Dave Scelba - 02/04/2014
Re-branding is a lot like getting a facelift. You can have a minor nip and tuck every few years and it’s so gradual no one ever suspects anything was done.
In fact, friends and family probably think you’re eating right, exercising or were just born with good genes.
The same is true for companies that routinely update their logos, jingles and marketing tactics which collectively contribute to their overall image. Like the occasional nip and tuck, if the company makes gradual and modest changes on a regular basis to reflect current times and trends, the public may not even notice. However, the company will always be perceived as youthful, hip and one who keeps with the times.
The other more drastic approach occurs when someone wakes up one day, looks in the mirror and asks what the heck happened? They feel the need to do something drastic so they decide to have a complete overnight makeover. Now even when the plastic surgeon is a true artist and the end results are absolute perfection, the changes are usually so drastic that it’s impossible to hide the changes from friend and family. A complete makeover is like being re-born it’s a major statement announcing the new and improved you.
The same holds true for a company that needs to inform the world of all their new and improved changes. A major re-branding makeover would include creating and launching a new logo, tag line and theme, signage, advertisements, Website, brochures and collateral materials, the inclusion of social media networks, special events, and much more. This re-branding effort will receive immediate attention from the company’s loyal customers who may question the reason for the change. But it will also catch the attention of the media and attract a new wide spread audience. Supported with a comprehensive public relations program the re-branding effort will answer everyone’s questions and successfully maintain the older established loyal customer’s and gradually increase a whole new base of future customers.
A person could have one procedure and experience an overnight makeover. A company however, should never try to re-brand themselves overnight. We recently re-branded Lakeland Bank, and from the initial research, to conceptual development, to focus group testing, to-re-development to re-testing to legal sign-off took about a year. A company has one chance to re-brand themselves and every tactic and component of the strategy must be seamlessly integrated to ensure a successful launch. Perception is reality and if the re-branding strategy was properly executed the effort will successfully create a new image for the company. The ongoing challenge is for the company to live up to its new brand promises and transforms perception into reality.