Tag: rebranding

Digital Branding

3 Brands That Made Incredible Comebacks

Every popular brand takes its fair share of bumps and bruises. Sometimes, a big financial loss or a scandal can ruin a brand beyond repair. It can be hard to believe that even some of the most popular brands that exist today were close to going extinct. In times of turmoil, the brands that come out on top are the ones that know how to adapt, take calculated risks, and reinvent themselves. Here are three brands that made incredible comebacks.

Marvel

Marvel

Marvel has a long history of being a leader in the comic-book industry but in the 90’s the market for comic-book market tanked and Marvel’s future seemed uncertain. In 1993, writer Neil Gaiman gave a speech to 3,000 retailers and told them that the comic book market was a bubble. Gaiman stated that the comic book market rose only because collectors were furiously buying comics in hopes that they would become valuable. Gaiman likened this to tulip mania in the 17th century when the value of tulip bulbs quickly skyrocketed and collapsed.

In 1996, after undergoing turmoil in the boardroom a year before, the company went broke. Marvel then decided to start focusing on the movie industry. Marvel struggled for years trying to convince Hollywood execs to put their superheros on the big screen. They saw a small success with Blade and then Spider-Man and X-Men went on to become massive successes but Marvel was only seeing a small percentage of the earnings.

In 2003, Marvel decided to start producing its own movies. Marvel struck a deal with Merrill Lynch that featured intellectual property such as Captain America and Thor as collateral. Merrill Lynch lent Marvel $525 million over a period of seven years. The company used that capital to spend on 10 movies and began having great success with movies like Iron Man (gross: $585 million), Iron Man 3 ($1 billion), and even the offbeat film Guardians of the Galaxy ($750 million). In 2009, Disney bought Marvel for $4.3 billion.

Delta

Delta

Delta is one of the country’s largest airlines but the Atlanta, GA-based company ran into trouble in 2005 when it filed for bankruptcy. Delta stated that the rise in prices of jet fuel and steep competition from budget airlines like Southwest and JetBlue were the cause. However, less than four years later Delta bounced back.

To get back on track, Delta started working from the inside out by making changes within its management and employee ranks. Director Gerald Grinstein, who stepped in as CEO in 2004 renegotiated union contracts and made an agreement with the pilots to take a pay cut (while cutting his own pay 25%). Grinstein was also able to cut a deal with several creditors which prevented a takeover by US Airways. These efforts helped, but Delta wasn’t done. Delta flew in employees for team-building events to boost morale and convinced its creditors to turn over 15% of the company to its employees. Delta succeeded in getting their creditors to see how important it was to have employee support.

Delta then recruited Glen W. Hauenstein from Italian airline Alitalia to bring Delta to underserved regions such as Tel Aviv, Kiev, and Nice, France. To save money on buying long haul jets, Hauenstein instead retrofitted existing aircraft to save fuel and reduce drag which provided them with more range. Then, in 2008 Delta merged with Northwest Airlines which helped cut costs and gave Delta access to Northwest’s Asian network while Northwest gained access to Delta’s strength in Latin America and Europe.

Converse

Converse

In 1917, Converse’s shoe “The All-Star” became the first mass-produced sneaker for basketball. In 1932, Converse signed hoops star Charles “Chuck” Taylor to sell the shoe. After the NBA began in 1946, The All-Star became the most popular shoes in the league.

However, in the 1980s competition from Reebok, Puma, Adidas, and Nike became to heat up. Converse’s market share fell to 2.3% in 1998 and Nike bought the company in 2003. It seemed to many like the converse brand was a thing of the past.

However, Nike creatively embraced the ‘old-school” feel that Converse had and began marketing their shoes to new demographics. Special editions of the Chuck Taylors featuring the Ramones and Kurt Cobain were born. Converse also went high-end by having designer John Varvatos create a premium line of Chuck Taylors. New life was given to the brand by transitioning away from basketball, focusing on fashion, and creating a lifestyle around the iconic shoe.

Conclusion

Bringing a brand off of life support is no easy task. In our fast-moving economy, it’s fairly easy for consumers to love you one day and quickly forget about you after a few bad business moves. Every brand on this list was facing the reality of shutting its doors but by adapting to their environment, thinking outside of the box, and making strategic moves they were able to come out ahead and return to the top of their game.

