Rebranding – the hard way…

Consicknia, the BA tailfin tailspin, ITV Digitalis, Monday Mayhem... How many renamings or relogoings are perpetrated i...

August 4, 2003

Consicknia, the BA tailfin tailspin, ITV Digitalis, Monday Mayhem…

How many renamings or relogoings are perpetrated in the name of corporate strategy but totally fail in the marketplace? How many more make perfect sense on paper but just don’t make sense to customers?

Most bad branding seems to originate from a black box of marketing trickery, driven by a corporate ‘must-do’ mind-set.

“Here’s what we, as managers, would like to do. Our brand doesn’t seem to have the right aura for our new cunning plan. Too dowdy. Too slow moving. Too historically grounded. Let’s change it. If we sit here for a couple of hours, we’ll invent a new positioning that’s so clever, we’ll take over the world. When we’ve invented it and pre-ordered 1,000,000 new business cards, we can tell our customers what it is. They’ll be so excited for us!”

Remember, a brand is not about messaging. It’s about a set of gaps. A belief gap, trust gap, commitment gap. If the renaming or relogo-ing is simply going to increase those gaps, it might be wise to try some ‘beyond branding’ first – actually listen, actually engage, actually change.

Once your relationship has evolved, you may both both get a sense that the old brand-title doesn’t quite fit. Then and only then should you change.

In the cases that work (BP for example), the old logo bas become a drag on the new relationship ethos. The new logo is not just a symbol of a corporate aspiration, but of a leadership vision, lived and breathed over the long haul, meeting needs that customers actually acknowledge on an individual basis, not just in carefully manipulated focus groups. The brand accurately reflects a new context.

Renaming is a lot like dieting. Crash course diets seldom work. For starters your partner may not want a slimmed down you. Second your body will be thrown out of balance, and finally, the new dress/suit that you long to try, probably won’t suit your new grey colouring anyway. After a while then your skin will start to hang loose and you’ll have to consider plastic surgery to bulk out again…

Instead, try a new lifestyle regime. Exercise. Careful eating. Mental discipline.

Might be hard work. Might be sustainable….

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