Tom Dougherty, CEO – Stealing Share
16 September 2019
Ignore rebranding basics and you end up with the expected
Even after all these decades of marketers discussing their profession, I still don’t understand how so many of them get rebranding basics wrong.
Case in point: Steve’s Ice Cream, recently purchased by Dean Foods after the brand declared bankruptcy two years ago. Now, Dean Foods is unveiling what it calls a rebranding of the ice cream brand.
With the theme of “Crave the Unexpected.”
Wow. How much did Dean Foods pay global advertising agency Forsman & Bodenfors for that? After all the work the agency no doubt did, the rebranding basics were simply ignored to come up with something so clichéd.
I know how this happened, and it happens all too frequently. Dean Foods and the agency sat down and thought, “What are our equities? What makes us unique?” That is, they took an inside-out approach to dream up, “Hey, our ice cream flavors are unexpected!”
“Let’s go back to the cliché of it for a moment. ‘Crave the Unexpected’ is so expected from any food brand. (Pun intended.) And, if you know anything about rebranding basics, it’s that if it’s what you would expect from a brand in a certain category, then it will be ignored.”
Rebranding basics: It’s about the customer, without the cliche
It’s true that Steve’s Ice Cream offers unique flavors like Mexican Chili Chocolate. But among the most important rebranding basics is that the brand is never about the product itself. It’s about the customers, and how they can identify themselves within the brand.
Where’s the customer in this? Basically, this is just a clever way of saying, “We have fun flavors!” That’s not rebranding anything. That’s just lazy marketing.
Let’s go back to the cliché of it for a moment. “Crave the Unexpected” is so expected from any food brand. (Pun intended.) And, if you know anything about rebranding basics, it’s that if it’s what you would expect from a brand in a certain category, then it will be ignored.
How often have we seen messaging like this? Oh, probably everywhere. I could cite many examples. Even from one of the most expected industries in the world when it comes to ignoring rebranding basics.
The auto industry, and Ford’s “Expect the Unexpected.”
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