Apple, Lego, Burberry, Old Spice, Stella Artois. At first sight none of these companies have anything in common. But look a little closer and it’s evident that they do. And that’s because, each is an example of a brand that has come back from the brink by rebranding.
Ten years ago Burberry, for example, had a tarnished reputation as the ‘label of choice’ for hooligans and was banned in pubs and clubs from Aberdeen to Leicester. After a successful rebranding, and a cannier approach to its licensing, today the brand is once again seen as a luxury one, boasting ambassadors including Emma Watson and Cara Delevingne.
Resurrections are not the only reason to rebrand. Some of the companies above had little option, so unappealing had their brands become. But lots of companies, many of whom were not struggling, have taken the decision to rebrand. Some of the reasons for doing so include:
- To forge connections with a new audience, such as accessing a previously untapped demographic.
- The desire to set yourself apart from competitors.
- Following a merger or an acquisition.
- A change in company strategy or values.
- The arrival of a new product
But Make Sure You Get it Right
Tropicana is one of the most successful and trusted juice brands around. A few years ago, the PepsiCo-owned brand decided to replace the existing packaging design for its best-selling orange juice, Tropicana Pure Premium, to make it more ‘down to earth’. The change was backed by a $35m advertising campaign.
On January 9th 2009, the new design launched. Within days, customers started to complain about the change. Some felt alienated by the new branding and stopped purchasing, while others, who were unaware of the change, simply could no longer identify Tropicana on the shelf. The problem was that the rebrand was too different from the original design.
Within two months, sales had dropped by 20 per cent, a decrease that represented a $30m loss. Just over a month after the launch, Tropicana announced that it would reverse its design and by the Spring that year, the old packaging was back on all supermarket shelves. It is estimated that, this rebranding disaster cost PepsiCo more than $50m (not including lost sales).
The online world might grab the headlines but when it comes to any rebranding campaign direct mail remains a potent way to talk to customers. According to research undertaken by Royal Mail in the ‘The Private Life of Mail’:
- When judged by one of the key metrics for advertising effectiveness, impact on long term memory, direct mail is 32 per cent more effective than email and 72 per cent more effective than TV
- Mail also has a higher level of impact at a subconscious level, something termed ‘neuroscience engagement’. The neuroscience engagement measure for mail is 33 per cent higher than for email and 60 per cent higher than for television
- 57 per cent of those questioned in The Private Life of Mail said that receiving mail makes them feel more valued
- Direct marketing campaigns that include mail are 27 per cent more likely to deliver top-ranking sales performance
- Mail opens up new audiences. New audiences respond when mail is added to the mix. In fact 68 per cent or those questioned desired some communication by mail
5 Rules for Getting it Right
If you’re going to the expense of initiating a direct mail campaign, then there are a few simple things to bear in mind to ensure that your investment is as effective as it can be. These include:
- Logo – It might seem obvious but it’s worth keeping in mind. Whatever you send out, (postcards, flyers, brochures) must feature your company’s logo.
- Text – Continuity is everything. Don’t make your direct mail fun and lighthearted if your website is serious. It will just create confusion.
- Colours – Continuity is again important. Pick a small number of colours that reflect your brand and then stick with them, where possible, across all mediums, including direct mail. The less elements of rebranding that jarr, the better.
- Online – According to the Huffington Post 90 per cent of respondents to a mailing will visit a website first before calling an organisation who has sent the mailshot. So, make sure that your website is included on direct-mail materials.
- Tagline – If your company has one, it is essential that it features as part of any direct mail campaign. Since the tagline is permanent and enforces brand philosophy, its appearance is vitally important.