Re-Branding 101: What To Do when Image Is No Longer Competitive
By Zachary Smith.
When Microsoft announced last week it was phasing out Internet Explorer, it came as no surprise to most. Upon the story breaking, tech writers and bloggers had a field day bidding the “antiquated” browser farewell. Check out this story for an example of how some analysts see the development.
Although Microsoft will offer IE 10 for users in the same manner it continued offering support for its phased-out Windows XP, the software giant faces a challenge that affects companies—large and small: “How do we revamp our brand?”
The company announced in January its new browsing service, currently called Project Spartan, which it hopes will be a successful replacement to IE as it goes head-to-head with Chrome, Firefox and Safari. The new browser features the ability to edit, annotate and make notes on web pages with the option of saving and sharing them with others.
So, what is the concept of re-branding? There may very well come a time for a company when its product or service no longer meets the business model. This has executives urging its creative managers to work together on revamping the image. This requires research, planning and investment into a vision that potentially has the ability to make or break a company.
Oftentimes, re-branding is comparable launching a new business model. This depends on how high the percentage of investments a company has in the brand in question.
Whether a re-branding plan will mean tearing up a company’s image and starting from scratch or a less-altering new marketing campaign, there are several factors worth considering. Re-Branding may very well make or break an organization’s reputation and should be thoroughly evaluated.
It’s important to determine to exact reason for a re-brand. Is it competition? Microsoft realized IE was not keeping pace with browser giants Chrome, FireFox and Safari. Time will determine if Project Spartan will effectively compete.
Sometimes, a company’s customers and target audience finds a competitor’s brand more in line with their wants and needs. Has the brand suffered negative publicity? Or, have social or technological factors caused a shift to other options? This is why researching the audience will help determine if a realignment is needed.
Use company’s positioning and legitimacy to rewrite marketing purpose. Perhaps your firm is well established in the industry and offers other highly regarded products or services. This will be a foundation to re-branding. Firms who have a positive and long-standing image can (and will) help enhancing image.
Hit the Campaign Circuit
Not to forget the most essential part of a re-branding effort; the revamped marketing campaign. This involves everything from re-doing a company website or creating a new one, targeted email campaigns and promotion through revised print collateral.
New Beans, New Image
Seattle’s Best Coffee, which is owned by Starbuck, face a brand challenge in 2010. Competition, an outdated business model and poor revenue prompted executives there tasked the creative team to revamp the company’s 40-year-old brand. The result produced dynamic results and improved company earnings. Read about how Seattle’s Best Coffee re-branded their image.
Remember: If your company was successful in the past, you can do it again.