When is the Right Time for a Brand Refresh?

  • Feb 27, 2018

*I recall about 5 years ago returning from a client meeting, sitting at my desk, feeling dejected and thinking "We've lost this client.  The younger generation is going to take this client right out from under me"      Then the "real me" took over.   "you and your On Target Promotions team have more going for you than your competitors.  Your branding company has over 40 years of experience, you have your MAS, you're a member of the American Marketing Association and you just plain know your stuff!    What we need is a brand refresh and so we did... 

How should a brand change? When is it time to give your brand an update?

mindPay attention to subtle shifts in your market and in customers’ minds. Taylor says that your first clue in realizing it’s time for a brand refresh is when you notice a subtle shift in your mind and in your customers’ minds about what your brand is about. In the real world, this generally shows up as a shift in what’s important to you as a business, or what your customers can count on you for. For example, if you’ve recently launched a new product or taken advantage of a new opportunity, these new additions to your bag of tricks make a subtle impact on your brand. Over time, as this shift becomes discernable to your customers, you need to make sure your brand image and message is congruent with what you want to be known for. 

market researchUse market research to connect with your customer and collect insights. Of course, you need insights from your target audience(s) before you start a brand transition. This is where market research can play a key role. 

Start exploratory and qualitative research. An easy way to get started is to get involved in conversations about your brand, product segment or industry on social media channels. Remember to follow the rules of research: Set an objective: what do you want to know? What decision are you trying to make? Determine your data: what do you need to see in terms of data that will point you in the right direction? Outline your discussion questions.

With this information, the next step is to collect quantitative data via online surveys. Create a survey for each of your objectives or plan out a series of surveys with no more than five questions each that will engage your audience and give you the answers you are seeking. For small businesses without a large budget, this type of research will give you just enough of the data you need to feel good about your direction and make a good decision.

Share feedback and encourage conversation. Keep your respondents in the loop by sharing the feedback and ask for their reactions. Most importantly, engage in conversations about their reactions. Do your best to understand not just the content of what they are saying but the context. Context is critical because it’s that subtle underlying message that influences your brand.

With these insights, you can now see the value points and specific words by which your customers describe your brand today, and this will shape the revised brand definition and positioning that resonates with your customers.

*p.s.  this same client whom I visited 5 years ago, recently took over a position with a new company and she began her own brand refresh:)

Source: Deb Johnson, On Target Promotions, PPAI/Promotional Consultant Magazine and  Ivana Taylor who is the publisher of DIYMarketers.com, where she shares step-by-step marketing strategies for small business owners who are looking for ways to get and keep profitable customers. Find her marketing advice on AMEX Open Forum, Marketing for Success and Biz2Credit.com. In addition, she manages blogs for Survey Analytics and QuestionPro brands.



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