How to reinvigorate your brand

So your brand isn’t what it used to be. It happens to a lot of companies. You get busy. You’re putting out fires. You’ve had to focus your time on operations, or sales, or things at home. You had someone managing your brand that didn’t put the effort into maintaining what you had built. Or the market has changed on you and you need to evolve your brand. Whatever the case may be, it’s never too late to reinvigorate your brand. Over the last decade, we’ve seen many brands do this. They’ve made the efforts to maintain or revitalize their brand and make it relevant. And with each case, there are insights on how to reinvigorate your brand.

Insight 1: Be creative with your brand

In an age where many things have gone digital, some things haven’t. There’s been a resurgence of tabletop role-playing games (RPGs) from the original Dungeons and Dragons to newcomer Pathfinder. These games have many people putting aside devices for good old-fashioned imagination. Wendy’s decided to get in on the action and made their own RPG: Feast of Legends. This game immerses players in a world that fights the dangers threatening Beef’s Keep. Their expansive game touted a full color, 96-page digital book for players. The story about combating frozen beef reinforced Wendy’s brand. Their creativity in building this game helped consumers recognize that Wendy’s was a brand they could identify with.

Insight 2: Embrace social media and be authentic

If you haven’t heard yet, social media isn’t going away. And the companies that do it well have a following because of it. Take Pop-Tarts, for example. The brand is for kids or adolescents and it knows that. So rather than someone managing its Twitter account like they are an account manager, they respond like Pop-Tarts. It’s a sarcastic, humorous voice that is truly authentic. And it’s been working for them. Kellogg’s owns Pop-Tarts but has half the followers of its playful brand (100K vs 218K at the time of this writing). And since a lot of those followers are adults, it means that they’ve gotten a sales uptick from them. Their social media has also garnered ideas for new products, like the Cinnamon Sugar Pretzel Pop-Tart. By embracing social media and being authentic, Pop-Tarts has gained market share and become a more beloved brand.

Insight 3: Listen to your customers

Brand loyalty comes when people feel appreciated. And people feel appreciated when someone listens to them. Tesla has a knack for doing just that. On many occasions, customers have reached out with ideas about product enhancements and features. And Tesla has complied. In fact, CEO Elon Musk actively uses Twitter to engage with his customers. He often implements many of the ideas and listens to the criticisms from customers. And even if you break a bulletproof glass window when you launch your new truck, you’ll get a human reaction rather than a corporate one. This approachability and candor, and a tendency to reward customers that voice their opinions, has made Tesla a brand that breeds loyal customers.

Insight 4: Be true to your brand

Deviating from your brand values can cause customers to be confused and leave the brand altogether. The phrase, “It seems off-brand”, stands true today. Oreo’s brand has always been about fun. It’s also typically been a brand for kids. But Oreo recognizes that adults love Oreos too. Finding a way for the brand to explore the fun while making it appeal to adults was tricky. Oreo pulled it off with an ad that mimics the opening credits of Game of Thrones montage, with the elements made entirely of Oreos. The commercial was brilliant, showing that you can still have fun and be an adult. It gained brand loyalty towards adults and showed another side of Oreo while allowing them to be true to their brand.

Insight 5: Make your brand stand for something you care about

Like them or not, Nike is a company that has decided to stand for something. They’ve moved from a shoe company to an athletic apparel company to become a lifestyle company. And their brand that revolves around sport has decided to stand for more. They’ve talked about ageism in sports, gender equality, racism, and free speech. They’ve made Colin Kaepernick a spokesperson in light of the controversy it would spark. And while many questioned this move short term, it resulted in a great year for sales and their brand. Their latest ad titled “Don’t Do It” speaks to issues facing society today. What Nike has learned over the years is that when you stand for something, you gain a following and more loyalty for the brand. As long as you know your customers and can weather the challenges, standing for something can align people to have a passion for your brand.

Insight 6: Leverage technology to its fullest for your brand

Sound has long been of importance for many brands through a jingle or a tell-tale sound. Ask Duracell or 20th Century Fox. But there’s been a resurgence for creating a signature sound for brands. The reason for this: more people are using audio technologies like Alexa, Google Home, and Siri to do more in their lives. When we don’t interact with a visual brand, an audio brand can help. MasterCard is a good example of a brand wanting to leverage audio technology. Last year they announced their sonic brand to go with their visual one. By leveraging the changes in technology and consumers, they are creating a brand that stays relevant.

It’s worth the effort

Reinvigorating a brand can be a long road, but the rewards are worth the effort. The loyalty from your customers can weather your brand through hard times. Make sure that you understand what works best for your brand, and your customer. No matter what route you take, or if you use them all, your brand will be stronger and will better stand the test of time.