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Refreshing Your Brand – Is It Time?

Posted by on May 24, 2011 in BLOG | No Comments

Much like popping “the question,” gauging the right time for a company re-brand can be tricky. Most business owners fret about cost – is this the right time for my bank account? – and others worry about trying to fix a thing that ain’t broke (see the cringe-inducing efforts of Tropicana to “coolify” their brand).

But for many business owners, a brand refresh may just be what the doctor ordered to give sales a shot in the arm, and to get people buzzing again. And, just like the aforementioned “question,” your market may already be dropping subtle hints that they’re ready.

Have sales reached a long term plateau – or worse, dropped steadily – despite your best marketing and promo efforts? Is your market moving to other places where you are not? (take note: it could be a physically different place, like the new Target down the street, or an online social site you’re not yet a part of). Have you been concentrating on one demographic so long that potential new markets are missing you?

Added to this, has your management changed drastically? Have you merged or partnered with other companies? Has your focus or mission changed significantly since your first branding exercise?

If you answered yes to any of the above, thecommich thinks It Might Be Time.

Now, a brand refresh is more than just a change of logo –  it is, in fact, a whole new way to present your company. You have to convince the public to see you in a new light, while simultaneously retaining what your loyal market base likes about you. Again, this is tricky. I like to compare it to what the contestants on The Biggest Loser go through. How do you lose 100+ pounds, gain a new perspective on life, change your eating and exercising routine completely, and still keep the same friends as you had when you weighed half a ton? How do you go back to the family that knew you as a heavyweight and convince them that you love them as much now that you’re healthy?

Similarly, many brands seem to have difficulty retaining their loyal customers while opening themselves up to new markets. Some exceptions were pointed out by Business Insider, who used J. Crew and Burberry as successful examples of managing to stay traditional yet hip. Both brands nod to their long tradition of luxury basics like trench coats and cashmere sweaters. But they managed to stay relevant by listening to customers – Burberry’s staple trench coat is now available in shorter, chicer lengths, and uses hot young “it” girl Emma Watson as its image model. J. Crew discovered that women were buying their sundresses to use as bridesmaid dresses and opened their own bridal line in response.

Are you ready for a brand refresh? How would YOU walk the line between maintaining customer loyalty and opening up in new and exciting directions? WEIGH IN BELOW!!

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