If you haven’t asked the question yet, you will soon: How do I keep my brand relevant and resonant?
The brand landscape is constantly changing. Big names rise and fall — sometimes seemingly overnight (ahem, Blockbuster) and sometimes more slowly (thinking of you, Sears). It’s a scary brand world out there, especially when it seems like a lot of the affecting factors are out of your control.
The good news is that there are some practical things you can do to keep your brand fresh, interesting, and ultimately ascendant — all without a major brand overhaul. As you start thinking about 2018, consider factoring one or more of the following tactics into your marketing strategy.
Mutually beneficial brand collaborations can increase awareness of your product offerings to new audiences, while positioning your brand in a new light.
Swarovski has made a business out of brand collaborations, leveraging its famous product to provide value to collaborating brands while keeping its own brand top-of-mind. Most recently, Swarovski has become part of Lady Gaga’s latest tour launch where her costumes were bedecked with more than 550,000 crystals. Since 1895, Swarovski has successfully executed movie collaborations, media collaborations, brand collaborations — you name it. Because Swarovski strategically chooses these opportunities, it has maintained its brand characteristics of “luxury” and “quality.” The collaborators also reap the benefits of the Swarovski association: End customers are willing to pay 44 percent more for products with Swarovski Crystals. That’s a win-win.
Whether or not you like it, it’s a fact: we live in the age of over-sharing. We share everything — our family vacations, major milestones, and lots and lots of puppy pictures (or is that just me?). Embracing the importance of “shareability” can refresh your brand to your core audience, while exposing you to new prospects.
Not surprisingly, social media is a good way to approach this. Instead of being open on Black Friday two years ago, the outdoor gear co-op REI closed its doors and initiated a massive social media campaign to encourage consumers to #OptOutside. Driven by the campaign hashtag and memes, REI achieved ultimate shareability status, millions of interactions on social media, and, importantly, a significant rise in membership.
For your business, an interactive, shareable direct mailer or e-blast could serve as a scaled-down version of REI’s approach — as long as it’s shareable enough to re-engage your current customers and encourage them to share the content.
3. Back to your (Brand) Roots
I couldn’t end this blog without a foodservice example, now could I?
In recent years, KFC has made major moves to go back to its marketing roots — to Colonel Sanders — after experiencing significant declines in previous years. From 2007 to 2013, KFC lost about 40 percent of its business via same-store sales declines and closing stores. But after its agency brought back the Colonel as a central part of its advertising strategy, KFC has experienced 12 consecutive quarters of growth. Even with the rise in popularity of fried chicken, KFC’s comeback is seriously impressive. Today, 40 percent of millennials are more likely to consider eating KFC again.
Going back to the company’s history proved to be a brilliant move, even for the ephemeral Millennial audience. Re-examining your company’s history or historical marketing efforts can sometimes breathe new life into your marketing today.