A Brand’s Identity Crisis
Who am I?
One of the most mind-boggling questions in the entire universe and nobody really knows the answer. However, the answer to such a question is quite clear for a brand. The founders carefully define its philosophy and choose the best way for that philosophy to come out. The designs and appearance of the brand helps in forming its image in a consumer’s mind and hence, each time that brand’s name is heard, the image creates a recall.
Brand identity is a created persona, a way for the company to interact with its customers beyond selling.
Each piece of colour, shapes, name, packaging and placement defines a brand’s identity. Over time, the audience’s likes and choices change. They want to be relevant and are attracted by brands that stay relevant. Hence, it becomes necessary for brands to keep changing as well.
Many renowned brands have drastically evolved as per the changing times. From GAP to Nike to Cadbury, all started as local brands but due to their relevance and quality assurance, they were able to rise to the top. A change in brand identity could also be made because of acquisitions, mergers or catering to the needs of new markets. The reception of such a change is on how the audience perceives it, but the message sent behind the change should be crystal-clear.
A successful brand identity change requires a solid reason
You have to understand what your brand needs or doesn’t. It’s not only about the perception of the brand but the fact that a brand identity change requires resources. You team’s time, even getting outside help, the financial aspect, there are several factors to consider. And if it does not connect with your audience, it’s all in vain. Moreover, the change can be impactful if there is a strong reason behind it that your team understand as well as you. The people who can comprehend the need are the ones who begin sustainable change.
Hence, it is true that for a brand identity change to work, it needs to begin within the team
One of the biggest example of this is the brand ‘Lego’ that began as a wood toys store managed by 10 people. Its story changed when the founder’s son started catering to adults as well. The brand had one motto, “providing an outlet for a child’s imagination”. But once the Lego bricks became colourful and got patented, it was time to include customers of all ages. With the commencement of Legoland in Denmark it became evident that Legos are not just toys they are a way to bring creations to life.
You brand has an identity even if you’re not a billion dollar conglomerate
Many local brands have been able to win the hearts of the population they target. Be it local restaurants, saloons, schools or companies every entity needs a brand identity. The well-known brand Lakme had a humble start as well. It was a chain of saloons that emerged as the epitome of beauty in India. Famous celebrities associate with Lakme and people from the fashion industry and the cosmetic industry, all want to get a piece of it. This growth is a result of continuous innovation in the brand’s identity. As its colours, slogans and logo changed so did its image.
It’s all about keeping your message clear and consistent
But a notable fact is that the core of a brand rarely changes. It is possible to be the commercial giant that Cadbury is today, but the flavour of its recipe remains the same. Moreover, the original Cadbury signature on the packaging has never been removed and it always follows the purple-golden theme that ensures a continuous recall is created in the audience’s mind. Consistency in communication is what ensures authenticity in the minds of the audience.
Changing your brand’s identity is a big step that you should take only after thorough consultation. You also need to be prepared in case it’s received negatively. A few negative comments are hardly a problem but make sure to have a contingency plan if the makeover is only going downhill. The plan should, however, have positive results if your motive and way is clearly conveyed and your message is consistent with the brand's core philosophy.