Branding is one heck of a fickle game. Theoretically, it should behave like good wine, only getting better with age. And much like Rome, compelling brands are built over time, built upon layers of previous versions of the city to arrive where it is today. A multilayered place rich in stories that make up the entire experience. It’s more about the journey than the end destination.
That’s just one part of it. The other, more complex part, is the ability to stay current. No brand operates in a vacuum. The marketplace is a dynamic environment that continues to change. It’s merciless, and those who ignore its power (read: market forces of supply and demand) are doomed to fail and perish. Brands must therefore stay young and relevant, and evolve with the times. Innovate or die! As simple as that. In that respect a brand is like an old friend who continues to evolve over time and stay relevant to sustain the friendship. Branding is a dichotomy.
The underlying thought behind brand-building is deceptively simple – how to connect emotionally with customers? Most buying decisions are made by subconscious mind, and people are always drawn to brands that resonate with them. They care more about the meanings embedded in the brands, going beyond functional value, and yearning to attain the emotional and symbolic values. Simple right? I did say “deceptively simple”. Hey nothing is simple in business, otherwise the entire world would be doing it. We’d all be entrepreneurs, and there’d be no employees.
To achieve the brand loyalty that brands like Apple, Coca Cola, Singapore Airlines, jetBlue, Starbucks, IBM, Samsung, Honda and Teh Botol Sosro enjoy is lengthy process. It requires blood, sweat, and tears. An investment in time, effort, and dough… plenty of it! A directive that comes from the top echelon, the head honchos of the organization. Branding is not the responsibility of Branding, Marketing, or PR Departments. These departments are merely the mouthpiece that shout out and communicate the brand to the world. That’s why many organizations don’t get it right, opting to take the deceptively easy shortcuts, and simply copy other brands’ design, packaging… look and feel. Void of any real personality and identity. To be successful, any brand must be uniquely different to be believable, be real and connectable… to gain CUSTOMERS’ TRUST.
Which brings us back to Branding, specifically Re-Branding, Brand Repositioning, Brand Make-Over, Brand Redesign… by any other name, it’s a series of key business decisions taken to ensure that the Brand remains relevant to the target market/audience and continues to be “THE CHOSEN ONE” in the minds of consumers. Translating into brand loyalty, market share and – consequently – THE BOTTOM LINE!
So it’s always interesting to see brands and their journeys. An evolutionary journey captured by their Logo & Corporate Identity that has evolved over the years.
Like Wendy’s, a US-based chain of fast food hamburger restaurants.