April 26, 2018
John Mulder

Falling off the Brandwagon and Rebranding

Your brand is the most important asset of your business. It’s why we shout it from the mountaintop: “Staying on brand is just as important as brand itself.” It’s a constant battle to protect your brand. But what happens if you fall off the brandwagon? Whether it’s by your own doing or external forces, it can really do some damage. Maybe it was a risk that backfired. Or it’s possible it was a shift in the market that you didn’t prepare for. But what you have to know is that it is not the end of the world. You can always bounce back! Consider Starbucks.

Starbucks’ mission statement is posted right on their website: “Every day, we go to work hoping to do two things: share great coffee with our friends and help make the world a little better.” A recent incident involving the arrest of two black men waiting for a third person at a Starbucks put a huge dent in that mission. They were called racists and the story went viral. This situation went completely against their core value of making the world a better place.

Since the story broke, Starbucks has been working hard to repair their brand. CEO Kevin Johnson said in a press release that they would be closing all locations on May 29 for a nationwide racial-bias education day. In trying to be proactive in this situation, Starbucks is attempting to rebuild up their brand.

Staying on brand is the key to success. Your best customers or clients will embrace you for your core values and love you for your company’s brand. However, if you fall off of the brandwagon here’s what to do:

  1. Turn a negative into a positive. Follow the lead from Starbucks. Take the opportunity to reflect, educate and move on.
  2. Come back even stronger. Make people forget you slipped up. Instead of remembering the time you went off brand, they will remember your new campaign.

There are instances where going off brand is not always detrimental and can actually help your overall strategy.  It’s called reinventing yourself, or in our industry, rebranding. Giving your brand a makeover can do wonders for your bottom line. A new logo, new creative, and refocusing your company’s thought process is a great start.

Are you considering a rebrand? It may be something to consider if:

  1. The market has gotten cluttered. Maybe you have a more competitors now than when you started. With fresh eyes and organic ideas, you can improve the image that you are sending out into the world.
  2. You’ve fallen off of the brand-wagon and cannot get back on. Sometimes risks are taken, and mistakes are made that cause us to go off brand. There is always room for a comeback, and sometimes rebranding is the best idea and maybe even a complete 180.
  3. You’ve lost momentum in the industry. Knowing your audience and to whom you are selling is one of the fundamentals of marketing. You may need to update yourselves and get realigned with your demographic.

Rebranding can be a fresh start for you, your company and your overall reputation and image. It can boost your business and give it a face-lift. By going slowly, you can assess what works, what doesn’t and what your audience responds the most to. Maybe your social media post got hundreds of likes, but your website needs more work. By rebranding, you are giving your company a new life.

It is also extremely important to know your brand. If you have one person redoing your logo, another doing your website and yet another doing your business cards, there is a possibility that communication will not be clear. There is a possibility that your brand will be inconsistent. Consistency is key when it comes to branding and being uniform and cohesive will increase recognition and loyalty among consumers.

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