Picture this – you have spent ages creating your brand and refining it. You have been successful in launching it and in its heydays; it has been your source of income. However, owing to certain reasons, it seems to have stagnated and you feel that your brand is not responding to interventions the way it did in the past. Perhaps, you already realize the travesty that has befallen your brand, but you decide there is nothing you can do about it.
Fatal decisions can ruin your brand
The result of such a decision could be fatal for your brand. Instead of wondering what went wrong and blaming everyone around including yourself, it is time to do a bit of introspection and discover a strategy about what could be done to prevent the actual demise of your brand.
Brand stagnation – a common phenomenon
Brand stagnation is a common phenomenon in industries that rarely change. If you are in such an industry, you need to recognize the changes that could affect the existence of your brand. A successful reversal of course can revive your stagnating brand and put your organization back on track.
For many successful companies, change is the only constant. It becomes essential for companies to expand the types of services they provide to remain competitive and successful. Companies that fail to expand often end up as stagnated entities. The expansion could be in the form of a new engineering service for an engineering or architectural company or a new construction preview service for a construction company. A transport company may fail because it could not brand itself with relation to the latest technological advances in logistics that the industry offers.
Conducting Research - identify the reasons
A quick research can indicate why a brand has stagnated. Frankly, brands are all about perception and it is always a good idea to understand why a brand might stagnate. It is all-important to understand how your target market perceives your brand. To begin, start gathering information about the current positioning of your brand. Go through your mission, vision, and values statement. Pick up elements such as value propositions, sales literature, annual reports, press releases, and the like to see if you are relevant to the current market conditions.
Conduct internal stakeholder interviews and meetings with the management, employees, sales and marketing team, and other concerned individuals to understand how the brand is perceived individually and if the branding process bridges the gap between your brand's current image as well as your brand's desired one.
Ask simple questions such as what business you are in and what do you really expect out of your business. You can also ask simple questions like who are your ideal customer and what are the values that drive your company. These questions can have profound answers and if implemented, can give you superb insights into your brand stagnation conundrum.
You can also obtain a brilliant insight into your brand's actual condition if you understand the landscape surrounding your brand and whether it exists in the right market space or not. Also, research the audience segmentation, demographics, and other factors once again. Interview your past and present consumers and see where you could have possibly gone wrong. Also, check if there is any scope for improvement.
Emphasize the need for change
Now, it is quite evident that you need to emphasize the need for change if you really want to revive your brand. There will be personnel who will resist change, as many humans have an inherent tendency to adhere to the 'status quo.' Over the years, the feeling of success may have lulled you into a 'comfort zone.' There may be many other reasons such as emerging threats from evolving businesses and other offline and online channels. You may need to look at the entire branding strategy right from scratch. You might also face difficulties if you want to stand apart from the competition.
Identify those who resist change
Secondly, you may also want to identify those who are willing to go through the transformation. You will discover that a significant chunk of people will resist change and avoid going through the pain of transformation. Try to begin an open dialogue with such employees and help them make the transition required to help revitalize your brand again.
It's all about recapturing hearts and minds
A part of the brand revitalization strategy is about recapturing the hearts and minds of not only your employees and partners but of the customers as well. Perhaps your customers are feeling uninspired, rubbing off that feeling on to your brand.
This feeling often translates into customers ignoring your brand to the extent that this starts causing its demise. An outdated brand can inhibit the transformation that you seek. The energy that once was the catalyst behind your brand is now dying, which needs to be revitalized through a renewed promise and approach towards your customers and employees.
To rectify this, you will also involve a significant chunk of market analysis as well, so that you know very well what is wrong and what you would truly help you to communicate with your target market in the most appropriate manner.
Part ways with redundant things
Sometimes, you need to part ways with people who are a part of the reason why your brand is stagnating. These could be low performing employees and even abusive customers. Badly performing product lines also make it to the list. Briefly, you need to look at every angle that is causing your brand to stagnate. In this case, it is extremely essential that everybody comes together on the same page and rebrand the business while making the branding message more concise and relevant.
Focus on the end value
Sometimes, you need to focus on the end-value your product offers and make your potential and existing customers count on the tangible as well as intangible benefits. Include emotional motivation as a selling component, which could be a wonderful way you can revamp your branding strategy.
Revamp your brand story
So, it is time to realize that just like everyone else in the universe; your brand too has a unique story. Let your target audience relate to you through the unique story that you have to tell about your brand. It is advisable to make it as non-fictional as possible, so that your target audience views it as a true reflection about your business values and does not hurt the brand any further.
Poor branding collateral
Yet another factor contributing to brand stagnation can be poor online presence in the market. This means that if your marketing and branding collateral are more than two or three years old, the information is already dated in the market. The same applies to advertising – if you do not update, you will be pushed to the bottom of the list when it comes to the competition. Also, you can easily conclude that your brand has stagnated because you have witnessed a plateau when it comes to revenue growth.
Other things that really matter
You may even look at your current branding strategy and see whether it is delivering the desired results or not. In case you decide to change it, you will require vigorous planning and channel your efforts in the right direction. Some of the ways you can redesign your brand strategy are by reviewing and organizing your branding and marketing material, refocusing on your website redesign plans, and relooking at all the touch points that involve customer interaction.
To conclude, your brand revival strategy requires you to be proactive rather than reactive. Use the proactive route to gain strategic direction regarding your brand strategy. Be prepared for the grind, since the better prepared you will be, the better fruits your strategy will bring to your brand's fortunes. Hence, if you really want to revitalize your brand, you need to be innovative, provide value and excellent service along with solidly revamping your reputation.
The key is in stirring up and electrifying your target market while finding new ways to stay at the centre of the game. This will help you remain on a solid footing in today's competitive industrial climate, generate solid foundation for growth while generating more business leads you can convert in the sectors that you serve.