Digital Branding

6 Branding Mistakes You’ll Want to Avoid

When it comes to creating an online marketing strategy for your business, you’ll want to begin with your brand. Strong brands are powerful, consistent, and focused. When people engage with a powerful brand they feel something. Good brands create familiarity in consumers, which leads to likability, trust, and then sales. Without having a clear, concise, and consistent brand image, you’re setting yourself up for an epic failure. However, many small businesses don’t think twice about their branding or brand themselves the wrong way. If you want more customers, and happier ones, you need to get started on your branding. This article will outline a few branding mistakes that you need to avoid.

Not Creating Clear Brand Guidelines

Not Creating Clear Brand Guidelines

You know that you need a brand, but you don’t know how to start. When you’re building a brand, you want to make sure that you have clear guidelines that cover everything relevant to your company. This includes your colors, logo, taglines, fonts, company voice, mission statement, etc. You’ll want to begin by compiling these guidelines with a style guide. Having clear guidelines will allow you to create a consistent brand image and create a clear marketing message in all of your communications. If your brand isn’t clear, it will create confusion in your audience, which will lead to them running off to your competitors.

Being Inconsistent

Inconsistency is definitely one of the most common branding mistakes made by small businesses. Have you ever seen a company that has a website, Facebook page, Instagram profile, Twitter account, etc. that all look different? This is inconsistent branding. Again, inconsistent branding leads to confusion and ultimately lost sales.

Not Protecting Your Brand’s Image

Not Protecting Your Brand’s Image

Building a brand isn’t easy. You want to make sure that it’s represented exactly the way you want. Putting in a lot of sweat equity to create a successful brand only to see a competitor creating a marketing message eerily similar to yours won’t give you a warm, fuzzy feeling. You want to make sure that you stay on the lookout for any misrepresentation of your brand that may come up in the marketplace.

It would be wise to create a Google Alert for any phrases associated with your brand so that you can get the jump on any issues that may occur. Also, make sure that you consult with legal representation to protect your brand or take any legal action, if necessary.

Sloppy Rebranding

Sometimes your brand has grown old and ineffective. In this case, you’ll need to rebrand. However, proceed with caution. No matter how hard you try, rebranding will cause you to alienate some of your existing customers. But, if you’re strategic in your rebranding process, it can prove to be a very profitable decision. When you do rebrand you’ll want to make sure that you keep all of your existing customer in the loop so that you don’t experience any unwanted backlash.

Being Too Vague

Having a vague brand is just as bad as inconsistent branding. The last thing you want someone to wonder when they come to your website, Facebook page, etc. is, “what do they actually do?” You want your brand to have a clear, simple, unambiguous value proposition.

For example. food delivery service Sprig offers healthy meals on-demand. Their value proposition is simple. “Delicious Meals. Honest Ingredients. Delivered Now”. This is an excellent value proposition. It explains everything about the company in very few words. When you’re creating your own value proposition, try to sum up exactly what your company does and/or stands for in one to two sentences. Also, use clear images and logos to solidify your message.

Being Too Complicated

Being Too Complicated

When branding, it’s important to remember that simplicity is key. Think of some of the biggest brands right now: Google, Apple, Amazon, Visa, etc.. These billion dollar companies all have something in common. Their brands are simple. We’re not just talking logos here. The most successful brands make an effort to get out of the way of their customer and make it as easy as possible for them to buy or use their products. Apple does this the best. It prides itself on minimalism and giving users a clear, simple interface without sacrificing beauty and design. You have to avoid adding too many features to your branding. Don’t confuse your customers. Have a clear service and/or product offering. Delve deep inside every aspect of your brand and constantly figure out ways to refine and streamline it.

Conclusion

This is definitely not a comprehensive list of the marketing mistakes that can be made when it comes to branding. You don’t have to have your entire brand figured out in one sitting. Proactively working on building your brand, avoiding any mistakes above, and taking notes from other successful companies will put you well on your way to crafting an irresistible brand.

