Updating your brand is a big investment, and many clients approach us unsure whether they need to evolve their brand or completely reposition it. Often they’re not even sure how to articulate the difference between the two.
To clarify, a brand evolution involves updates to your existing brand platform that impact the brand’s identity, look, feel or campaign message, while a brand repositioning is a complete shift in the space your brand seeks to own in the market. A brand evolution is appropriate if your brand has gotten stale, which often happens over time.
If the core promise to your customers is still relevant and differentiating, but it feels like it may need to be updated to better align with the language your customers are using or how your products or services have changed, then a brand evolution may be all you need. Such an update to your brand will impact your key messages, proof points and brand look and feel, but they shouldn’t alter what your brand ultimately stands for and promises to deliver.
A brand repositioning, on the other hand, requires a complete evaluation of the brand, category, and target audiences to identify a new and different white space in the market that the brand can own to both set it apart from its competitors and resonate with customers. A reposition has a significant impact on the promise your brand makes to customers and the way in which that promise is communicated and delivered.
Figuring out which option is right for your brand can’t be done in a vacuum–it requires data. This can take the form of formal market research, business metrics, or even anecdotal feedback from employees and customers. The goal is to understand the nature of your brand’s challenges, which doesn’t require a huge investment by your organization.
Remember, it’s always best to ensure you understand the problem that needs to be fixed before you invest in trying to fix it. A small investment in some research to clearly identify the brand issue will enable you to determine the most effective and efficient way to achieve the right solution.
Debating whether it’s time to update your brand strategy?
image: glokbell (Zappos)