Repositioning or Rejuvenation?
Hands up if you are guilty of starting a business with a logo but without properly knowing what you are actually going to deliver? Did you know what customers might think and want, what piece of the market you were targeting?
When a business first launches its products and services, its starting point is usually the brand; the identity and the image. And, it’s all new after all, so how can we know any of the other details for sure? Unless extensive research has been undertaken, for most new businesses their positioning has to be a bit of guess-work. And that’s fine, it’s a starting point.
Inevitably as the company grows and develops, things fluidly change as the management learn valuable insights into what they can truly deliver and what their customers tell them they want.
So, having spent (often) vast amounts on creating a brand, printing boxes of literature and investing in traditional marketing, online and social media, how easy is it to change that? And when should you make those changes; be repositioning your brand?
In our experience at Shake It Up Creative, somewhere between two and four years is when companies really know where they sit and whether their brand fits with that or whether some tweaks need to be made. And this can be more than just what the branding looks like, but also the marketing mix you are currently using – does this need to change to reach a more defined audience? And what about your four P’s? Are they still appropriate?
Looking at brand positioning, let’s take Marks & Spencer (M&S to you and me) as an example.
For years they traded on “Quality Promise” – it was even printed on clothing labels and food packaging.
After an initial launch of dried and tinned food in the ‘30s the real boost with food sales wasn’t until the ’70’s with the Simply Food sections in-store coming much later.
In 2000 the tagline was “Exclusively for everyone” – playing on status and individuality in equal measure.
With a need to diversify further, in 2001 they introduced ranges like Per Una to appeal to a younger, more fashion-savvy buyer.
In 2004 they divided their clothes and food products further by running concurrent campaigns using “Your M&S” and “Not just any food” respectively. This was the first time they had seen a need to target two different audiences simultaneously to increase sales accordingly.
Reverting back to “Quality worth every penny” in 2009, shortly followed by “Your M&S”, the company returned to the status and exclusivity appeal.
And here we are today, Marks & Spencer have just launched their latest offering “Spend It Well” backed by a radical overhaul of its messaging, photography and image, by trying to appeal to our current lifestyle expectations of ‘you deserve to have it all’. It’s very much lifestyle led and again trying to appeal to a younger audience. Watch the ad and you’ll see what we mean.
M&S says the ‘Spend It Well’ positioning is all about the brand being seen as an “enabler of a life well-lived” among consumers, after internal research showed people are increasingly looking to spend more money with brands that enable good life experiences.
However, does their brand image live up to the reality of a store visit – you’ll have to take a look and decide for yourself.
What this all tells us is that even a well-established brand such as M&S, which has been around since 1884, needs to keep repositioning and rejuvenating their brand to meet customer expectations. And as they see more people buying food than clothes in certain areas, we may see a reduction of full stores and more Simply Food stores on the high street.
So if you have a business that has been trading a few years, but you know it needs a revisit to check whether it is still delivering on brand image or if the brand identity needs modernising, then Shake It Up Creative can help. Perhaps you are diversifying your products or services and you need support with marketing these? We can work with you to look at your strengths and build on those, but equally importantly, work with you to research what your customers think about you and how you might need to be repositioning your brand to attract that all-important new business.
Is now the right time to reposition or rejuvenate?
Call Meg and Rachael today to see how we can “Shake It Up” for you!