Welcome to our fifth blog on realising the potential of your brand. In this series, we’re going to take you through the minefield of unravelling the challenges of optimising your brand for business success. From uncovering your purpose to developing the right positioning, finessing your identity and tone of voice to driving brand awareness in a crowded market.
Our latest blog focuses on Brand Evolution.
“79% of consumers say brands have to actually demonstrate they understand and care about them before they consider purchasing”
Defining, creating and communicating your brand takes a lot of time and resource and can be costly. Some companies feel that once their brand is set-up, the job is done. It reflects the values of the company; its identity is modern, and it has cut through in the marketplace. However, resting on these laurels can be setting up to fail.
Over time, things change – both technology and consumer behaviour develop at an alarming rate, fashions change as do buyers shopping experience expectations, take the rapid growth of vegan culture for example. You will find yourself constantly adapting to the ever-changing environment and it’s important that your brand does too.
This doesn’t mean that your brand values need to change, as unless your business has gone through significant changes and your core ‘why’ has changed (in which case a whole re-branding project should be undertaken), it’s about taking a step back and reviewing your brand identity to ensure that you move with the market.
You may be thinking that it’s best to implement larger changes more infrequently, but there are many advantages to a brand evolution:
Customers know your brand, they support your values and you are immediately recognisable through your identity. By evolving your brand, you will find it easier to keep in touch with your existing client base and retain your brand equity, whilst still having the ability to reach out to new customers who may not have engaged with your original brand. The old-age phrase, ‘don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater’ is critical here.
Most markets don’t change overnight, they follow a slower evolution. Smaller, subtle developments to your brand can allow you to remain relevant in the marketplace without having to make costly changes suddenly because you have remained stagnant.
By making small adjustments over time, you can test the adaptations to your brand identity and see how your customers (and potential customers) respond to them. This allows you to refine your brand evolution over time and push forward with the successes.
Sometimes, your customers’ heads may be turned by a new player on the market – they look new and fresh and in contrast, you may look slightly more ‘old-hat’. Choosing to evolve your brand allows you to keep your aesthetic fresh, competitive and keep your audience engaged.
The original Starbucks logo featured a ‘twin-tailed mermaid’, also known as a siren. Greek mythology believed that sirens lured sailors to a shipwreck off the coast of an island in the South Pacific which was sometimes referred to as Starbuck Island. The idea behind the logo was to use this Greek mythology to lure coffee lovers to its stores.
Over time, the core idea behind the logo has remained; the ‘twin-tailed mermaid’ still features but has been modernised. Every change that has occurred has been for a reason, for example, the change from brown to green signified that the company was widening its food offering. The change in 2011 represented their 40th anniversary. This evolution over time took their customers with them, helped pick up more customers and support the creation of the $112 billion company it is today.
Tropicana was a brand that was worth $700m per year in North America – and they decided to rebrand overnight. The launch of the new packaging was poorly received by their existing customer base and resulted in a 20% loss in sales over a short period before they reverted back to their original packaging. Coupled with the cost of the advertising relaunch and the customers their competitors picked up, the total cost to the Tropicana brand was $50 million.
The President of Tropicana admitted that they had underestimated the bond their consumers had with the brand. In addition, the design change lost all of the signposts that consumers used to recognise the product – the orange with the straw, the logo and the change of product name – it went so far, they couldn’t even recognise it on the shelf.
We recently helped Surrey’s leading IT support business, Ramsac, evolve their brand. As a successful business, they had grown and the customers they were working with had evolved but their brand had been a little left behind. Check out our case study for the full story of their journey to success.
By letting your brand evolve over time, it is easier to stay true to your original values and also retain your audience because they understand that you are listening to them and keeping up with their needs.
If you have an established brand that needs evolution to remain relevant to your customers’ needs and the ever-changing marketplace, get in touch and our brand consultants will be happy to speak to you to discuss your challenges and how we can help.