Brands, like people, need a makeover from time to time. For large companies, a more current image model or a flashy new promo is sometimes needed to get back in touch with a customer base, or to arrest declining sales. Startups, on the other hand, use re-branding as a transition tool. For most, it becomes a ‘hit or miss’ approach while the company is still trying to find its identity, wondering if there are more reliable strategies to successfully freshen up one’s brand image and reinvigorate customers’ response to the product.
[related|post]Entrepreneur Philippines asked two branding consultants to share their views on the subject:
1. Reinvent, but keep things recognizable
Omar Daniels, who runs online marketing consultancy SynMark Inc. shares how a top international brand tried an image makeover that went awry.
“A well known juice brand repackaged their juice boxes, and went away from its traditional orange packaging. The company wanted a facelift, and was trying to appeal to a broader market with a neutral, more streamlined look. The result was a disaster, as customers were complaining that they couldn’t find the product in their local grocery, when in fact, they were available but just in a different package. They eventually had to switch back to the old orange boxes,” he said.
Lesson learned? Daniels says trying to grab a new customer base is well and good, but companies should always be wary of compromising the image of the brand.
“Identify what brand attributes attract customers to buy your products, and try not to tweak them too much. Keep the general theme, color schemes, and illustrations intact and try to only change some details. Of course, a complete image makeover may sometimes become necessary, but doing things in small increments over a gradual period helps with the transition. Customers are fickle, and most of them don’t like surprises,” he said.
2. Make re-branding a part of the planning process
Re-branding is often a drastic reaction to an immediate threat, like dwindling sales. Sheila Javier, formerly a brand consultant for the LKG Group of companies and Texas Instruments Philippines, says companies should look at the market before making a decision to change your image.
“Before you start, check out what your competitors are doing. Sometimes, it’s not branding, but lack of innovation that sets companies back. If you then decide that re-branding is the way to go, be cognizant of not shocking your core audience, or you risk losing them to the competition” she said.