I’ve worked on brand strategy for numerous companies over the years.
People often say they want to ‘refresh’ a brand, but they fail to see the potential risks associated with changing people’s existing relationships with a brand.
If you’re a longstanding brand you’ve no doubt built a solid brand reputation. This takes time and a lot of hard work. If you’ve achieved this, why would you want to start again?
Essentially, what key brand thinkers like Stanley Hainsworth (Former Creative Director, Starbucks and Nike) and DeeDee Gordon (President of Innovation, Sterling Brands) agree upon, is that ‘rebranding’ for the sake of it, is not necessarily the only way to achieve cut-through amongst your competitors.
Instead if you go back to the roots of your brand – where it all began and why – this should form the backbone of all you do and say. This is your brand story.
Generally speaking, business owners begin with a genuine dream, an idea or a concept to solve a problem or fill a gap in the market. And, if brands are lucky enough to be successful, companies grow. However expansion often leads brands to want to refresh – re-brand – to stay cutting edge. But this can ultimately confuse loyal* consumers.
Good brand strategists are often puzzled as to why business owners do this.
By sticking to the origins of your brand story – remaining authentic – and being clever with your brand strategy, you can successfully grow your brand without compromising who and what you are to your customers.
Your brand strategy should reinforce and nurture your customers’ relationship with your brand. Not confuse or dilute all that you’ve built over the years – a personal, compelling and honest, brand story.
*Loyal – there is great debate as to whether or not consumers are ever truly loyal to a brand.