Get Your Brand Back in Shape
September 20, 2017
Dear House Rules,
I’m fairly new at my company, but it seems like the brand to which I’ve been assigned is really stuck in a rut. We haven’t changed our messaging, strategy, distribution channels – anything – in years, and the rust is starting to show. How do we put our brand back on top without abandoning the “consistent performance” message that got us there?
Think Our Brand Needs Bootcamp
Dear Brand Bootcamp:
It’s not surprising that you’d be the one to notice these cracks in your brand’s stalwart façade. Often, “new eyes” can see what an established brand team has become blind to – stagnation. Thankfully, though, there are many ways to combat brand lethargy.
The consumer men’s cologne brand Old Spice faced this exact situation a few years ago, stuck with a “returning sailor” commercial and a jaunty whistled jingle that were so familiar that customers didn’t even see them anymore. In a radical move, it jettisoned the returning sailor and the whistling, and reinvented the brand with a hip new feel, a completely different type of “brand ambassador,” and an ad campaign that wasted little time in becoming a viral sensation. The core brand promise of “our cologne will make you smell great” remained in place, however – a crucial factor.
Keep in mind, a successful rebranding campaign requires more than just a new logo and tagline. Rebranding involves crafting a new story and communicating a vision that inspires customers and partners to see the company in a more relevant way, while staying true to the brand’s core values and brand promise. It’s a delicate dance for sure.
To help you get started if you’d like to reinvigorate your own brand, below is a list of best practices:
- Assess strengths and weaknesses. To move forward, sometimes it’s best to take a step back and honestly evaluate a company’s strengths and weaknesses. It is vital to understand what makes your business different and better than the competition. Companies that identify and demonstrate differentiation will better communicate that value to the market
- Reevaluate the target market. Rarely will a company introduce an offering that perfectly fits its original target segment. The product may need to be changed slightly, or the company may be targeting the wrong type of customer. Companies should reevaluate target markets and segment customers based on perceived needs and requirements. Aligning client needs with the company’s capabilities is critical
- Decide how customers benefit: Simply describing a product’s capabilities and identifying a target market is not enough. Companies should spend the time to understand how customers will use the product or service. What type of experience will impress customers? How will they learn about your offering? How will they use it? Whether you’re selling cookies for a fundraiser or a new diabetes medication, it’s critical to envision how customers will interact with your brand
- Craft a compelling story. This would seem to be obvious, but that’s not always the case. Be sure to take the time to identify and document the most important aspects of the product and chronicle what makes the brand stand out in the marketplace
- Highlight customer testimonials. The best advocates for any business are satisfied customers. Charts and figures alone won’t easily convince a skeptical patient or doctor. Spend time nurturing your customers and ask them for a testimonial or to be the subject of a video case study or press release. Ask physicians to be Subject Matter Experts and “star” in video panels. Having patients and doctors tell the world how your brand has helped them is priceless
- Use many communication channels.Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and Facebook have changed the buying experience. Reaching an audience now means communicating widely. Take the first step and begin building followers by engaging in conversations about what is important to them. Customers don’t just want to hear about products all the time. Remember that diabetes medication? Become a thought leader and trusted resource in diabetes itself – not just your solution for it
- Be consistent. Reviving a brand is as much about consistency as it is about creativity. Once the company defines the brand and determines how to communicate that message, the next step is to consistently communicate across all channels
Xavier Creative House has helped many companies reinvigorate – or even reinvent – their brands, and knows how to balance leading-edge creativity with consistent core brand messaging. We’d love to work with you and help you manage your brand. Contact us today!
Reference: 1. https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/237845. Accessed September 12, 2017.