There’s no question that your brand—the ultimate courier of your business personality and service offerings—is essential to your success in generating and preserving customer loyalty.
Although your brand’s shelf life should be long-lasting and its delivery consistent, it should also evolve when your marketplace and today’s fast-moving communication landscape call for change.
For example, the following circumstances trigger the need for a refresh:
- An international pandemic and economic crunch
- A merger (Bristol-Myers Squibb)
- Expansion of services (Southwest Airlines)
- A change in ownership or leadership (Abercrombie & Fitch)
- Advances in technology that make your product/service inefficient or unnecessary (Kodak)
- Changes in technology that call for different delivery systems (Tribune Publishing Company, now “tronc” for Tribune Online Content)
- Increased competition (Don Q Rum)
- Unwanted image acquisition (Burberry)
- Customer or media influence (eBay, originally AuctionWeb)
- Outdated visuals or marketing materials (US Soccer)
Most of these businesses altered their logos when they restaged their brands. However, a logo redesign or update is only a part of a brand makeover. Your brand is a hybrid of what you can see and what you can’t. So, the makeover process includes a deep, strategic look at your mission, vision, core values, mindset, performance, culture, staff, policy, procedures and customers—along with an adjustment of the visuals that embody them, if warranted.
A brand makeover is an inside-out process. Think of your logo as wardrobe—an outward reflection of all that lies beneath. Your logo should accurately represent you and your business and all the nuances that make you different from and better than others in your marketplace.
Understanding your unique strengths, attributes and personality is key to building a true and meaningful brand. Always be able to answer these questions:
- Why should people care about you, your products or your company?
- Why should they choose you, your products or your company instead of another?
- Why should they keep coming back?
Knowing your ideal customers is also critical to brand success. Once you’ve identified who they are, then talk their language, relate to them effortlessly and communicate with them routinely. Your customers are your reason for being and doing. The more tuned in you are to what they want, need and demand, the better your chances of generating ongoing loyalty and sustainable success.
Aligning outside “messengers” (color, words, photographs, typography) with inside information (beliefs, values, aspirations) is an important goal of a brand makeover. Once achieved, your brand message gains power, which makes it easier to get found by the people who need you most.
A few words of caution, though…. No brand moochery! Never ride the coattails of an existing brand by copying or modifying their visual elements and/or their business model and then claiming originality. Copyright and trademark violations are costly. And, the media and the public can be unforgiving if they find your shortcuts offensive. Their voice—if angry—can ruin you.
Embarking on a brand makeover is more than creating a distinctive logo, selecting fresh colors schemes or crafting dynamic advertising. It is an investment in:
- accurately projecting the values and culture of everyone associated with your brand,
- maintaining relevance,
- protecting your secret sauce, and
- winning the favor of new customers while creating conditions for renewed success.
“The entire effort is about getting people to see you, know you, associate attributes to you instantly, select you, remember you, return to you, and of course, spread the good word!” says Tom McManimon, principal of StimulusBrand Communications,
Tom’s colleague, Lisa Manyoky, a longtime specialist in the neuroscience of branding and communication, adds, “What you put out there, whether you can see It or not, affects every part of life and business, for better or worse.”
In the end, your brand is what people THINK, FEEL and SAY about you when you are not in the room. So, make sure you know yourself, understand your message and relate to your customer. Put on that fancy suit, or those hipster jeans, or a comfy overcoat. Then, find your people, capture their attention, win their hearts, have impact and, by default, keep your business alive and well.
Visit www.stimulusbrand.com. See cases and creative portfolio. Set up a Strategic Brand Review and Positioning study. Call Tom McManimon at 609.538.1126.