Business evolves. You expect businesses to learn, change, grow, adjust. Why wouldn’t branding evolve as well?
One recent study found that 75% of U.S. brands will plan to refresh their look within the next five years. That represents a huge opportunity for ad agencies that have built expertise in guiding clients through this process. Adweek spoke to five brands and their agencies about their recent rebrands and pulled out a few themes. Agencies need to be able to show:
A strong brand is more than just a sleek logo and clever tagline. For GRM, rebranding is a re-examination of a company’s mission, it’s current business strategy and who are the likeliest key prospects. Said another way, branding is the how the melding of mission, product and delivery is presented. More than simply changing up some words on a website.
The impact? Aligned brands have measurably more pricing power than its competitors.
For many years, the iconic luxury brand, Burberry became the standard issue dress as a status symbol of thugs and gangs across England. The association became such a problem that many British pubs banned Burberry and other brands from being worn on their premises. Hard to believe that was ever the case, but it was certainly a huge issue for Burberry, as it drove away many potential customers due to negative association.
New product lines, new features or new markets may lead to targets that you didn’t originally reach. Is your website addressing the changes? Too often, websites are written to the perspective of the company and not from the perspective of the target audience. That alone should be reason enough to consider changes to branding.
Mission creep happens to most businesses or organizations. New people come in, new ideas are enacted, and the result is a shift in the overall goals and mission of the business. That leads to dated and inconsistent branding and communications. When mission is aligned to product and branding magical things happen.
Branding should relate a competitive positioning. Adjusting to reflect the constantly changing marketplace is a given. Or simply, doubling down and reinforcing the positioning in new ways and new language to continue to own your place in the market.
For many companies, they essentially compete in a commodity marketplace. Their pricing, product benefits and availability are no different from competitors. Actually, this is when branding can differentiate. Some CEOs, especially in B2B categories, believe it is up to the customer relationship. True to a point, but that puts the brand into individual salespeople and not the company name. Lawyers, within a category, are offering the same services. But consider how some promote their brand. Insurance companies spend lots on advertising to separate their brand from another. When you can’t vary the product or pricing, promoting the brand name in fresh and interesting ways may be all you have to separate from competitors.
Your brand ultimately boils down to customer perception, so the monetary value of your offerings is entrenched in the minds of those you serve. One of the most measurable benefits of rebranding is that it allows you to redefine the value customers place on your offerings—and raise your asking price accordingly. The ROI of branding has been proven by research, time and again. Strong brands are more profitable, build more equity, and sell at higher multiples.
The cohesive, well-articulated brand that emerges from a successful rebranding initiative increases the efficiency and effectiveness of all your marketing efforts. Taking the time to understand your audience through brand research enables you to develop campaigns with highly relevant messaging targeted at your most valuable customer segments. No more wasted effort in scattershot messaging – just repeating the category jargon.
It’s not a given that every company should rebrand periodically. But, like the well-care health checkup, it does make sense to conduct ‘a brand checkup’ every 5 to 7 years. In our experience, most companies need to make refinements, not necessarily wholesale changes. Those changes can result in more efficient prospecting, building perception of a greater price point and focusing marketing activities.
Reach out for a complimentary consultation on whether a branding ‘refresh’ is in order for your business.