Is Your Brand Getting Old With You?

Wednesday 06, 2017 | Marketing | BY Meghal Mehta

Have you ever wondered that why is it that we’re almost always itching for a pandemonium when everything seems to be tranquil? The answer is simple. Change is the law of nature. Similarly, when your company is performing impressively, and so are your offerings, you might still feel the need to stir up things a little. If you’ve had the chance to read Malcolm Gladwell’s ‘Blink’, you will have an idea of what we’re talking about. Exactly like the proverbial 7-year marriage itch, chances are, your brand is in dire need of a change.

At this point, you might want to consider taking a hard look in the mirror to see where the wrinkles have developed. All you may need is a cosmetic change, may be in color or may be in the font. Or you may not. What if what you’re looking at, simply doesn’t serve the purpose anymore? In that case, you may not need minute touch-ups but an extensive makeover!

Brands are like people. They grow with experience; they age with time. While these changes were slower in the past, the pace of change has become faster now; even fleeting in some cases. Today, a brand identity doesn’t hold up as flawlessly for a span of 50 years as it did earlier. It now needs to change itself at the drop of a hat and in fact, it needs to keep doing so. Consistently.

Take Facebook for instance. In the past 5 years, users in their 20s are ditching the platform. The reason? Their parents are on it. SMS is already passé, and soon TV may be too. Site-blocking in offices is now rendered irrelevant. Why? We are now in the age of smartphones and seamless data connectivity! You get the idea. So, do you want your brand to be like the pot-bellied uncle at the park huffing along? Or do you want to be that athletic front runner, everyone looks up to?

It is very easy to do a quick rebranding activity, probably by changing your logo or altering the colors. But branding is way beyond the logo or even your tagline for that matter. Branding is the way that you put yourself across in front of your consumer. It is all about what, how and to whom you communicate, that impacts the way your brand is perceived.

Adidas, for example, is extremely focused when it comes to its branding. It always showcases the top athletes, giving their best on the field. Nike, on the other hand, emphasizes on one’s attitude. Right from its nameless “swoosh” logo to its edgy gear and path-breaking tagline ‘Just Do It’, all speak of nothing but one’s untiring approach.

Another example is Cadbury. In spite of not being an Indian brand, it has managed to be only chocolate that has ruled the hearts of Indians for decades now. Amul has been trying its luck, but the path has been rocky. Then came in Kit-Kat, Walls Frozen dessert et al, but no one could carve the niche Cadbury already had. And while the brand did not change its iconic purple color, it did not shy away from changing its message. From once being the ‘Taste of Life’ it gradually became everyone’s go-to dessert, with its ‘Kuchh Meetha Ho Jaaye’ campaign. And these changes helped the chocolate brand maintain its position on the pedestal. Even today, the brand is registering unparalleled success by being something that can be enjoyed anytime, anywhere and with anyone. Although at a gradual pace, the brand has evolved itself consistently. What was once a giveaway at kids’ birthday parties, a Cadbury chocolate is now consumed by adults and seniors equally! Needless to say, this transformation led to an incredible increase in sales for the brand.

Let’s also take a look at the service segment. Modern day restaurants need to overhaul their décor and even their offerings at a much faster pace than companies and organizations. The reason is simple. Food habits of people around the world are constantly changing. A few years ago people were largely vegetarians or non-vegetarians. Today, an increasing number of them are becoming vegans. Moreover, with numerous platforms like Zomato, the feedback is instant and more importantly public. Thus, the repercussions are massive. In addition, a simple yet intriguing program like Masterchef has turned hundreds of individuals into foodpreneurs giving hotel-run restaurants a run for their money.

Then there are malls, which are soon on their way of becoming superfluous, obsolete even. All thanks to the entry of online shopping portals like Amazon. Brands that once thrived on the basis of their exclusivity, have now become prey to the online discount circus.

Time to Re-Brand?

For what it’s worth, the only way to remain relevant and appealing in the present-day dynamic market is through rebranding. But how do you know that it is time for you to rebrand? Well, hopefully, the below-mentioned points will help you deduce that!

1. You haven’t changed your logo. Ever.

Well, if that’s the case consider it as a red flag. We understand that it was this very logo that your company started and grew with. But it is time for you to think again. Do you really like it as much as you did on the first day? Do your customers find it appealing enough? It is quite likely that the answer to these questions is – NO. Hence, rebrand.

2. Your logo doesn’t resonate with your offerings.

With time, you might have changed your offerings. You might have even changed your core ideology, and in some case your target audience as well. Probably it’s high time you modified your logo, even if a tad bit so that it is sync with your brand.

3. Your product has the potential to target more people.

Remember Cadbury? Simply twist your messaging a little, and envelope more people. Before you know it, your sales will be through the roof.

4. You are closing ranks with your competitor.

There are times when your offerings are as good as that of your competitor. In this case, you need to create brand differentiation with focused messaging. Take the examples of Kansai Nerolac paints and Asian Paints. They are the top paint companies in India that both offer high-quality products. While Kansai Nerolac focuses on ‘Healthy Home Paints’, Asian Paints focuses on ‘Décor’, thus making them both equally appealing, albeit to different audiences.

5. Your brand looks like all the others of its category.

If your brand hasn’t introduced anything new for a long time and sells something that ten other brands also offer than you might be stuck in a rut. To break away, simply change the way your offering is packaged. Change your packaging and colors, modernize your language and style saying ‘New and Improved’. This should capture the buyer’s imagination, and improve your sales!

Tens of other reasons can call for a change. The trick is to keep your eyes and ears open, and your mind alert. Don’t stay wedded to your logo. Invest in your Brand. Don’t let it grow old, help it grow up.