computers with higher performance—the iMac, which would lead the way for the company’s best-known premium branded products in today’s mobile technology market.

 

 

2. Increasing Perceived Value

Premium brand repositioning that involves an increase in perceived value is a popular strategy because there is often less upfront loading and less ongoing capital investment, compared to the previous strategy mentioned, in order to achieve higher profits.

  

Adding perceived value to your brand requires engaging a rebranding strategy which causes a change in customer perceptions so that your products or services are considered to be worth more—even though you haven’t necessarily changed anything significant physically about the product or service. There are numerous strategies that can be deployed to increase perceived value. Some of them include:

We’ll explore some of these strategies in detail, all of which we’ve deployed with multiple clients over the years when enaging in premium branding repositioning strategies, with examples of brands that have successfully moved and repositioned to more premium markets through increasing their perceived value.

  

  

3. Premium Brand Repositioning Through Packaging Design

Birchbox, a subscription ecommerce company offering beauty products for women and men, underwent a premium rebranding campaign in 2013 that focused on its packaging, together with all its brand collateral. The company created a new global identity which included replacing its logo – with its light, somewhat illegible font and splatter style box – with a stronger modern, elegant sans serif font and a simple diamond, representing the ‘spark’ or ‘aha’ moment of the Birchbox brand experience.

  Birchbox Before After Rebrand

 Image via www.birchbox.com

 

The previous single shipping boxes were replaced with an inner box in a clean sophisticated brown with a silver foil embossed logo on it, designed to set off the boxes tissue wrapped interior contents to their best, and a colour-coded outer box with a large, monogrammed version of the new logo design – fuchsia pink for women’s products, and teal blue for men’s.

  

Birchbox Box Detail Inside 600px 

Image via www.birchbox.com

 

Adding an inner ‘gift’ box not only increased the aesthetic appeal of Birchbox, but also improved customer service, as the outer box tended to become slightly crushed or damaged during the typical rough and tumble of shipping or postage. In addition to the new packaging, Birchbox redesigned its website and messaging across all its brand collateral and communication channels.

    Birchbox Box Customer 600px

   Image via www.birchbox.com

 

Redesigning brand packaging as a premium rebranding strategy can be highly effective in shifting customer impressions of your brand and adding a stronger perceived value to your products or services, provided the total brand and product or service experience is congruent with what the packaging sells or communicates!

You won’t get a second sale or good ‘word-of-mouth’ if your packaging oversells and underdelivers in terms of product or service. In fact you’ll deservedly get so much negative customer sentiment both on and offline you’ll likely undermine your brand and its reputation, not to mention potential profitability even further.

 

  

 

  

 

4. Affiliations and Testimonials for Premium Brand Repositioning

Associations with well-known public figures, VIPs or trusted organizations can enhance your brand identity immensely and help accelerate your rebrand as a premium provider of products or services. A clear example of this theory in action are celebrity endorsements. People are willing to pay more for products or services when they have the perception that celebrities use them, which is why big brands continuoulsy shell out millions for endorsements from celebrities and VIPs, relevant to their target audiences.

 

 Kate Middleton Michelle Obama

 Image via www.stylist.co.uk

  

And some brands just have the good fortune to be chosen by the much admired. High street brands such as LK Bennett, Reiss and Whistles when worn by the Duchess of Cambridge are well know for selling out of the favoured items in less than a couple hours – as are items from brands such as J.Crew when worn by the First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama. In fact Michelle Obamas’ endorsement of J.Crew has helped the fashion brand rebound from plummeting sales enabling it to reposition itself as a premium line of casual wear.

 

 J Crew Michelle Obama

 Image via www.jcrew.com

 

However aligning your brand with premium affiliations doesn’t have to cost your company millions either. Local celebrities can have a significant, positive impact on your brand positioning and contribute to a more premium perception too. For some companies, professional certifications and ties with trusted organizations also work to create premium brand repositioning and enhanced brand credibility.

