Evolving a brand is not always a simple undertaking. It’s not just navigating clients through the process. Regardless of the project, brand marketers are becoming increasingly astute at understanding what I call “The Enlightened Consumer.” This consumer is exceedingly conscious of marketing and takes their relationships with brands very personally.
As these relationships become more complex, so do the ways in which we bring brand experiences to our audiences. Keeping in mind that the Enlightened Consumer (EC) is on a journey with your brand, what do you want them to say to you and to each other? How do you want them to feel and how do you retain and grow consumer bases as brands evolve?
A few things to consider:
1) Delivery: The EC appreciates thoughtfulness in the media choices and timing of brand rollouts. Also, ECs today (especially Millennials, but increasingly all ECs) demand unique content across their desired social media platforms and often view several social media sites simultaneously via dashboard apps. What works on one network simply may not on another.
2) When to Change and How Often: The EC recognizes even the smallest brand shifts, so be careful how frequently colors, logos, and messaging are updated. Also, be aware of when a refresh may be in order. Is there news to communicate? A merger or acquisition? Is there a need to further emphasize a parent brand over an extension? Then the time may be right.
3) Impact and the Anticipated Result: In modifying a brand, very clear expectations should be established for what happens after a new identity is revealed. Sometimes, the EC likes a big entertaining rollout and sometimes the EC just wants a deeper understanding of what’s happening with your brand. Having an eye on the endgame and what you need to accomplish is key in the relationship. Otherwise, the EC is left saying, “now what?”
4) Effectiveness: Always make sure the change is for the better (or else it’s not an evolution)! Establish metrics for success and don’t be afraid to test pre-, mid-, and post-development to make sure you’re on the mark.
Being mindful of the EC as you enter a rebrand can dramatically impact the successful launch of a new brand and ensure you retain your current consumers as you move forward.