Like meeting someone for the first time, your initial encounter with a business can leave a lasting impression. That feeling or belief in a company or product branding is powerful. It creates customer loyalty and energizes the market.
Businesses are constantly evolving, introducing new products and merging and consolidating operations. Changes like these can be disorienting to your brand, especially for customers. Communicating a consistent brand message during times of growth and change is more important than ever. Today, we see a renewed interest in re-branding efforts to “bring back that special feeling.”
While some business leaders have embraced branding strategy to fuel positive growth, it is easy to forget that a brand is dependent on the true feelings of the customer. For example, Starbucks Chairman Howard Shultz recently issued a warning to top executives that the “Starbucks experience” has been watered down. “I take full responsibility myself, but we desperately need to look into the mirror and realize it’s time to get back to the core and make the changes necessary to evoke the heritage, the tradition, and the passion that we all have for the true Starbucks experience,” Schultz said in the memo.
Ultimately, customers want to have an authentic and positive experience with your company. If they trust and respect your products and services they will become invested in your brand.
In other words, re-branding is essentially a lot like farming. If you nurture the soil you can continue to renew and multiply your harvest. In the same way, if you stay connected to your market and nurture customer relationships, your brand will evolve and flourish.
Traditional farming is free of pesticides and additives - it is a pure process. Similarly, successful re-branding aligns with your true voice - unique differentiation based on lasting values, not passing trends. In farming, uprooting your crops (brand) over to a new plot is not always a sustainable strategy. Maybe all you need is to pull a few weeds, but it all comes down to one single fact: the farmer has respect for his land.
With this in mind, the wisest advice for any company is to show the same reverence for their brand. Without it, any brand, or farm, is doomed for a diluted brand experience.