Thursday 1 August 2013

Re-branding the Pig and the Cow

Re-branding the cow!
Re-branding the  Cow

Written by Robyn T. Braley 

I am still asked the question when I speak about branding or communication. “What exactly is a brand?” 

The question often comes from older people who think "brand" refers only to a logo. On the other side, similar questions come from younger people who are confused by the overuse of the term. 

I’m not surprised. The word is thrown around in different ways and in different contexts. No wonder there is confusion.

Brand Definition

Branding defines the characteristics that set your company apart from the competition. A brand tells your story by communicating at an emotional level.

When you think about it, successful brands are built around a central idea that is compelling. They offer real and perceived value to all stakeholders. 

Creating brand value requires a strategy that will generate increased profits by delivering predictable customer experiences. A distinctive brand gives companies a competitive edge.

ReBrand for the Right Reasons

While there are exceptions to the rule, in our experience, most companies re-brand for positive reasons. They seldom change for the sake of change. Re-branding adds energy to a tired brand and signals growth. It can provide opportunities to exploit new business and signals a change in direction.

Re-branding that is bold, meaningful and energized takes customer relationships to new levels because they are driven by a new sense of purpose. Re-branding usually builds on past successes by leaders who recognize their organization is at risk of losing relevance within it's customer base. 

Expanding into new markets provides another reason to rebrand. As your company grows there may come a time comes when you can't depend on instant brand recognition and related customer affinity within a new audience. 

Be True To Yourself

Re-branding requires honesty and transparency. Warts and blemishes are often revealed along with moments of extreme brilliance. In the search for truth, it is important to recognize corporate failures so that the lessons learned can be instructive when shaping the future.

Brand equity is increased by living up to expectations with every customer contact. Brand loyalty is intensified by consistently delivering quality experiences to your customers, suppliers, employees, and others in your circle of interest.

Branding success starts and ends with quality. Quality products and excellent service engagement is the baseline for building a successful brand.

The most dynamic and dazzling Pet Food branding program will fail if the dogs refuse to eat the dog food. It doesn't matter how exceptional the new corporate identity package is, how creative the TV, radio or newspaper ads are, or how engaging the content for an aggressive social media campaign is. No amount of money spent on marketing will make the dogs eat the poor quality food. 

Putting lipstick on a pig or a mask on a cow doesn't make a pork chop into steak or vice versa. Neither the lipstick nor the mask will cover up the truth of what is on the inside. 

The pig will still be the pig and the cow will still be the cow.

Nine Indicators that its Time to Rebrand

  1. When the heart and soul of your company changes.
  2. When significant growth through the addition of new products and services changes the perception, expectations and definition of your brand in the minds of customers.   
  3. When your brand story looses relevance with customers.
  4. When customers needs dramatically change.
  5. When you begin to loose market share.
  6. When current brand elements look tired and out of date.
  7. When growth to new geographic areas or the takeover of other companies require a bigger brand perception.
  8. When new market forces threaten your growth potential.   
  9. When customer profiles - demographic and psychographic - change. 
Please give me your feedback below. I'd love to know what you think! 

Robyn T. Braley is a brand specialist, writer, and speaker. He is also a media commentator and Rotarian. Robyn is the President of UniMark Creative which does website design, video production, media services (editorial and advertising), and graphic design. He speaks at business conferences and also blogs about branding. 

Contact Robyn

Follow on Twitter: @RobynTBraley 

Relevant blogs written by Robyn T. Braley

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