Like us poor mortals, brands live, breathe, they have their youth, their blues and their old blows, their age of recklessness and recklessness and that of wisdom. Worse, they even die! Timeless brands are ultimately rather rare. When it locks itself in a generation, the brand ages along with its target. It can even happen that the brand has sales growth while slowly aging if the customer base is not renewed.
Therefore, it is important to be vigilant and to intervene at the first signs of fatigue. Questioning is also necessary, some brands have aged due to outdated management. What are the factors to give a new youth, a second breath to your brand? What elixir to rediscover the dynamism and freshness of yesteryear and, above all, to be able to reach the younger generations?
A brand begins to age when it loses touch with the leading layers of opinion and the younger generations. Some major brands of the Trente Glorieuses have aged along with their clientele, even though everyone remembers their name and logo. For example, everyone could hum the slogan ” Royco, soup minute“, Yet it is a brand whose volumes have continued to decline between 2005 and 2010. The freeze-dried soup had its followers, very loyal, but failed to conquer the new generations, who found the product uninteresting in terms of taste. And a bit dated. As a result, aging consumers (Royco dates from the 1950s), the brand risked disappearing. We’ll look at his strategies for getting back to the forefront later in this article.
The same is true for the Chevignon brand, which aged at the same time as the teenagers of the time became adults. To succeed in the return that she is attempting today, she will have to win back those nostalgic for the time, but also touch their children. It is necessary to always try to attract the younger generations, without completely departing from the loyal clientele for years.
There are bends that it is also important to know how to take, particularly in sectors affected by new technologies. Thus, encrypted television channels, such as Canal +, do not look on the arrival of Netflix soon on the European market. Is it Netflix’s fault or a lack of consideration for an emerging market that these brands have failed to see coming?
There are also other factors of aging, such as that linked to the values that we communicate and which no longer affect the public. For example, ROM chocolate bars whose packaging is based on the colors of the Romanian flag. A brand that has been present on the Romanian market for a very long time, it was losing speed more and more. Young people, less sensitive to patriotic values, ended up abandoning the product. An incredible marketing campaign allowed him to win back the public and to initiate a dynamic that ended up exceeding the brand itself.
Some brands are currently slowly entering a process of aging (be careful, this is only a personal analysis, which is worth what it is worth!): Adidas (unlike its competitor Nike which knows how to reach the young generation, even the most techies) and Apple. The latter, if it has a slice of irreducible acquired consumers, is gradually aging. It will take a new blow like the iMac or the iPod to reach a new generation that has not known the hours of Apple’s resurrection.
Take care of the image
Your visual identity is what touches consumers first and foremost. Our world is based on the image we send back and brands are no different on this point. In this, the logo is the strongest element of your visual representation. Everything that makes it up may seem old-fashioned. The graphic style, the colors, the typefaces used to send back a message, a state of dynamism, and an era. Trends are changing and your logo will need a facelift from time to time.
Michelin has changed its Bibendum in small steps. It has never been abandoned, it is part of the brand’s DNA and its sympathy capital is as important as ever. He has refined over time (social success has not been represented by overweight for a few years), has become more athletic, his features have changed but the smile is still there. He remained as warm as at the beginning.
“ Born in 1898 from the imagination of the Michelin brothers and the brushes of the talented poster designer O’Galop, alias Marius Rossillon, Bibendum has been a resounding success from the start. Reflection of its time like pneumatic innovations, it evolves to always stay in step with the times. ” Michelin website.
The Petit Bateau brand also quickly understood that the logo had a power of attraction that should not be overlooked. It was in the 90s that she rejuvenated it, purifying it, simplifying it while keeping what entered the collective unconscious. When your brand is known enough, when the visual haunt is sufficiently ingrained in the minds of consumers, you can even oversimplify it. Everyone recognizes the Mac Donald’s sign by its single M, placed like an arch above the entrance to its restaurants. Nike is satisfied with its “comma” in most of its current communication, it is enough to represent the dynamism and all the symbolism of the brand.
The great difficulty in the graphic representation of brands is to manage to stand out while keeping the codes associated with your market and product category.
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Bet on the brand’s DNA
I should have placed this point first, before the graphic aspect. Indeed, it is the entire marketing mix that comes into play to win back the hearts of consumers. If you want to reach new targets, it’s important not to lose those who supported you when your brand was less fit. Capitalize on this group.
To awaken your brand, it is important to respect its DNA, which touched the first generation of consumers. This can be its history, its values, its identity, just as many anchor points in the mind of the consumer that you cannot shake too much. On the contrary, make it a lever by building your new strategy on this basis.
Rom chocolate bars, which I mentioned above, have made a comeback in the hearts of Romanians thanks to a publicity coup. While sales of the product were at their worst, the brand had the idea of putting forward its patriotic values in an original way: an advertising campaign announced the takeover of the brand by an American company. Therefore, the packaging changes, exit the Romanian flag in favor of the star-spangled banner. While most young people found these values outdated, this affront awakened their affection for the Romanian flag, and Internet users expressed their dissatisfaction on social networks. It was an extraordinary buzz and, once the deception was announced, a new passion in the hearts of Romanians for this chocolate bar.
This campaign went beyond the mark, strengthening the patriotic feeling and the pride of Romanians. Since then, the brand has launched other campaigns, in particular, to fight against xenophobia against Romanians on the internet.
