When Re-branding, Will It Help Or Hurt Your Image?
Imagine a brand so successful it is a household name: A brand that has been in existence since 1902. Certainly over time, the brand has had several leadership transformations in which new ideas were tested, successes measured, practices overhauled, and yet the brand survived turbulent economic times and buying habit trends for over 111 years. The brand was J C Penney’s, now known as JCP.
When a brand makes modifications process begins with “cosmetics”: a new logo design, new color standards and tagline to capture the brand’s essence. These positive aspects of re-branding, done correctly, can have resounding success.
When going beyond a change in the look and feel of the company that represents its new direction, the customer must be eased in to this new model, but to give them time to accept the other transformations in the new vision.
In the case of JCP’s new modernized logo and name change, it seems there was disconnect with the elements that were working favorably for the store over its history. Instead, all of their changes – logo/name change, vendor and price strategy, and new advertising campaigns – were all rolled out at once, allowing for resistance from their loyal, established customer base.
If Penney’s goal was to broaden their base, attract new customers and positively impact sales to this well-established brand, the effect of “too much too soon” seems to have produced the opposite effect.
Reviewing the lessons from JCP and other large brands, we have made a more nuanced transition as perry design + advertising recently re-branded after 16 years serving businesses’ advertising and marketing needs.
If you are thinking about making changes to your business brand, consider the following:
(1) What is it about your current operations that your customers like, and how to embrace those elements into your new image?
(2) Considering your target market. If you are going after a new demographic, are you making sure your business is in alignment with your product, pricing and media reach?
(3) Are you planning to stage the rollout of your brand’s changes so that it is subtle and easier for your customers to adapt?