Five situations where you might need to seek out branding advice.
Voice has been working inside the branding discipline for well over 25 years now. During this time, whether it’s across borders, demographics, industry verticals or budget sizes, the reasons why a company would seek out our expertise fit broadly inside one of five scenarios:
When two or more companies come together to form a new entity or where one acquires or takes over another.
It may be necessary to clarify the relationship between the business entities to establish which brand will dominate. With branding advice, a clear strategy for brand architecture, key messaging, imagery and communications can be developed for the new entity and ensure brand positioning is transparent and compelling. It may also be necessary to consider refreshing the brand name and visual identity to communicate the new vision and scope of the business.
When a new entity is introduced or acquires another, shareholders and stakeholders may need to be reassured of the credibility and value of the business. With guidance, the brand can be repositioned to reflect the new vision.
With a merger and acquisition, there is often a new portfolio of brands and products to manage or an entirely new business. This could develop into a complex ‘family’ of brands, so it is important that the company has a clear understanding of all to avoid confusing its customers, partners and investors. The right advice can help you to look at your merger from the right angle, ensuring that everything from internal culture, to external marketing is properly coordinated.
When expanding your business into new territories or extending product lines, understanding your new market is the key to success.
Brands interested in expansion should ask themselves why they are expanding and who they see their expansion serving. Companies that do not thoroughly examine their core brands and desires to expand, run the risk of failure which could ultimately undermine their core business.
A successful brand in one region needs to understand its new competitors and the subtle differences in consumer tastes and expectations. Research analysis and a clear brand strategy will provide answers and direction for brand expansion, and ensure the brand is competitive and compelling to its new customers. It is equally as important for export trading companies and brands in the B2B and B2C space. Whether the company is exporting manufactured goods, services or expertise, brand expansion can be a significant challenge and with relevant advice, it can help reduce the odds of failure.
If your organisation is about to embark on substantial change – such as a change in strategic direction or the realignment of your organisation behind a new promise, rebranding can help to provide clarity and to signal change.
CEOs set the tone for how the rest of the company will embrace transformation. We were engaged to help build a brand that reflected the company’s strategic shift from a forestry business to a vertically integrated producer of fibre. Linda Sewell and her leadership team were the key decision makers, and understood the need to help employees understand and embrace the journey. When the brand launched internally, she was the one delivering the message.
Rebranding is an opportunity to clearly define and communicate who you are to your customers, stakeholders and employees and set your organisation up for success.
The global marketplace is highly dynamic, especially right now. Changes can be triggered by any number of things, be that government policy, consumer speculation, innovation and good old simple supply and demand. These changes can often take place rapidly – ask any taxi company about the Uber-effect – and a business can be left bewildered, suddenly irrelevant and unappealing.
Why is branding advice needed here?
International brand consultancies are aware of global consumer trends, they see what’s coming and can advise how to anticipate and respond to changes and help stay ahead of the curve. Your existing offer may not necessarily be broken, the global market is full of stories of brands that have held true to their offering, amongst a sea of innovation and disruption. Vinyl records, boutique cinemas and film cameras are all testament to this.
A brand expert will find valuable, business changing insights from your data and make robust recommendations for future pathways for the business. Recommendations can vary from a strategic repositioning exercise to a more straightforward refresh of the visual identity to bring it more into line with what the marketplace demands.
Number 5 next week.