 

 

5. Brand Messaging and Premium Brand Positioning

Your brand can achieve a shift into the premium market through refined messaging that targets a more discerning marketing demographic. Many luxury brands use this strategy to increase perceived value of their products or services, by conveying their brand as a desirable “must have”.

 

Stella Artois is among the most in-demand beer brands in the UK. However, in 1976 when the brand was introduced, it was considered too strong, too different, and too expensive. When Frank Lowe took over marketing for the company, he launched an innovative campaign that transformed the perceived disadvantages into strengths. Using the tag line “Reassuringly expensive,” and a focus on the experience of the brand, rather than the taste, Stella Artois was effectively repositioned as a premium brand that still holds strong today.

 

   

  

 

Whether the focus is on increasing actual or perceived value, premium brand repositioning can be a powerful strategy for boosting your brand’s visibility, demand levels, and profitability.

  

Creative brand repositioning can revitalize a flagging brand and give new customers reasons to try your brand and existing customers new reasons to remain loyal to your products or services for years to come. As a rebranding strategy, repositioning is one of our most requested services from clients and one which has reaped them the most rewards, assuming everything else in the mix lives up to customer expectations or ideally exceeds them!

 

What do you think?

 

• Does your brand have a viable way to increase the actual value of your products or services?

 

• Would you focus on production values, customer service values, or both?

 

• What types of perceived values could you increase in association with your brand?

 

• Could your products benefit from a packaging redesign? How would you add premium value through your packaging?

 

• Are there any affiliations or professional organizations that would create a good premium association or match for your products or services?

 

• How would you shift your brand messaging to appeal to a higher value customer?

  

Brand Resurgence: 4 Lessons Learned from Amazing Brand Comebacks

Brands fizzle out all the time. From historic flops like the Ford Edsel to problematic launches from established brands, such as Crystal Pepsi and the disastrous introduction of Apple Maps, brand disintegration can hit any company for any number of reasons. But some brands are agile enough to adapt, adjust their strategies, learn from their mistakes, and re-emerge stronger than ever.

 

Brand revitalization can generate a powerful response for any business, whether your brand is guttering out completely or simply losing steam. Here are some lessons to learn from amazing brand comebacks that have revitalized some of the most successful brands in the world.

 

 

4 Lessons Learned from Amazing Brand Revitalizations

 

1. Apple: An Unconventional Partnership

Despite the company’s problem with its map application, Apple is among the most powerful and well-known global brands today—but they weren’t always. It’s a well know story, the company started out strong in the 1980s with a decisive and profitable position in the computer industry. But following Steve Jobs’ resignation in 1985, performance dwindled, and by the mid-1990s the organization faced imminent bankruptcy.

  

Apple Newton Messagepad

Image via www.apple.com 

   

Jobs returned as CEO in 1997 to face the daunting task of restructuring the company and salvaging the brand. After scrapping the expensive Newton, Jobs took a bold and controversial step by entering into a partnership with Apple’s biggest competitor, Microsoft.

  

  

Apple’s customers weren’t thrilled with the idea of sleeping with the perceived enemy. But the $150 million investment from Microsoft not only allowed for the development of popular Microsoft programs like Office for the iOS system, but also paved the way for the iMac—Apple’s sleek, innovative all-in-one PC that represented the new brand positioning and served as a landmark for the company’s signature products, including the iPod, iPhone, and iPad.

 

Jobs’ risk-taking may have met with initial resistance from his primary audience, but the partnership paid off and ultimately helped Apple claim the dominant position in the mobile device market.

 

 

2. Old Spice: Shifting the Target Market

Classic American brand Old Spice introduced its grooming products for men in 1938. The brand experienced steady growth, and by the 1970s was the top brand in its product class. However, the Old Spice brand aged along with its customer base, and by 1990 it had lost its appeal—Old Spice was an old man’s staple, and brand loyalty was at an all-time low.

 

 Old Spice Classic

Image via www.pg.com 

At this point, Procter & Gamble purchased the Old Spice brand from parent company the Shultan Co., and launched a brand retargeting campaign aimed at capturing the younger generation. A new deodorant line called Old Spice High Endurance was marketed to teens, and the brand’s performance slowly ascended. Then in 2010, the company released the first of a series of quirky online commercials featuring the “Old Spice Man,” aimed at the younger generation.

