Established, respected manufacturers who’ve been around for decades, even centuries, can lose their brand signal. Their uniqueness and everything they do that makes their company and products special can get lost when it’s not consistently leveraged. After all, when you’ve been in business for years and years, shouldn’t everyone already know what makes you special? It’s a risky assumption considering industry newcomers can gobble up market share by more aggressively touting their advanced technologies, the products they’re developing or the streamlined processes they’re using. All the while, they can make long-standing companies look like dinosaurs.
While established companies have been around for years, that doesn’t mean they’ve been stagnant. If they had, they likely wouldn’t be around anymore. Often there is a hidden innovation, whether it’s brilliant technology, engineering, manufacturing or service processes that aren’t being fully leveraged. Those innovations must be protected, especially when there’s new ownership or leadership of the company. What’s special about the business must remain at the forefront during any big changes.
Companies that have lost their brand signal have audiences—employees, dealers, distributors, customers, suppliers, shareholders—who crave a more energized vision for the company’s future. People want to take confidence in the company who employs them or whose products they buy or sell. That can only happen when a company has a clear, established vision.
So how does a business that has lost its brand signal find it again? It can re-engineer its brand. Re-engineering is defined as the systematic starting over and reinvention of the way a firm, or a business process, gets its work done. For fatigued brands, re-engineering requires a deep dive into all the technical areas of manufacturing, identifying advantages and differentiators that can distinguish a company in the industry and help regain or retain its position. This deep-dive process may unearth some existing processes, technologies, etc., that also need re-engineering.
An upcoming new product introduction can be an ideal time to re-engineer a brand. By leveraging the launch of a new product and all the marketing efforts that go along with it, a company can also re-launch its brand.
Brand re-engineering requires total engagement of all employees and those who represent the brand. Because brand re-engineering goes far deeper than a logo or slogan, it’s important that all sectors of a company play a role in the effort. Without this level of involvement, the initiative will be doomed to be repeated in the next year or so. It’s an intensive process that reveals information that may not have ever been considered before, but can actually help clarify a vision and strategy for the brand moving forward.
A company can significantly increase its success by re-engineering its brand. The most obvious positive business results are increased sales and an energized vision and focus. That elicits a boost in morale among employees and the sales channel because the brand is once again seen as a force in the industry. In essence, the sleeping giant has awoken. A roadmap for the future is clearly laid out, and that’s something in which all constituents can take confidence.
Brand re-engineering also increases brand value. Some brands have more equity than others, but every brand has value. In 2013, Apple’s brand was estimated to be worth $185 billion. Whenever a company can increase the value of its brand, the overall value of the business is positively impacted. When brand value increases, it opens opportunities in new markets and segments, which in turn means more sales opportunities.
LABOV Marketing Communications and Training performed a brand re-engagement for a respected 112-year-old company that had recently been acquired. When we began our initial assessment, we discovered new, innovative competitors were taking significant market share away from the company. While the company was known for durable, long-lasting products and honest, ethical relationships, its dealers had become less loyal and were weary of the company’s direction. As a result, employee morale was down and opportunities were lost.
The company was planning to launch a new product, after a failed launch attempt several years earlier. It had invested millions of dollars in technology and machinery to produce this new, advanced product. The launch was an ideal opportunity to re-engineer the brand and re-engage with customers. The brand re-engineering resulted in a new logo, tagline, brand messaging and brand standards, as well as ads, a video, product brochure, updated website and an app.
The result of these brand re-engineering efforts was a 51% increase in market share and 33% increase in year-to-date revenue. With a new, reinvigorated brand, the company is now expanding globally and aggressively acquiring other companies to leverage their brand in new markets. Additionally, customer satisfaction is at the highest level in over a decade, and factory productivity is at the highest level in the company’s history.
Brand re-engineering can be a powerful tool in re-igniting a company that has lost its brand signal. Customers, employees and stakeholders want to feel confident in a brand’s vision. That means companies must leverage everything they do that makes them special in the marketplace. That un-named process that makes a product far superior to others; that million dollar investment in new technology; that cutting-edge manufacturing method—they all have great potential, if leveraged correctly, to help a long-standing company retain its place at the top of the industry and exponentially increase its success.
We are the brand strategy experts! Discover how we can revitalize your brand through our proprietary Brand Re-Engineering™ process. Contact our team today or download our bluepaper.