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Now a word from Katrina at AMI:

In the life of every business there comes a day when the shiny luster has worn off it’s branding and a company starts to wonder if it might be doing more harm then good. Pepsi has done it 11 times, Apple has done it 3 times and Starbucks 4. If you’ve entertained that thought it’s time to gage the success of your brand. Consider the following:

  1. Is your logo prohibitively dated?
    When you were a company of one, 20 years ago you paid your brothers, best friends’s aunt $20 to throw together a logo, or maybe you even did one yourself. It used all the latest fonts and colors, but now your cutting edge products are being undersold by an old logo or brand. Sometimes it’s a matter of simplicity and othertimes a matter of style.
  2. Are there discrepencies between what you offer and how you are perceived?
    “Radio shack, more then just radios.”… is finally becoming “the Shack” but they might have reached this decision too late to stick. If what you offer doesn’t match up with perception it can be time to rebrand.
  3. Does your brand have negative associations?
    When Gerber baby foods tried getting a corner on the French market they quickly learned that Gerber translates to “vomiting” in French. Likewise “Sars” is no longer a great name for soda, Ayds hasn’t worked for a few decades and iKea probably won’t have much luck marketing the mobile workbench “Fartfull” in America.
  4. Is your company poised for growth?
    In launching a brand successfully you might be smart about SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and create keywords focused on your name. This might backfire later when you expand services. Be optimistic and keep growth in mind when selecting a company name or image. Likewise naming your company after locality might limit your expansion options later.
  5. Does your brand differentiate?
    Zantec and Zyrtec might easily be confused but unless you’re a generic drug knock off you’ll want to make sure your brand differentiates and that your doctor knows the difference. The same holds true for names and logos that just aren’t memorable… Green Garden landscaping company anyone?
  6. Does your brand appeal to your target market
    With it’s curves and cute factor the VW “Bug” isn’t targeting the mass of the male demographic. Likewise designing for different ages, genders, and races can be dramatically different. Design should include solid design choices chosen specifically to appeal to your targeted demographic.

  7. Is your brand watered down?
    You might not think of getting getting a razor from Proctor and Gamble but their sub-brand Gillette is an industry standard. When your big enough that your brand doesn’t mean anything specific it might be time for sub brands.

If you’ve answered yes to one or more of these questions you’re on the road to rebranding. Keep in mind that where appropriate tie your new branding in to the old one. Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater.

Katrina Jorgenson

Art Director – AMI Advertising Agency

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