Febuary 2010

Article Archives:

December 9 2010 - 9 Must Have Marketing Metrics

November 24 2010 - Is Your Marketing on Autopilot?

November 17 2010 - Are You Advertising in the Yellow Pages?

November 10 2010 - Facebook Versus Google Pay Per Click

November 2 2010 - What is the Reticular Activating System?

October 27 2010 - Meaningful Marketing Messages

October 20 2010 - The Impact of Culture on Marketing

July 2010 - Hiring a Good CSR

June 24 2010 - What do Redclick Superstars do for fun?

June 2010 - Branding Updates

May 2010 - Advertising Fads

April 2010 - Demand & Non-Demand Marketing

March 2010 - Google Trends

February 2010 - Rebranding

January 2010 - Cutting the Strings

December 2009 - Lead Source

Branding is a marketing strategy that is paramount in attracting and strengthening relationships with a potential or existing customer, employee, vendor, and shareholder.

So why Re-Brand or Co-Brand?

  • Original purpose of the brand has changed
  • Future market direction has changed
  • Negative factors have affected the brand
  • An acquisition, merger, or sale took place
  • Focus has become diluted

The brand of a company, product, service, destination, or person is the reputation that exists. The key phrase here is “that exists”. A company may want to have a positive, customer-friendly, competitively priced service, but if the audience (customer, co-worker, vendor, and shareholder) doesn’t agree, then the brand for that service does not have those characteristics.

Does the name need to be changed to Re-Brand?
Re-Branding often begins with changing the name. The name serves as the title for the brand and is the simplest way for the audience to refer to it.

The major question to ask, does the customer base buy your brand at the rate you want? If they do, don’t get rid of it!

Quite often, the name is one of the first decisions when starting a business, and as the business matures, the name may no longer fit.

Messages communicated on behalf of the brand must support the reputation desired.

Let’s look closely at six reasons for altering a brand:

1. Original Focus has Changed
Consider the case of a plumbing company that adds electrical service. Many times, the company changes from ABC Plumbing to ABC Services. While it was perfectly clear that ABC Plumbing performed plumbing services, the customer now has no idea what ABC Services may do. They may change the name from ABC Plumbing to ABC Plumbing and Electric. This communicates to customers who are familiar with the original company that electrical service was added as an extra. The primary business is plumbing and electrical is secondary, so they think. The secondary trade rarely attains equal revenues as the primary or first trade. Instead of adjusting the name and brand to fit the new service, ABC Plumbing would be wise to remain ABC Plumbing and the decision makers should start a new electrical brand with a new name.

Older brands may only need to strengthen and update their brand’s messages to support a new focus. Betty Crocker doesn’t look the same on cookbooks and packaging as she did thirty years ago because the company simply updated her look with the times, and they did so without changing the brand. The focus never really changed.

2. Future market direction has changed
When digital cameras began to infiltrate the market, film became less in demand. Brands, like Kodak, that were known for film needed to do something to respond. Kodak needed to shift its complete focus to match market demand or create a new brand to focus on the digital market. The Kodak brand had a reputation for film. Now its hard to say what the Kodak brand stands for. Its very difficult to shift the reputation in the consumer’s mind. We’ll have to wait and see what the future holds for Kodak.

3. Negative factors have affected the brand equity or value.
When companies discover that their brand has a bad reputation, they should strongly consider re- branding, with a name change, and a new focus on ensuring the reputation stays positive.

4. An acquisition or a merger took place
A common reason to re-brand or co-brand is when a company finds themselves with two brands. The decision needs to be made whether or not the brands will be developed separately, if one will be dropped, or whether they should be re-branded together.

5. Focus has become diluted
When a company finds that the offerings for their customer base are too diverse, its time to regain focus.

SECCO Incorporated formed SECCO Home Services in 2001 to brand their residential service separately from their commercial services. Five years later, they decided to re-brand the residential electrical services by launching Presto Electric. The company realized that more customers knew SECCO Home Services for Heating, Air Conditioning, and Plumbing than for Electrical, so the new brand was born.

6. Messages
If customers don’t quickly and easily know what you do, then your brand needs help. Brands need supporting messages and images to convey the intended reputation or image.

A logo, tag-line or slogan should always match the brand and can be enhanced with the design of visual and aural materials.

Each contact the customer has will either support the brand or detract from it. The experience that a customer has is vital to the brand’s reputation. Think back to the teenage years, and you were told that a girl was a nice girl, and when you approached her, she was rude and snobby. You sure didn’t think that she was a nice girl anymore, did you? If advertising tells you over and over again that a brand is family-oriented, and your experience doesn’t give you that impression at all, your image from the advertised message for that brand will not be trusted. If the mismatch of messages happens to often, you’ll have to re-brand.