When Your Brand Loses Its Shine

Robert Storch

Fy the robot cleaning the stars

Your brand has been humming along nicely for years now and doing great. Customers know who you are and understand your vision. Sales have been steady, but things have been slowly ticking down over the past couple years. Not a plunge but more a slow leak in the tires. To yourself, maybe I dust off this brand and freshen it up a bit. But is that the real answer?

Knee Jerk

Some companies immediately go for the brand redesign, thinking that will be the quick fix. But why would you assume that immediately? The brand isn’t dead, it has been a steady producer. You should really take the time and go into a full brand analysis before you make any decisions that could ultimately change the look and feel of the brand. You don’t go to a surgeon before the Doctor gives his diagnosis, do you? A redesign is expensive, and research indicates that possibly 9 out of 10 redesigns fail to make a meaningful impact.

So why wouldn’t you take some time to analyze the position your brand is indeed in. If this brand is your anchor brand or how customers know your company, then take the time to understand what has changed to make sales decrease.

Lift the Hood

You will be amazed at how few details you know about the inner workings of the brand and what has changed over the last years that have affected sales. Let’s use say a wine brand as our example. Ginger Tab’s Pinot Noir. It has been selling well and loved by our tasting room visitors. It has won a gold medal or two, but how has it been doing against our price point competitors? Did we beat them at the start, at any point or have they always done better? Does our label set us apart, grab attention or blend into the shelf? Has our position changed on the shelf, moved near new competitors or just not as noticeable as it was in a new set of labels? Has marketing for the brand shifted platforms, been decreased or been obliterated?

Some of these questions are difficult to answer. Some need some soul searching. But being honest here could save you time, money and embarrassment in the future. But if you get through the brand analysis and still feel a redesign then make it meaningful.

More than a Paint Job

If your analysis has shown that it is just time to try a redesign, then embrace it. Go into the redesign with a vision of success, set goals and create a blueprint for the change. Don’t be afraid of creativity or being different. If you don’t capture your fans through social media, then you have only a few seconds to grab their attention at the shelf. Consumers want direction but are being swayed by fancy and bright labels. Allow your creative team to do what they do best, create. Sometimes we don’t want to be too different or have too much fun with the brand but think what your goals for the brand are. Understand your target market and what they are looking for on the shelf. Understand what they are looking for out of your brand.

Understand what is currently working also. There might be aspects of the design that are magical, just understand what they are, and why they are working. Making a change is difficult for some, but it doesn’t have to be. Get a team behind the redesign that gets you.

The A-Team

If you don’t happen to be lucky enough to have an in-house team, make sure you get to know the team you hire. Don’t, and I mean don’t go on price alone. This is your baby. Get to know the team, and make sure they get to know you. Your brand is your story, and they should know it. They might not get it entirely, but they should understand why you do what you do. The beliefs and values that go into the brand. If they get your vision, then they will be able to convey that better into the redesign.

Once the creative team you have hired understands your brand and the goals, then you are playing from strength. Take the time to get to know them and make yourself available for them to pick your brain. If they don’t ask questions pick another team. Your new team should embrace your quirkiness, your playful side or that stern side you are playing to. Once they do, let them run. Give them the room to be creative and look for something different. One of the reasons redesigns fail is that the creative team is too afraid to be different. You put fear in their heart that you want something similar to what you have or not too different.

Fear is not Your Friend

As I said before if you decide to change, then embrace it. What you have now isn’t working, and that is why you did a full analysis. Your research should have squashed any doubts that change was needed. So now enjoy the difference. If the redesign isn’t different, then you just made an update. With your creative team getting your vision, and you trust them, you can make magic. Don’t be afraid to say that looks too similar or I like that, can we push it a little more? And the team will let go of their fears also.

Creating a brand that will turn into something more is special. Building a Passion Brand takes hard work, a vision, and fans that get your brand. So, spending that extra time with the creative team will pay off. This is an investment in the future, not a cost.

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