Laying the foundation for relaunching brand
Every company claims to want to grow their market share and we believe all of them want to. And they believe the key is raising brand awareness by relaunching brand.
The question then arises, “Why is it that most brand relaunch projects fail?” We can answer that question quickly when you contact us here.
It may seem odd to classify a brand relaunch as a failure. But from our way of thinking you only entertain a brand relaunch when there is a problem to correct.
The simple answer is that the brand relaunch failed to identify the real problem. That is, they were unable or unwilling to see the barriers to acceptance and adoption by their competitors’ customers. And they believe the old-school crap that brand is not a persuasive element. Unless the updated brand is persuasive when you relaunch brand you are just doubling down on mistakes.
The fallback defense is to compete with a strong competitor on price or to rely on a series of category best practices.
So, when the product or service, or brand is not winning, corporations adjust the selling proposition. They think it counts as relaunching brand.
This seems both smart and responsible because everyone does it in a brand relaunch. What no one asks is why it does not work.
Often, brands get caught in the quicksand trap of confusing brand awareness with meaning when relaunching brand. If research shows that awareness is lacking, marketing departments and their advertising agency minions embark on advertising campaigns designed only to increase awareness.
But regardless of the spend (and it can be very steep), the needle does not change. The rich get richer and the rest of the category scrambles for the crumbs. Yet, no one seems to ask why. Meaning and messaging changes make a brand relaunch successful.
Why brand awareness is not the problem in a brand relaunch
Brand awareness is never the whole problem when relaunching brand. Never. While it is certainly true that no one can choose a brand they have never heard of, the issue of awareness is tainted by the very question of why awareness is lacking.
It also appears to some that, if your brand awareness is trailing the category leader, you need to speak louder when relaunching brand.
The advertising agency will tell you that you need a larger share of voice or a broader media mix.
It is as if your solution can be found by yelling louder and with an intensity that demands to be noticed. That is their idea of a brand relaunch. Not ours.
The agency media moguls can even show you charts that demonstrate a strong correlation between the share of voice and market share.
But they are wrong. They do not understand the science of persuasion and the art of anthropological branding.
The reason your brand awareness is limited is that your meaning is missing the mark. Gaining awareness requires you to fix the problem and improve your brand meaning.
Your message is being judged as unimportant and, therefore, your brand is being ignored. Most marketing messages today fall into this category. They are viewed as SPAM.
The nature of the market
The reason for this SPAM fodder is in the full nature of the market today. We are inundated and swamped with massages. In order to simply function, human beings have developed a skill of ignorance.
That is, they ignore messages that they deem, on a subconscious level, as unimportant to them. It’s a filter that every brand relaunch must address.
The din of the market has demanded this skill as a survival mechanism. As a result, your louder and more demanding message is backfiring. It sounds annoying and, while no longer ignored, it is now avoided.
The importance and affinity you hoped to stir in the prospect have now become its ugly stepsister, a venomous and reactionary dislike of your brand. Relaunching brand becomes more important.
It is very difficult to get around this problem because we too often see everything through the filter of our own brand’s self-importance.
We think the values and features of our brand are what really matter to prospects. This self-absorption fatally wounds all efforts to steal market share because it clouds our vision. Unless that vision is corrected in a brand relaunch, you will have the same mistake repeated.
The rules of relaunching brand
The first rule of relaunching brand is to accept the fact that those who are ignoring your brand message will not be swayed by claims of just efficacy and features. That does not get through the SPAM filters.
Apple’s iPhone did not gain awareness and acceptance just because of its revolutionary features. It grabbed headlines because Apple created it. The brand affinity fosters notice. Not the other way around.
When relaunching brand, you must reflect the mirror image of your target audience. Your brand relaunch message must be at least as much about them as human beings as it is about your product or benefits.
Only when prospects see your message as important will it leave their emotional spam filters and find its way into awareness.
The only sure way to make this happen is to understand your target audience through brand anthropology. Brand anthropology is a science. A projectable means to understand target market motivations and inject them into your relaunched brand. bYou need to understand what they value, what they believe to be true about themselves, and demonstrate that your brand helps them achieve that goal. Jif peanut butter did not become a market leader because it tastes more like fresh peanuts.
It became the market leader when it told the prospect that she was “a choosey mother.”
Finding that absolutely correct highest emotional intensity is what drives Stealing Share and ignites a relaunching brand strategy that transforms a company from ignored to preferred status.
Spending time on everything else is just a wasteful process. It is an expensive litter for marketing departments and highly profitable for advertising agencies.
What the CEO must do
This brings us to the CEO’s important place in this matter. Your corporate culture needs to make your brand true. A successful brand relaunch is in lockstep with the CEO’s involvement.
This is true because any successful brand relaunch includes a change in corporate culture. This cultural change is not a marketing problem and any CEO who believes it begins and ends with marketing is destined to repeat past failures.
If the meaning is dead on the money, then no one in the category owns it and no one is delivering it. Relaunching brand fills the great void in the landscape that draws customers to your brand with less effort and smaller spending.
But it also means a transformation needs to be in place culturally so that the new meaning embeds every aspect of your business from R&D to sales.
The Apple brand promise of “Think Different” is not just a tagline. It is a cultural mandate that is demanded by everyone in the organization down to the store employees.
It all started with Steve Jobs, who made it personal and empowered the organization to make any and all organic changes necessary to keep the revolution going. The Apple brand relaunch was a cultural phenomenon.
If you are an executive reading this, you know it to be true.
So forward this article up to the CEO and let’s steal market share and make change really happen. Because you are reading this, we assume a brand relaunch is in the cards. If you are a CEO, invite us in for an hour of your time and we will change everything. Call us. We will happily make this case to the C-suite.