If you haven’t heard, brands can be revitalized. Marketing gurus have been talking about this for years, and the process—or rules—still apply. Brands don’t normally die of natural causes, but according to Larry Light— chairman-CEO of Arcature—they can be murdered through mismanagement. And especially in today’s economy, a brand has bigger promises to make. It makes sense that in order to deliver on those promises, organizations need to start by rebuilding trust.

Larry has time and again proven that successful revitalization happens when everyone is on the same page. The six rules of brand revitalization listed here are built around the eight P’s: purpose, promise, people, product, place, price, promotion and performance. And while much has changed since these were first introduced, much has stayed the same. See if you agree.

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Rule 1: Refocus the organization
Refocusing the organization begins with redefining the brand and business purpose and goals. The brand purpose should be aspirational.

Rule 2: Restore brand relevance
The brand promise is an articulation of the relevant and differentiating experience that the brand will deliver to every client/customer or member, every time. Brand revitalization means defining where you want the brand to be and then deciding how to get there.

Rule 3: Reinvent the brand experience
To revitalize a brand, you need to bring the redefined brand promise to life. This is what the five action P’s are all about. The five action P’s are people, product, place, price and promotion.

  • People come first. Building employee commitment to the new direction, employee confidence, and organizational and employee capabilities are critical factors that influence future success. It’s imperative to inspire those in the organization to believe that the new brand future will happen and that they can help.
  • Product is the next P. Products and services are the tangible evidence of the truth of the promise. When we redefine the promise, product and service renovation and innovation are imperative.
  • The Place is the face of the brand. Whether a store, a website, a retail display, inside client organizations, or wherever the “place” may be, the experience must be consistent with the intended brand direction.
  • Price and Promotion come next. Overemphasis on deals and discounts builds deal loyalty rather real loyalty.

Rule 4: Reinforce a results culture
Measuring and managing performance is the eighth P. Creating a results culture means it is important to produce the right results the right way. A balanced brand-business scorecard should include measurable elements such as brand familiarity, brand reputation, employee pride, customer-perceived value, brand loyalty, sales, share and profit.

Rule 5: Rebuild brand trust
In this skeptical, demanding, uncertain world, trust is a must. As part of revitalizing a brand, rebuilding trust is critical. Investment in rebuilding trust is an important, challenging marketing imperative. There is demand for more openness, more social responsibility and more integrity.

Rule 6: Realize global alignment
The power of alignment is awesome. During brand revitalization, we often talk about the need to get everyone on the same page. But we rarely, if ever, define the page we want everyone to be on. Write it down, people. And share it throughout the organization.

Brand revitalization needs the courage and perspective of strong leaders and a meaningful relationship between marketing and management. There needs to be economic, emotional and experiential value to the client/consumer, otherwise they’ll move to one that does deliver those values.

During difficult economic times, consumers gravitate toward the brands they know, the brands they love and trust.
– Muhtar Kent, ceo, The Coca-Cola Company

by Kathy Pilch

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