Fear vs Fabulous – tackling change head on

Brand can be an emotive topic, not just for B2B businesses, but businesses of all shapes and sizes. Why? Because evolving your brand for any reason brings with it an inherent element of risk. However, when managed well, a brand evolution will support your business to enhance its performance and to realise its ambitions.

And a well thought-through and implemented brand strategy can significantly strengthen your ability to:

  • increase your market share
  • improve engagement with your customers and employees
  • charge a higher/premium price for your products and services
  • expand into new markets
  • attract and retain the best people in your business
  • gain lifelong, loyal customers
  • stand for something in the world.

A strong brand with a clear purpose, well-evidenced value proposition and strong messaging will support increased turnover and/or profitability.

If people like you they’ll listen to you, but if they trust you, they’ll do business with you.

Zig Ziglar.

The same old same old

You don’t need to do a Google image search on the businesses that surround us every day to know that brands, like organisations, change and evolve over time. And you’ll also be familiar with the love/hate response that results from familiar brands changing something about themselves, particularly if it’s anything to do with their physical identity – everyone’s a critic.

BT has spent years redesigning its logo and Twitter hates it

City A.M.

Fans freaked out over Dunkin’ Donuts’ decision to drop the “Donuts” from its name.

Insider.

Gap’s rebrand a few years ago is probably one of the most memorable examples of a rebranding disaster… after just a few days with the new logo, Gap listened to their consumers and got rid of the new design.

Fastprint.

Understanding the need for change

Change is an inevitable part of life, it’s an inevitable part of being in business, and it’s an inevitable part of what’s involved in managing a brand. That’s why it’s important to embrace change and the opportunities it can bring.

Henry Ford said: “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.” Which is why you can’t afford for your brand to stand still.

What’s at stake?

If you’re the person being tasked with a brand project for your business, it doesn’t matter whether you’re an experienced marketer who’s been involved in multiple brand projects over the course of your career, or you’re new to the job and tackling a brand project for the first time, those butterflies will more than likely be fluttering in your stomach.

Why? Because brand is an emotive subject and there’s a real art to getting it right. There’s an even tougher challenge in making sure that as many people as possible are happy with the outcome. However, it’s important to remember that you can’t please all the people all the time. People react to change in different ways, for some it takes longer to accept and embrace.

A large part of managing any kind of branding project successfully is about minimising the risks associated with delivering something new, something different. It’s about anticipating and planning in advance for how you’ll deal with this.

Be the best you can be

When it comes to pushing the creative boundaries in B2B, there can be a tendency for people to compare B2B brands with what are often perceived as their more adventurous counterparts in the B2C world. But, as we know, not everybody’s a Nike or an Apple and what you, as B2B brand representative need to do, is to strive to do what’s right for your business and your market.

What we’re seeing is more and more B2B brands embracing creative risk-taking and pushing the boundaries, especially when it comes to creating those all-important emotional connections with people. After all, in the B2B world, the people you’re dealing with are the same people who have lives outside of their jobs and who are being heavily influenced by what’s happening in the B2C world. 

For a B2B brand to be truly successful, it needs to tap into something that’s unique about your business and connect with people’s emotions. Successful brands demonstrate an understanding of what their customers think and feel, as well as the more rational aspects of what they do and how they make buying decisions.

Business professionals are around 50% more likely to buy a product or service that demonstrates personal value through emotional appeals.

Nick Hague writing for B2B Marketing.

Structures and frameworks provide security

In our experience, having structures and frameworks in place really can help you when you’re planning and undertaking any type of branding project. For us, it’s about the use of in-depth, branding exercises that we’ve developed and honed over the years to get to the heart of what’s needed – while being both highly thought-provoking and enjoyable to do. In our opinion, brand projects should be fun and inclusive.

Although no project is ever the same, being able to take someone through a tried and tested methodology makes the process as smooth as possible and helps to identify any potential sticking points from the start. It’s a collaborative process that helps those involved feel reassured and ensures that every conceivable angle has been covered.

Coming to a brand project with a feeling of safety and from a place of trust, allows you to stimulate the appetite that’s needed to create work that will help you stand out from the crowd, or work that will connect and resonate with your target audience – internal, external or both.

It’s about trusting us to take you a little bit out of your comfort zone. To that space that’s packed with possibilities and potential.

Keith Noble, Director.

One of the problems that people within well-known brands face is boredom. It’s difficult for them to break out of thinking that they know the brand, what it stands for and everything about it. It’s why the element of surprise is a powerful tool.

Ali Heggie, Creative Director.

The one thing I’ve seen get missed out in the equation of looking at rebranding is the failure to ask the person that’s come to you with this big branding problem what’s at stake for them.

Val Ockwell, Relationship Manager.

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