Monday, May 19, 2008

Notes on Re-branding

I recently replied to a question from Nastasya Savina, a public relations and branding consultant from London, UK.

Nastasya posted the question: “Does it make sense to do re-branding/re-styling properly?”

She added, “Textbooks teach that re-branding should start with a meticulous analysis of company's strategic focus and the current brand perceptions of major segments of current and future target audiences. But in reality, in many rebranding cases, there was no study at all. Top management decided that the brand attributes need to be refreshed, then hired an expensive agency, and then chose the most attractive design proposal. So, I am wondering if the initial research and analysis is really a prerequisite for an effective rebranding.”

In my experience, there are indeed best practices for rebranding – in order to build a more sustainable market position and greater market penetration through stronger demand.

First, consider the main reasons for “rebranding.”
-rediscover the potential of underpromoted brands
-reinvigorate and grow products
-rethink in-licensed products
-retool for new indications/uses
-reorganize product marketing post-merger
-reconsider approach to new channels

Many practices are the same as launch, but obviously you can’t erase previous exposure. The rocket can’t simply be put back on the launch pad. One must reanalyze what worked and what must be improved.

One method is the “Forward.Fast.®” branding model. You look at six main areas of the brand to determine the rebranding improvements:

1. Likeability – what elements of the product and branding are attracting customers?
2. Logo – does the symbol, font, design appealing?
3. Quality Offering – are the main attributes of the brand simple and easy to understand?
4. Associations – what is the brand connected with, and if it’s right, could it be strengthened?
5. Attitude – consider the tone of the design, copy, packaging
6. Quality Experience – this is the newest and strongest area that many marketers are learning needs attention; does the experience of buying, using, and servicing the product match your brand – and can it be elevated?

Finally, remember to look at more than just the “brand look”. Consider all the other Marketing Ps:
-Place (distribution)
-Price (contracts, incentives)
-Promotion (unique channels)
-Packaging (novel, convenient)
-Put-ups (sizes, kits, bundles)
-Personal support (services offerings)
-Professional development (education, training, certification)

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