Is it time for your brand to reset itself?

If your brand just isn’t working for your customers anymore, it might be time to press “reset.” Often, that means just getting back to basics.

Sales are trickling to a halt, and the competition is getting all the attention in the blogosphere and traditional media. Customers are starting to ask about new products and services that aren’t in the pipeline.

Is it time for a brand reset?

Let’s remember how marketers define a brand: it’s not necessarily a company logo or whatever it is that the company makes. It’s how a company is perceived by its customers.

As noted marketing consultant and bestselling author Seth Godin might put it, a brand is all the things consumers like about a product/service that helps persuade them to choose it over the competition—all the happy memories, expectations of more happy memories, all the things about the brand that customers have happily shared with others.

So if customers start to believe that a company’s brand isn’t keeping its part of the bargain, what can companies do to jump-start things?

  • They can start by taking another look at their business mission statement. What passion drove the creation of their brand? What problem begged for a solution? Are the current problems the result of straying too far from the original idea? Not keeping up with the times?
  • What’s the brand’s legacy, and what’s the next chapter in its story? History and tradition serve as the foundation; use that to build a bridge to the future, and in the process reenergize the brand.
  • The customers have already made it clear that something’s wrong, so ask for more information; how can a company make things right with customers? As we’ve mentioned in previous blog posts, the customer base becomes the mother of all focus groups thanks to social media interaction.
  • Solicit bold, compelling design ideas that help build that bridge from the brand’s storied past to the next phase of its growth.

If those questions have good answers, then the entire company must buy into the new brand direction—from the CEO to the most recent employee arrival. Come up with a killer marketing strategy based on that new direction, and the customer can fall in love with a brand all over again.

– Andy Badalamenti is the creative director for CI-Group.

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