Every brand must change, but the extent of the change, and the size of the calls that accompany those shifts, are very different. So when should you revamp what you have to bring it up to date, and when should you “kill” the brand and start again?
Every company that rebrands does so with high hopes. Their expectation is of course that this will mark a new chapter in the life of the business. Given how much is being invested, that seems more than a reasonable goal on their part. But is it realistic? How much change can a company expect to see through a rebrand, and where? This article by Laurent Muzellec and Mary Lambkin from some years back lays out some evergreen principles and reminds us that no two rebrands are the same in terms of the results they generate.
As this article in Entrepreneur reminds us, plenty of brands try to re-set the market’s understanding of their brand and are well and truly spanked for doing so. If rebranding is the hot topic of conversation at your place right now, here’s 10 reasons to leave things as they are:
Just as brands reflect the business they are part of, so they must systemically modify how they operate to reflect technological and systemic changes in the business.
Brad VanAuken made this excellent observation about rebrands. “Identity systems are designed to encode and decode brand information to and from people’s brains,” he said. “If you change the system, the associations may be lost and will take a long time to rebuild.”
Recently Patrick Hanlon wrote an interesting piece on branding a DOA brand. In it, he laid out a well thought-through plan to resurrect a dying marque: rediscover your reason for being; define your zealot consumers; define your brand assets; discover your relevancy all over again. His conclusion: “Even brands that seem out of date, irrelevant, and barely resonant with consumers can be re-imagined, reconceived, and reconstructed using this simple, regimented path.” Hanlon’s approach for bringing a brand back from near-death seems logical. My question: Should you do it? Birthing brands doesn’t seem to be an issue. In fact, marketers have no problem introducing new brands to market at a dizzying rate. As Professor Jerry Hausman explains, “The number of new products introduced in any year is astounding. New varieties of consumer goods such as cereal brands are evident, as any shopping trip to a local supermarket or Wal-Mart demonstrates. Potentially even more important are the new products based on technology: more than 55 million cellular telephones are in use in the United States.” In an …
My favourite brand strategy is one that takes a brand where the competitor can’t go or wouldn’t go. Even better, the strategy is a honey-trap. It may look inviting from the outside but if a competitor did dare to venture there, doing so would be to their competitive disadvantage.