Digital Branding

5 Famous Rebrands and What We Can Learn From Them

At some point in time, every company is faced with the decision to rebrand. Rebranding isn’t easy. Changing your message, mission, culture, or target audience is guaranteed to alienate part of your customer base. Many rebrands are unsuccessful. It takes more than a new slogan to create a successful rebrand. A successful rebrand must win over the minds and hearts of customers to be successful. Changing how people think of you is no easy task. However, by taking the initiative to do things like engage in creative marketing, focus on the consumer, develop a quality product, and address public concerns, successful rebranding is possible. Take a look at how these five companies have rebranded successfully.

Old Spice

old-spice

Clever marketing revolutionized the Old Spice brand and gave a big boost to their bottom line. Old Spice’s sales were slowing down and they needed to take a fresh angle to rejuvenate their brand. After realizing that females made up over 50% of their customer base, they started a viral marketing campaign that sold directly to women, instead of men. Old Spice’s first over-the-top commercial starring Isaiah Mustafa went viral and generated millions of views on the internet. But, they didn’t stop there. They went on to release 186 video responses to online comments on their YouTube channel from celebrities and bloggers to drive engagement. It worked. Within the first six months of the campaign their sales increased 27%.

Creating clever, viral advertising and using social media to reach your customers directly can pay huge dividends. Old Spice was once only seen as a product for older generations and now has become a staple of a younger audience.

Harley-Davidson

harley

In 1982, Harley-Davidson was in debt $90 million and no banks wanted to lend them money. The motorcycle company had a solid customer base and brand but they were failing to generate any profit because they didn’t have a quality product. The company almost went bankrupt in 1985. Instead of going under, Harley-Davidson started focusing on providing a better product to their customers. They improved the reliability and quality of their products and it paid off.

Focus on your customers. Make sure you’re providing them a great deal of value and it will pay off.

Lego

lego

Danish toymaker Lego was facing bankruptcy in the late 90’s and was forced to make a change. Lego dropped hundreds of different products and was able to successfully turn itself around. Lego took the approach of marketing to an audience that had fond memories of their brand (adults) and then used that connection to establish a bond with a younger generation (their children). Lego uses a lot of social media and user driven content. You’ll routinely see customer creations on Lego’s social media accounts. They focus on engaging with consumers.

Remember that your customers are actual people. People want to engage with brands that they admire so make sure that you give them an opportunity to do so.

Apple

apple

In the 90’s, Apple nearly went bankrupt and was facing tough competition from its competitors. The company needed to revamp its image. Steve Jobs launched the “Think Different” campaign to turn the Apple brand into a lifestyle, rather than just a computer company It is now estimated that Apple will soon be worth more than $1 Trillion. But it wasn’t just an ad campaign that brought Apple back from the brink. The company focused on producing reliable, quality products that are beautifully designed. They have also instilled their core values in all of their employees and make sure that their message is communicated to their consumers as well.

What can we learn from this? Don’t just sell customers a product or service. Sell them your core values. Customers who share your beliefs will turn into loyal fans. Also, you can’t go wrong with investing in creating quality products and keeping your customers happy.

McDonalds

mcdonalds

McDonald’s has been a juggernaut in the fast food industry for quite a while but they have had their fair share of bumps and bruises along the way. McDonald’s has been criticized for being a cheap, unhealthy restaurant with products that promote obesity. To avoid this, McDonald’s has focused on providing healthy options such as salads. In its advertising, the slogan “I’m Lovin’ It” has been coupled with images of young people and families enjoying their meals. The company has also been able to reach the coffee crowd with their premium coffee product line McCafé. These initiatives have worked and have driven a rise in sales.

What we can learn here is that it’s important to listen to your customers, the public, and the media. But, don’t just brush off negative comments. Take a look inside your company and see how you can address these concerns.

Conclusion

Your brand is vital to your business and should be protected like your first born. Rebranding, when done properly, can pay off in a huge way. However, a hasty rebrand can have adverse effects so make sure that you tread carefully.

