Think of Your Brand as a Living Organism
Ever had a baby or a toddler in your life? How about a vegetable or flower garden? Or a pet? Did any of these take care of themselves? Nope. And why? Because each is an organism, a living entity that, in children, gardens, and pets, requires support and care to survive. If they didn’t have some help, they’d likely die. Now, apply that same line of thought to your brand, the concept of a living organism.
An organism is a complex structure of interdependent elements that sustain the whole entity. That describes a person, a plant, and an animal. Most certainly, it also represents a brand.
Rebranding Helps Brands Evolve
Brands aren’t sculpted from granite or forged from steel. They are conceived. And, unlike granite and steel, they change and grow. Take GEICO auto insurance. Despite being privately held, it stands for Government Employees Insurance Company. Since its founding in 1936, the autos the company insures, and the marketplace, have evolved considerably – and the company’s brand identity has come to match. To attract buyers who find “insurance” synonymous with “boring” and to help that new audience embrace its name, GEICO adopted a brand mascot. Today, that little green gecko with the Cockney accent is recognized everywhere – and so is GEICO auto insurance.
It is just one example of a brand that has become the living embodiment of a profitable vision with proper, timely refinement and rebranding expertise.
Growth is a Specialized Process: Rebranding is a process that is both complex and fluid because no two brands have the same problems. The first step is to set a proper course through self-examination. Who are you, how did you get here, and what do you believe? These questions must be answered to give your brand substance and direction.
Once your collective values, principles, and strengths have been defined, your rebranding consultant can use the information as a foundation to build an identity. This requires analysis, interviews with key leadership, researching customer perceptions, and conducting a brand audit. As the process defines and refines your brand strategy and positioning, your consultant will design the proper tools that tell your unique story in the most compelling, enduring manner possible.
From logo to the tagline, signage to website, rebranding ties together every element of your brand to distinguish it from your competition and give your clients and customers a more precise choice.
Keep Your Brand Relevant
You can put a product on a shelf but not a brand. Once a brand is delivered, it must continue to attract attention once it occupies space in the marketplace. It has to evolve and grow to remain relevant.
Pepsi-Cola is a great example. Its red, white and blue logo has changed little since its introduction in 1971. But its spokespersons have kept it competitive in an overcrowded marketplace. From Michael Jackson and Ray Charles through Beyoncé and Jeff Gordon, the people who represent Pepsi have been icons of their time – infusing life into a brand and keeping it relevant for every generation.
Live Your Brand from the Inside Out
Because so much of your brand flows from within, employee advocates are your greatest source of strength in a rebrand. For a rebrand to succeed, it must involve a broad cross-section that slices through every layer of your organization, from the longest-serving to the newest hires. Principles, ethics, and ideals are human concepts, and to include them in a brand means involving many people in the rebranding process.
Once revealed, a living brand is a never-ending play, and every person in your organization has a role in producing that play. People see the play whenever they experience the brand, and then, like it or not, they tell others. Your brand has to be championed by your people to give it the best chance to succeed. They need to feel the brand, embrace it, and carry it into the community. People who believe in a brand give it a personality. They provide it with relevance. They keep it alive.