 

 

The video quickly went viral, and propelled the Old Spice brand to the top spot in the body wash market. Sales of Old Spice increased by 107 percent in June 2010, shortly after the video’s release.

 

Old Spice Boat Man 

Image via www.pg.com

 

With a package redesign, new product releases aimed at a new demographic, and a video campaign that targeted younger markets by appearing in the channels they frequent, Old Spice created a brand resurgence that is still going strong today.

 

 

3. Dr. Martens: Banking on Nostalgia

Footwear brand Dr. Martens, known for patented air-cushioned soles and trademark yellow stitching, was a UK favorite for years. Dr. Martens boots saw peak success in the 1970s, when British punk rockers adopted the brand and created a craze. But when grunge moved in during the 1990s, Dr. Martens moved out—in a big way.

 

 Dr Martins Patent

Image via www.drmartens.com

 

The brand fell out of favour in the fashion industry, forcing the company to downsize together with production stopping in the UK. In 2003, Dr. Martens’ production facilities relocated to more economically favorable China, leaving just a handful of design and office staff behind.

 

 Dr Martens Metallic

Image via www.drmartens.com

  

But in 2007, the company took advantage of a growing retro movement to relaunch the brand—and pulled off a successful brand resurgence simply by changing the name of its product. The original Dr. Martens shoe was introduced as the Dr. Martens “Vintage” line, with campaigns appealing to their customers’ sense of nostalgia. By 2010, the brand appeared in multiple designer collections on fashion show runways, and in 2012 Dr. Martens was assessed as the eighth fastest-growing company in Great Britain.

 

 

4. Nintendo: Pushing Brand Innovation

The Nintendo Co. has existed for longer than most people realize. The Japanese company was founded as a playing card manufacturer more than 120 years ago, but is better known as one of the first video game companies in the world. Nintendo entered the video game market in 1974, and found incredible success in the 1980s with enduring classic arcade games like Donkey Kong and Super Mario Bros.

 

By the 1990s, the company dominated the home gaming console market with the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), Super Nintendo, and handheld Gameboy system. But competition from Sony and Microsoft heated quickly, and sales of the Nintendo 64 system launched in 1996 lost out to Sony’s PlayStation. The next iteration from Nintendo, the GameCube, performed dismally against both PlayStation and Microsoft’s Xbox.

 

Wii Console 

Image via www.wii.com

 

Following the GameCube, Nintendo stopped focusing on improving its existing design, and moved into a new more innovative direction. In 2006, the company released the Wii—an entirely new design that resembled no other system. It was easy to use, highly interactive, and marketed not just to video game players, but to families with children. In addition, it was no coincidence that the name of the product is pronounced “whee,” which strongly associated it with fun. The Wii sent Nintendo surging back to the top, far outselling both of its main competitors’ same-year system releases, the Xbox 360 and the PlayStation 3.

 

 Wii Family 

Image via www.wii.com 

 

A focus on brand innovation and a redirected marketing campaign allowed Nintendo’s fizzling brand to come back stronger than ever. To date, the company has sold more than 86 million Wii units and continues to outperform its competitors.

 

There are many ways to revitalize your brand with a brand resurgence or rebranding strategy, from a simple product name change to an extensive overhaul of brand packaging, brand positioning, and strategic brand partnerships. Regardless of the size of your business, these brand comeback lessons can help you revive a flagging brand and experience greater customer engagement, higher brand recognition, and increased profitability.

  

What do you think?

• Would a strategic partnership with a competitor help you leverage your brand? How about partnering with a complementary business?

 

• What kind of strategic risks have you considered taking with your brand?

 

• Is there a new market demographic you could reach by refining your positioning or brand strategy?

 

• Would you consider relaunching your products under new names to spark a brand resurgence?

 

• What innovations can you implement in your products or promote in your marketing to strengthen your brand?

 

Feel free to leave 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.?