Even the best brands tend to experience success in a cyclical pattern. Brands emerge, grow, stabilize and, finally, decline. Reasons for a brand dying are numerous. However, just because a brand is dying does not mean it is dead. Reinventing a brand is possible with proper planning. The first step is discerning if your brand is dying.
Seven Common Indicators that your Brand Might be Dying:
The brand no longer builds customer loyalty: Your customer base is a great way to gauge the performance of your brand. If customers no longer hold loyalty for your brand, it might be time to look at your brand’s image and performance. Causes could be as simple as increased competition or it could point to more serious concerns, such as a lack of quality.
You brand is never mentioned by the press: Being mentioned in the press shows that your brand is more than a product or a service. It secures your spot as a leader in your market or category. Failure to gain press exposure could indicate a need for brand planning.
Profits and sales for your brand are declining: Market trends, buyer opinions and other factors will directly influence sales. A strong brand can often weather many of these natural market shifts. If your brand finds trouble at every little shift, it might be time to consider reinventing your brand.
Customers respond with negativity to your brand or products: From poor product quality to failure to PR mistakes, there are many reasons why a brand might develop a negative reputation. If this happens, it is important to address these issues, work on re-inventing your brand and prove to customers that the past is the past.
Competitors never compare their offerings to your brand: A sure sign that you are a force within your market is frequent comparisons by competitors. If competitors do not notice you, there is a chance that customers will not notice you as well.
Brand vision and goals are prioritized below financial goals: Though profits are essential to the success of any brand, visions, mission and core values are defining factors in powerful brands with long-term success. If your business has lost sight of these factors, your brand could be declining.
Employees lack enthusiasm and high-quality employee retention is low: Powerful brands embody their brand mission and values in every aspect possible. If employees are not enthusiastic about your brand and it is hard to keep high-quality employees, it could indicate a lack of faith or interest in your brand. Re-inventing can help to solidify your brand and spur enthusiasm within your business.
Re-inventing your Brand and Stopping the Decline
One of the most important aspects of re-inventing a brand is proper research and planning. Before you can rebuild your brand for success, you must first understand what has caused the brand to die. This is often a matter of simple market research and analyzing past brand trends and performance.
Recommendations for re-inventing your brand include:
Determine what you hope to accomplish by rebranding
From making your brand more accessible to distinguishing yourself from competitors, understanding what you hope to gain from rebranding will provide an easy way to monitor and assess the results of your rebranding effort.
Create a unique identity for your brand
With Internet technologies and a globalized market, even local businesses are often in competition with other businesses from all over the globe. Creating a unique identity and establishing key, value-driven aspects to your business is an essential part of re-inventing a brand in today’s competitive marketplace.
Analyze progress throughout the re-invention process
From customer surveys to in-house research, monitoring the changes that you make and the impact they have on brand performance can provide valuable insight. Whether you are determining the best way to optimize your brand image or simply recreating your brand slogan, obtaining feedback can help to ensure you are not simply repeating the same mistakes that led to the decline of your previous brand.
Re-establish value for your new brand
Many businesses make the mistake of trying to use previous brand success to establish their re-invented brand. This method often provides poor results. Establish value and reputation within your customer and client base for your new brand from the ground up. This will help to solidify your brand and drive the branding process as you progress.
Give your re-inventing efforts time to mature
Re-inventing a brand might take longer than initial development of a brand. Like any marketing effort or business process, seeing tangible results will take time. If you are analyzing progress, you can use these metrics to assess success while the brand matures. Frequently changing aspects of your re-invented brand can reduce trust and hurt your reputation before you have even truly begun.
Re-inventing a brand is a common practice in today’s rapidly changing markets. Determining if your brand is dying and establishing a recovery plan are the most important parts of the effort. These tips and strategies can help to determine if it is time for you to re-invent your brand.
Denise Wilson writes about brand innovation and brand remarketing for Cloverleaf. Denise also enjoys writing about marketing and other various branding topics when she has time.