Reviving a brand can be very difficult. Most businesses fail within the first two years of business. Many believe that as many as 80 percent of businesses fail within the first 18 months while others believe that the number could actually be as high as 90 percent. Many businesses fail because of poor marketing and poor positioning. Many start-ups do not properly communicate the value of their company or they don’t properly target the right audience.
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Sometimes, a brand revival can save a declining business. A great example of this would be Apple. Apple was once nearly bankrupt but is now one of the most recognizable and successful brands in the world. Another brand that struggled but was revived was men’s cologne brand, Old Spice. Old Spice produced ads and online campaigns that made it a viral sensation. These examples demonstrate that with the right rebranding techniques, business owners might be able to save their business.
A successful brand revival campaign requires more than just a new logo or tagline. A revival campaign involves crafting a new story and communicating a vision that inspires customers and partners to see the company in a more relevant way.
Below is a list of best practices on how to revive a brand:
Assess strengths and weaknesses
To move forward, sometimes it’s best to take a step back and honestly evaluate a company’s strengths and weaknesses. Start off by determining what the brands current position in the market place is, where the brand has been in the past, and define where you want it to be. It is vital to understand what makes your business different and better than the competition. Companies that identify and demonstrate differentiation will better communicate that value to the market.
Reevaluate the target market
A company will rarely introduce a product or service that perfectly fits its original target segment. The product may need to be changed slightly, or the company may be targeting the wrong type of customer.
Companies should reevaluate target markets and segment customers based on perceived needs and requirements. Redefine who you want to cater your brand to. If the current audience isn’t placing a high enough level of value on it, think about an audience who might use it in ways that enable you to regain value. Aligning client needs with the company’s capabilities is critical.
Determine how customers benefit
Simply describing a product and picking a target market is not enough. Companies should spend the time to understand how customers will use the product or service.
Craft a compelling story and create a plan
It’s very important to document a story that will lead the brand from its current position to the position where you want it to be so employees, partners and customers can tell the same story. Take the time to identify and document the most important aspects of the product and brand that are special.
Changing the packaging or changing what a product looks like is usually a good start. Some brands do not keep up with the times and leave their products looking too dated or obsolete. Sometimes it is best to give a product a new look while also playing off of the brand’s history.
Secure customer testimonials
The best advocates for any business are satisfied customers. Spend time with long-time customers and ask them for a testimonial or to be the subject of a video case study or press release. Having customers tell the world how much they love your product and why they love your product is invaluable.
Create valuable content
It’s impossible to sell to all customers in the same way. Today, buyers are much better educated about products than customers in the past. Customers have many more resources to learn about products (such as online reviews) and it is much easier to compare your products with competitor’s products. Technical buyers are especially well informed. Providing information in a format that buyers want to consume at every stage of the sales cycle is critical.
Social media and ecommerce sites such as: Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Amazon have changed the buying experience. Reaching an audience now means communicating widely. Take the first step and begin building followers by engaging in conversations about what is important to them. Customers don’t just want to hear about products all the time. Become a thought leader and trusted resource.
Reviving a brand is as much about consistency as it is about creativity. Once the company defines the brand and determines how to communicate it, the next step is to consistently communicate key messages.
Believe in the business
Embrace the company’s vision of the brand and target market. The more committed leadership is to the company’s view of the world, the more people will believe in the brand.
Reviving a brand takes commitment. To revive a brand and put the company back on the right track is no easy task. Take the time to assess strengths and weaknesses of the brand. Determine the past and current value of the brand a craft a plan/story to build it up to where you want it to be. Communicate this value to customers and communicate consistently.