Chalk Talk

Signs Your Brand May Need a Realignment Strategy

A strong brand that tells your story truthfully and powerfully is probably your business’s greatest asset.

A brand that’s off course, isn’t a true reflection of who you are or what you do, or doesn’t mean much to your target market, can be a huge drag on your success.

To be clear, if you’re not emphatically sure that your brand is perfectly working and being perceived as you want it, it may be time for a rebrand, or a realignment of your brand. See if you recognize any of these signs that you may need to rethink your brand strategy:

Your brand isn’t hitting the target.

Knowing who’s in your target market is key. Who are they? How old are they? How much do they make? Are they community-minded or fiercely independent? Do they like structure or change? What problems do they have and how can you solve them? If you can’t answer questions like these, your brand engagements may be off base. You have to know what their needs are (whether they know it or not) before you can be their solution.

Honing in on the truth of both your story and your audience makes reaching your market possible.

If you’re not, if your message is so general that it makes no impact, your brand embodies the phrase: “jack of all trades, master of none.” And in our book, that means it’s time to rebrand. That’s what Old Spice did. As a familiar, but unexciting brand for dads and grandpas, Old Spice rebranded themselves with humor and sex appeal, completely shaking things up to expand their appeal to a more youthful market.

You’ve profoundly changed your products and/or services.

If your current brand doesn’t reflect who you are and what you offer, it’s time to rebrand. If you’re Apple Computer and you want to start a technical revolution, you simplify your name to Apple and introduce new, innovative products such as iPhones and iPads in beautiful packaging. More than that, when Steve Jobs took over the company in 1997, he made it a company with vision that offered its customers an experience, and THAT became its brand. (Have you been inside an Apple store?) Just as your business changes and evolves, so must the brand that reflects it.

Apple 1977 Ad

Apple 1977 Ad

Apple 1983 Ad

Apple 1983 Ad

Apple 1996 Ad

Apple 1996 Ad

Apple 1998 Ad

Apple 1998 Ad

Apple 2000 Ad

Apple 2000 Ad

Apple iPod Ad

Apple 2003 Ad

Apple iPod Shuffle Ad

Apple 2016 Ad

Your brand isn’t clear or constant.

Are you able to easily tell someone what your business stands for? Clearly. Succinctly. Can every employee in your company, from the frontline to the corner offices, say the same? Is it a consistent definition across the board? If you get unfocused or different answers, it’s time to rebrand.

Southwest Airlines, one of the world’s largest low-cost airline carriers, has been so good at understanding its employees as brand ambassadors (who appear in their ads) and at living their mission: “people first.” In their 2016 rebrand, Southwest Airlines made the heart graphic, always a part of their identity, a bigger, more iconic image. By recognizing and then embracing the heart as its brand symbol, they are showing the world that the business philosophy that started Southwest more than 40 years ago is exactly what will lead them into future—treating people like people.

A rebranding effort can be a simple refinement or a complete overhaul.

It’s all about assessment and strategy. If your business has evolved or grown into something quite different than what it was when your brand was first created, then it’s time to understand that, clearly define what and who you are now, and create something new that reflects that truth.

On the other hand… If you’ve been around awhile, be careful not to get rid of the valuable equity you may have built in your brand. Whether it’s your name or a familiar element, you can incorporate it into a brand that is more of an evolution than a major renovation. See how Keds, a company that traditionally markets to woman, has stayed relevant over the decades…

 

1919 Keds Ad

1919 Keds Ad

1950s Keds Ad

1950s Keds Ad

1960s Keds Ad

1960s Keds Ad

2014 Keds Ad

2014 Keds Ad

2016 Keds Ad

2016 Keds Ad

 

If you’re interested enough to have read this far, you may be thinking of rebranding.

And if you’re thinking you may need to, at the very least, ASSESS your brand, you probably do.

If you want to accurately reflect your business, if you want to maximize your position in the marketplace, if you want to rise above your competitors, if you want to stay relevant to consumers in a changing marketplace, if you want to…well, there are so many reasons to rebrand. That said, you need to know exactly what YOUR reasons are, and carefully consider your company’s mission, vision and culture. It’s not a simple process, but the advantages are tremendous, from revitalizing your company and repositioning yourself in the minds of your customers, to experiencing great success.

We wish you all the best. And if you have any questions, Red Chalk Studios is right here, ready to answer them.

Red Chalk Studios has been helping clients understand, develop and grow their brands for over 16 years. Interested in building a strong and successful brand? Let’s talk!