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Natural beauty brand Shea Moisture was forced to apologize after a new ad campaign sparked a social media backlash among some of the company's customers.
But this backlash wasn't really the result of a bad ad.
The recreational use of marijuana is gaining steam in the United States and some believe that brands should light up and capitalize on the trend.
Any brand manager will be only too well aware of the pressures that go with a rebranding exercise.
But the recent run of high-profile rebranding launches that have backfired badly, including Everton FC (as reported in Design Week recently), has pointed up even more sharply the need for caution and prudence in brand implementation.
Here are four examples of recent rebranding initiatives that make the point, not from a subjective design perspective, but in terms of consultation, brand-customer interaction and implementation.
A rebranding exercise is an exciting project for any company. But it will present challenges too, not least because the process, from concept to roll-out, can take months if not years to implement.
The value that your brand represents to your overall company value can be as much as 15%, and in the case of a business like Coca-Cola, that figure is 50%. Getting a rebrand implemented smoothly and accurately, therefore, can have a massive impact on your business.
In my experience, success is most accurately measured by the implementation phase of a rebrand. In my early career at various branding agencies, I frequently saw branding projects lose momentum, strength and vitality in the implementation stage – because the process was, to put it bluntly, chaotic.
Implementation can cost as much as 20 times the price of brand design. If you pay £100,000 for the design phase, you’ll pay £2m for the roll-out. And, if you don’t get it right, you are going to see a disappointing return on investment.
So I offer the following as the five strategic actions that, in my view, come together in assuring a successful rebrand.
In the rush for more Likes, Comments and Shares on Facebook, it's tempting to dumb down.
But could underestimating your fans backfire, or even damage your brand?
No-one can fail to have been inspired by the 2012 Olympics we have just witnessed. Sports men and women competing at the top of their game to win the highest prize possible in sport.
They invest years preparing for the moment they go for gold. It is humbling and also motivating to witness that determination to be the best.
While reflecting on the efforts of the Olympic athletes, I believe there are some parallels with brands. Here are three of them...
Controlling brand consistency is a struggle that many if not all brand and marketing managers face over the course of their working lives.
Keeping track of a global brand across a myriad of communication channels is key to maintaining its strength, which translates into customer acceptance and ultimately sales.
Brand consistency is vital to a business because it builds recognition which consumers use to evaluate their purchase decisions. Consistency also brings clarity which consumers trust.
When consumers trust your brand they become loyal. And what everyone wants is loyal customers.
But what do you do when you start to lose a grip of your brand? You take a hit when the levels and complexity of marketing activity exceeds the amount of control the business has over brand management.
There will be less coherence in the way your brand appears which leads to loss of clarity in the minds of your consumers about what you stand for, leading to lower sales and less return-on-investment in your brand communications.
So what can you do to improve brand management and therefore brand consistency?
It's a subject that turns the stomachs of most journalists. After all in journalism, "marketing" and "branding" are dirty words. But given the media fall out as a backdrop for the global recession, it's time that newspapers, and the journalists who write for them, realise that the masthead of their paper is a brand.
Knowing what people think and feel when they see your newspaper's brand is more important than ever.
When it comes to launching a business model, Twitter has been as slow as molasses. Co-founders Ev Williams and Biz Stone are always quick to point out that their focus right now is on the product, not on making money.
One of the potential business models that has been discussed: brand management tools and data access for brands. But what happens if Twitter takes too long and third parties take over the market?
After the damage inflicted on its reputation by the YouTube video of its employees' unsavoury conduct, Dominos President Patrick Doyle has responded with a video of his own in an attempt to reassure its customers.
In the YouTube video, Doyle assures us that the employees have been sacked and it will do all it can to avoid a repeat of the incident, but is this enough to recover from the damage that has been done to the brand?