Putting people back at the heart of your sales process can transform your customers’ experience. We all want to be listened to, to see courted, by a brand that we love. Let’s put the adage back to the center: “ the customer is king ”. I’m not talking about this slightly cold welcome with a strained smile. No, greet and serve the customer as you would like to be served.
The Galeries Lafayette, during the rejuvenation of the brand, raised the status of the customer experience to a higher level. In 2011, during the Roland Garros tournament, the Boulevard Haussmann stores installed rooftop tennis courts for customers. Many experiments, often around digital, have taken place in clothing stores. There are so many things to invent to provide a unique experience for your customers.
But remember, events are great, but nothing can replace a warm welcome, a successful shopping experience, and a competent after-sales service. Make your customers want to come back to you, even if they don’t have anything to buy. The neighborhood businesses had understood everything, without using marketing!
Change the external perception of the brand
Some brands have a prestigious past, marked by public sympathy of the time and funny advertising campaigns. Today, they seem obsolete and their products outdated. Do you remember Damart? “ Cold me? Never! ”Today, the Thermolactyl brand only affects seniors over 65.
How to change the perception of your brand, the way consumers perceive you? Communication has an important part in this challenge. Graphics are important in rejuvenating your brand, but you may also need to rethink the tone of your communication to make a difference. On the brands that I mentioned above and which have attempted a rejuvenation (and succeeded), all have gone through a rejuvenation of their discourse, but not always a graphic evolution.
If you’re over 30, Levi’s is THE jeans brand. This is the one you used to wear (or dream of wearing) as a teenager and perhaps continue to wear today. Yet young people no longer perceive the brand in the same way. It has become the brand of “daddy’s jeans”. The jeans manufacturer has reworked its communication and product line to appeal to 15-25-year-olds.
The implementation of a real multi-channel brand strategy on the Web and social networks is essential. Far from the showcase site “ because you have to be on the Internet ”, this allows you to offer additional experience to your customers. It is one of the media of choice for the younger generations, certainly the main one for the future, and even the seniors have a growing web presence. The Internet is still a young medium and many uses remain to be imagined.
I love this quote from Seth Godin about the web and social media: “ How can you waste even one more day not taking advantage of the greatest invention of our generation? How dare you settle for less when it’s so easy to be remarkable (visible)? “
Royco was faced with an ultimatum at the beginning of 2010: to rejuvenate the clientele or disappear. At least the direction of the marketing plan was clear!
“Royco’s reconstruction was thus carried out by answering four key questions and by combining strategy and operations, innovation and activation, positioning, and deployment:
1. What role can the brand play in the lives of tomorrow’s consumers?
2. What product experience can we build to meet the new targeted expectations?
3. How to reconnect with the consumer to recruit in an “impactful” and sustainable way?
4. What investment and relaunch approach should be deployed for the brand? ”
From “ little evening soup ”, Royco will become the “ ideal snack for a break at the office or home, at 11 am or 6 pm. To accompany this turnaround, the brand is launching street marketing campaigns, distributing samples in the streets, even making passers-by taste instant soups. This is how the brand returns to the consumer. New products are launched, making it possible to vary the sensations, with croutons, new tastes, everything is done to rejuvenate the product while maintaining the qualities that have always been appreciated by the base loyal to the brand.
Social media campaigns are launched, benefiting from positive word of mouth. A mini-series on the Web is launched: “Boost my life”. Small sketches around the sentimental life of young Daphné, punctuated around Royco’s product. Between 2011 and 2013, sales increased by 10%, while the total market for prepared soups grew by only 2%. Royco’s consumption is growing thanks to an expansion of the customer base, increasing by 9% over two years, especially among those under 45. (source: Prodimarques.com)
Put innovation back at the heart of your products
How to return to the front of the stage without novelty? To attract new consumers, and expanded or refreshed range of products is often necessary. These new products provide essential refreshment when the brand is aging.
The flagship product of the SEB brand, the pressure cooker (or “pressure cooker”), is a relatively simple product in its conception, basic and which has the particularity of lasting a very long time! The brand refreshed the product a few years ago, bringing new features (the porthole to check cooking) or facilitating the use of the product (the bayonet handle or the central button to improve opening). This new range made it possible to reach younger consumers, but also to renew the product (indestructible) in households already equipped.
The Hollywood brand of chewing gum also had to expand its range of products in the face of the arrival of its competitors, Freedent in particular. A new variety of tastes, shapes, more practical and transportable packaging, etc. Chevignon, which has been making a strong comeback for several years, has taken over the products that have made it successful: leathers and especially the down jacket, modernizing them to conquer today’s teenagers.
I mentioned Damart above. Those under 65 reject the mark because it is that of their parents, it seems to them too dated. The brand is trying to make a comeback to reach seniors aged 50 and over, expanding its product line with sports clothing for hiking.
Rejuvenation from the inside out
Don’t we say that age is in the head? The same is true for brands. Work inside before outside, your teams must be imbued with this new impetus, this new state of mind. For some brands, rejuvenation does not require major transformations, in which case the reorganization is straightforward. For others, it may be a major overhaul and in this case, it will be necessary to accompany, transmit, and explain the new vision.
The internal communication effort is often neglected and we sometimes have double-speed services. You have to communicate what you are, your teams have to be imbued with your DNA.