I was thinking this week about our current rebranding of Wild Creations and I beleive their are four keys to making a rebrand successful.
Highlight the Product. About a decade ago, Cadillacs had an image of being nice, slightly stodgy cars for the elderly. Now they’re so hip even Justin Beiber owns one. How’d they pull that brand transformation off? A focus on style and comfort. It designed the hugely successful Escalade, among other models, which helped cement the brand’s image as being right for you (not your grandpa). To top it all off, last year they beat out other luxury brands to win awards for having the best exterior design, best interior design, and best “comfort brand.”
Make the Old New Again. Old Spice’s “Man Your Man Could Smell Like” campaign is the holy grail of viral campaigns: It garnered 39,771,739 and refreshed the deodorant business. These viral videos made the brand relevant to a new generation of young men who rushed out to buy the products (Old Spice sales surged 107% in the month after the campaign went viral).
A gut instinct for how to make a brand relevant to a new generation of consumers may be to throw out its history and start fresh; Old Spice did the opposite. It managed to leverage its brand history while still appealing to irreverent millennials by including taglines like, “If your grandfather hadn’t worn it, you wouldn’t exist.” By building on the brand’s established values and updating them, Old Spice incorporated more young men into the brand, leading them to buy the brand more often.
Get Your Customers to Show Your Transformation. Xerox had achieved the pinnacle of success: its name had become a verb synonymous with making copies.
But this victory also came with a downside. Since Xerox had expanded into technology services from technology products, being so closely tied to copies was limiting the brand. To help show how its services can help companies achieve their core missions better, Xerox partnered with some of its customers to show off how it can free companies to focus on their real businesses (and they put together some fun commercials in the process).
Focus on Technology. Through product innovations and new launch strategies, Ford has repositioned itself as a smart, hip automaker. Ford’s SYNC technology allows drivers to do everything from making phone calls, controlling apps like Pandora, and getting turn-by-turn directions through only voice activation. This provides drivers with a much-safer driving experience, while also providing fun and novelty.
Ford also embraced technology through its Fiesta launch campaign. In this campaign, Ford used brand advocates, or agents, to share their experiences with the cars via social media. This campaign was incredibly successful, and gave Ford high brand awareness within the target demographic at a relatively low cost.
As consumers begin to spend money again I expect lots of companies to begin tying to rebrand and reposition themselves in the market.