The Blake Project, the brand consultancy behind Branding Strategy Insider, delivers interactive brand education workshops and keynote speeches designed to align marketers on essential concepts in brand management and empower them to release the full potential of the brands they manage.
Regular readers of Branding Strategy Insider know we welcome and answer marketing questions of all types. Today, Ely Portillo, a business reporter from the Charlotte Observer in Charlotte, North Carolina asks…
"Hi Derrick. I'm looking for some insight into why a retailer might change its branding. Lowe's (formerly "Let's Build Something Together" and now "Never Stop Improving"), has had several quarters of disappointing results, especially in comparison to its main adversary, Home Depot. What is the potential of a branding shift to help boost sagging sales and shift the terrain versus a larger rival?"
Ely, the potential can be quite great if the new effort is better aligned with un-met customer needs than the competition. Often, when sophisticated marketers are faced with greater competitive pressure or a new economic landscape they turn to their customers for help in tightening the focus — drawing on deep customer insight to create greater value. The power of brands lies in focus. Lowe’s new tagline very well could be a response to a better understanding of its target customers through brand research.
"What else is generally required of a retailer to successfully carry through a re-branding campaign, besides a new tagline and ads?"
Brand-repositioning and its creative counterpart re-branding is more difficult than initially positioning a brand because you must first help the customer “unlearn” the current brand positioning (easier said than done).
Not unlike the initial positioning effort, you must have absolute clarity around what your brand stands for and how it is unique and compelling to consumers. When you know this, four actions can aid your success in this process: (1) carefully crafted communication, (2) new products, packaging, etc. that emphasize the new positioning, (3) associations with other brands (co-branding, co-marketing, ingredient branding, strategic alliances, etc.) that reinforce the new brand positioning and (4) a robust internal brand building effort that ensures employees are united in understanding what the brand stands for and delivering on its promise.
The ultimate requirement for a brand to be successful is to consistently deliver on the promise it makes to its customers. When a brand does that it is rewarded with a future.
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