Knowing when to pivot or change your brand can be a difficult consensus. Many times brands don’t know when to consider making this change, or they are afraid of adjusting their positioning in the market. It may be as simple as not recognizing the signs of a change being needed. I reached out to six experts in the Marketing field, below are their thoughts on when a brand should consider change.
Chief Marketing Officer
Bupa Global Latinoamérica
‘There are different reasons to change your brand (a more radical approach) and to change your differentiation strategy, i.e. change your positioning, which does not necessarily require a re-branding, more often just a brand revitalization. Therefore, I will talk about occasions when you might need to reposition your brand, i.e. change your differentiation strategy. ‘Marketers should be in the constant lookout for signs that is time to revitalize their brand and/or reposition their offer. Some of the most common ones are:
(1) Anticipation of new opportunities in other market positions;
(2) Competitors are challenging your existing points of difference or attempting to overcome your points of parity;
(3) Your target group has a superficial understanding of how your brand relates to its competitors, i.e. your positioning is unclear or no longer relevant;
(4) You have declining or stagnant sales. A good example of the first item is when Speedo, which is synonymous with performance swimwear, successfully repositioned its brand to capitalize on the growing popularity of water fitness.’
Channel Marketing Director
- A company’s brand is all of the experiences your consumers have with your company – product, service, organization – it isn’t just a logo or wordmark; it’s everything that the company stands for to the consumer and the way they experience your brand
- If your brand is no longer resonating with the consumer, or your strategy is not reaching the right consumer at the right time, then you may need to reconsider.
- First, you need to look at the consumer and business opportunity – are you still filling a consumer need with a unique proposition? Is there a quantifiable business opportunity?
- If the business and consumer need is there, you want to consider a rebrand or change in strategy if:
- Consumers have a negative association with your brand or it’s viewed as old/outdated (because of new entrants or market developments)
- Your brand lacks a clear differentiated positioning in the market (what is its reason for being/why should consumers choose your brand)
- Your business has changed significantly (think CVS Health rebranding when they stopped selling tobacco products)
A brand needs to change its marketing strategy when they see a decline in customer connection or changes in the market. If customers are leaving the brand or the market is changing, the company needs to step back and reenvision their brand, product, message, or services to get customers back on their side.
Entertainment and Asset Assistant Manager
When a brand forces an outdated strategy to be adaptable to a new time, that is when a brand needs to change its strategy. You cannot force analog to be digital.
From my personal and professional perspective, I would say that a company’s time for rebranding should occur when the company’s values, value proposition, and branding do not align and are not authentic to the lifestyle promised to the customer. I worked for a company that recently went through a rebranding because of the above elements (branding, value proposition, values). It’s important to be clear and define who you are as a company, what you stand for, and what you’re promising to your customers. It’s vital that a company has an updated brand book or guidelines so that everyone in the company (the CEO to the receptionist) know what the company they work for is about.
A brand or company needs to change its strategy after they assess their market from a competitor and/or a consumer standpoint. A brand or company can perform a competitor landscape analysis or swot analysis to gain a clear picture of if their current strategy is competitive within their market. Also, a brand or company has to assess its consumer base and ROI to see if there is an opportunity for change in strategy; monitoring consumer trends and buying behavior contributes to a company needing to change its’ strategy.
Although concluding that your brand/company needs to change strategy may not be the easiest decision, it may be a necessary one. My counterparts in the marketing field and I agree on the biggest factor about brand strategy, it’s all about the consumer. The consumer tends to let a brand/company know when it is time to pivot or change strategy. When the consumer is no longer resonating with the brand, it may be time to think of a new game plan. It’s important to have a clear picture of who your consumer is, then plan on how to market to them.
It’s crucial to also look at your competitive landscape, like many of these experts mentioned above. Understand your brand’s strengths and weaknesses, be honest about what those may truly look like for your company, then look for the opportunity within that information. This may not mean a whole restructuring of an organization, but you’ll be able to find clues as to what changes need to be made. You’ve heard from myself and six other marketing experts, I now challenge you to think about how your brand can implement these changes.