There comes a time in the life of every company when they need to re-brand – revitalize and refreshen their image. But to what extent does this need to be done? Exactly what does a company need to change in order to revamp their image?
Bank of America is one such company looking for a dramatic image boost. After its attempt to levy ATM card surcharges to customers, and its recent slip into the number 2 spot as the nation’s largest bank (behind JP Morgan Chase), the company is desperately seeking new brand positioning. They know they need a deeper sense of purpose that is more able to withstand dings to their reputation, but what specifically they need to achieve this, they are unsure. The one thing that is sure, however, is that in order for this to work, it needs to be true to who the company is. It needs to funnel down throughout the entire company, and really resonate with who they are and why they are in business, or else they become just another company implementing a meaningless “cosmetic” fix. The new branding needs to focus on connecting people with the brand, and seeing it as more than the commodity that it has come to be. In the end, they must SHOW people their brand, they must SHOW who they are and let people EXPERIENCE them, rather than just talking about it.
The need for companies to let people experience their brand holds true across all industries. Take Xfinity for example. They changed their name in order to repair their tarnished image they earned under the name Comcast (though this is not the reason they gave for changing their brand name – simply user speculation). In fact, Comcast has been renamed five different times in fourteen years – has it done any good? I’m going to go out on a limb and say no. The reason is, because it is the exact same product and exact same customer experience, masked under a new name. At the end of the day, if the only thing that changes is your name and everything else remains the same, you’ve wasted your time.
A new name MUST reflect a new experience for your consumers. They must feel the change, rather than just hear about it. Without changing the way consumers experience your brand, there is absolutely no reason to change your name.
So what then, is in a name?
- Does a company need to change their name to change their brand? No – If you can successfully launch a solid experience marketing campaign, these amazing internal and external experiences will eventually become the meaning of your name.
- Does a company need to change their brand to change their name? Absolutely – There is no sense in wasting your time changing your name if that is the only thing to change. It is a temporary cosmetic fix, and your new name will eventually come to mean the same things you were running away from with your old name.
Experience always comes first. Change this, and you effectively revamp your entire brand image, name change or no name change.
What are your experiences and/or advice with re-branding and name changes? We would love to hear your feedback!