Revamping the Brand without Confusing Customers

“Perhaps the most effective way to describe the approach a brand must take is to think of themselves as social cartographers. By that I mean that brands must simultaneously inspire, engage, and maintain a series of conversations taking place with certain cultural landscape specific to their business goal.” – Simon Mainwaring

Change is inevitable in every aspect of our lives. Obviously then, this would be true of businesses too. However, customers are not that open about change – possibly because many companies do not manage transitions and changes too well, leading customers to become confused and scared. This can prove to be a major challenge for companies. Revamping the brand and refreshing its identity is no mean task, especially for large and successful businesses. Customers tend to be ‘creatures of habit’ and any such change that they may view as unnecessary could upset them enough to stop using the brand altogether. It would be imperative therefore, for a company to evaluate carefully the consequences before making any changes to its brand’s identity and understanding whether the changes would benefit the company and the customers.

Revamping the brand is a good idea, but it requires consistency and dedication, which in turn should lead to it becoming more attractive to customers such that not only do they provide repeat business but also encourage others to engage in business too. The aim of a brand revamp should be to increase customer retention and engagement, and make it more appealing enough to gain more customers. The change should be value-added for customers – the brand should remain easily identifiable and yet prove to be even more powerful. Revamping the brand must be coupled with an effective marketing strategy, and the messages that go out to customers about the scheduled changes must provide clarity and direction, such that customers do not become confused or irritated with the changes. There are several instances across industries where a revamp has backfired, leading to a large number of customers leaving those companies.

Before actually revamping your brand, it is important to visualize the future brand – how customers would view it, what positive changes it would bring about, and what additional benefits the revamp would bring for customers. Irrespective of the nature of changes, a revamp of the brand identity must never detract from the emotional connection, and engagement customers have with the company and the brand. In addition, the core features of the brand must remain such that customers have no problem in identifying with it as before. However, adding vibrancy, energy, and a revitalized approach would help the brand become even more attractive and appealing and to a larger audience. It would not be a bad idea to take feedback and insights from the company’s regular and loyal customers. Given that revamping the brand should ultimately benefit the customers, their opinion would enable a company to make the ‘right’ changes and those that customers would be able to identify with, rather than becoming scared or confused.

The premise of any business should be to make the lives of customers easier and help their businesses to succeed. Revamping the brand should be undertaken keeping these factors in mind else, it could prove to be a bad move for the company. Revamping can prove to be a herculean task and a risky move if not meticulously planned, and can cause some serious long-term damage to the company’s business, from which recovery may be impossible. Revamping the brand could prove to be blessing too for a company trying to regain the trust and confidence of its lost customer base. The re-energized image, new strategies, and maybe even the colour and shape of the logo could prove to be exactly what the flailing fortunes of the company would need. Customers may have left a company for various reasons, but through a revamp they could decide to give the brand another chance, thereby giving the company a chance to restore their trust, opening the avenues for a lot more business. Customers that return to a company prove to be grand testimonies of the company’s ability, which therefore would lead to a lot more business and an increased customer base.

The look and feel of a brand may work in some markets and regions, whereas it may be a complete failure in others. Revamping the brand could change that for a company – it would be possible to ensure that the revamped brand as universal appeal and would be enticing to all audiences. While a brand could have a consistent theme, the messages could be tailored to suit certain regions and different audience types. Many companies do a great job of having a consistent message that is applicable globally, but they tailor the message according to their country / region of operation.

As customer needs grow and change, brands must learn to keep pace with their customers. For instance, it would be imperative for the brand to have a solid web presence through a great website and on several platforms of social media too. The phenomenal growth and popularity of social media has enabled companies to use it to promote their business through various methods. For example – before going in for the brand revamp, a business could post the proposed changes on social media. Reactions are immediate over these sites – people are quick to express their opinion and make suggestions. Going by the reactions and recommendations, a company could make changes to the brand that would be immediately acceptable to customers since the suggestions would have come from them. In addition, a company would be viewed as progressive, innovative, and completely aligned to its audience – soliciting customer opinions makes them feel important and valued, which in turn leads to an emotional connection with the brand. Given that social media is such a visible platform, putting up ideas and asking for suggestions, opens up the avenues for a company, leading to an even larger audience base – which the company may not even know about.

Post making all the necessary arrangements, and getting as much feedback as possible from customers, revamping the brand would be a lot easier. Once the decision has been made, a company must see the changes through, and work hard to aggrandise the new brand and its identity. It would be imperative to create enough hype and excitement, such that viewers and customers feel the same way about the new image of their favourite brand. Given all the toil, resources, and time it takes to revamp the brand, and the risks involved, it is completely acceptable for a company to do whatever it takes to show-off its efforts and give the new brand image all the attention and importance it deserves. If the company does not seem excited about the changes, how can it expect the customers and target audience to feel connected. A company should arrange events, gatherings, and start discussions around the new image of the brand – this is also helpful to understand if something may not be working and tweak it at an early stage.

As mentioned meticulous planning, solid effort, and focus is essential for the success of a brand revamp. There must be a very good reason / reasons for why revamping the brand is a great idea – if not, it would be best to continue as before. The good news is that there are many professional companies in the market that engage in these activities, and it would be helpful for a business to enlist their help. Whatever the approach, revamping the brand should result in more business and profits – if not, it would be best not to consider it.

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