Digital Branding

The Top 5 Best Ad Campaigns of All Time

What makes people buy? The best advertising campaigns are able to invoke an emotional response from consumers, connect, and engage with them at their core. A product rarely achieves advertising success based solely on merit. The best marketing and ad campaigns psychologically and emotionally create a response in all of us. With the growth of the internet and social media, brands are constantly fighting over the attention of consumers. To make your product or brand stand out you must get creative. Here are four brands that created insanely successful ad campaigns.

Dos Equis – The Most Interesting Man in the World

Dos-Equis---The-Most-Interesting-Man-in-the-World

In 2006, Dos Equis took a drastically different approach to selling beer. Instead of positioning their product as a must-have for getting the attention of attractive women, Dos Equis turned their beer into something that promoted distinction and curiosity. Played by actor Jonathan Goldsmith, the character “The Most Interesting Man in the World” says the following tagline at the end of every commercial: “I don’t always drink beer. But when I do, I prefer Dos Equis.” The ad campaign was so successful because it didn’t feel like a commercial. It felt more like a comedy short. Viewers became enamored with the character’s experiences and the character has even been turned into an internet meme. This unique positioning by Dos Equis opened the company’s product to a wider, more youthful audience.

California Milk Processor Board – Got Milk?

California-Milk-Processor-Board---Got-Milk-

California milk sales rose 7% in one year thanks to this clever ad campaign. The interesting part of this campaign is that it wasn’t created to target non-milk drinkers, but those who were already drinking milk. This is important because it’s not always beneficial or cost-effective to try and reel in a new audience. Sometimes, it’s better to market to your current audience and get them to not only start buying your product more, but become fans that promote your product to others as well.

Old Spice – The Man Your Man Could Smell Like

Old-Spice---The-Man-Your-Man-Could-Smell-Like

You usually don’t see a lot of overnight successes in online marketing but Old Spice’s “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” campaign is an exception. In February 2010, ad agency Weiden + Kennedy launched the first commercial in the campaign, featuring actor Isaiah Mustafa, and it was a viral sensation. Later that year, Wieden + Kennedy devised a social media video campaign in which Mustafa made 186 video responses to viewer comments online. Wieden + Kennedy creative director Jason Bagley described it by saying, “We were creating and sending miniature TV commercials back to individual consumers that were personalized, and we were doing it on a rapid-fire basis…No one expects to ask a question and then be responded to. I think that’s where we broke through”. The video responses made this campaign extremely successful. Weiden + Kennedy capitalized on the momentum of their initial TV spots and engaged with followers and fans. Through all of this, sustaining the brand’s new image and voice were always kept as a high priority.

Dove – Campaign for Real Beauty

Dove---Campaign-for-Real-Beauty

In 2004, Unilever discovered that only four percent of women thought of themselves as beautiful. So, with the help of Edelman Public Relations and Ogilvy & Mather, the company launched a campaign that challenged people to rethink how they perceived female beauty. The campaign gained a flood of attention from the media and discussions of female beauty started taking place on talk shows, in magazines, newspapers, and online. One ad features a sketch artist who first draws a woman’s face based on the woman’s description of herself. Next, he does a sketch of the same woman but based on someone else’s description. Once complete, the sketches are both posted side-by-side and the subjects look at them. In every case, the drawing based on a description from a 3rd party is more flattering than the woman’s own description of herself. This video went viral and contributed in a big way to the success of this ad campaign. This campaign was successful because it touched people emotionally and allowed people to realize that “normal” standard for female beauty isn’t always attainable and that just being yourself is enough.

Progressive – Flo

Progressive---Flo

It’s not easy to make insurance interesting. With the help of stand-up comic Stephanie Courtney, Progressive launched an ad campaign that featured an upbeat, perky sales agent named Flo. In these commercials, Flo talks to customers about Progressive’s features in a sitcom style setting. Viewers loved the ad campaign so much that Flo has appeared in over 100 commercials since 2008. Progressive was able to successfully break away from the negative public perception that people have of insurance companies by creating a fun and interesting character.

Conclusion

Creating amazing, viral marketing isn’t easy. For every incredible success, there are many more failures. However, if you focus on engaging with your customer and creating a psychological and emotional connection with them, you’ll be well on your way to creating a successful campaign.