The high Emotional Stakes of Brand Identity Re-design
Changing the way a brand presents itself to market must be seen as a change in relationship, which means it dovetails with both how the organization sees itself, but also how the consumers who are connected to the brand see themselves.
From a consumer perspective it’s kind-of like waking up in the morning with a new girlfriend (or boyfriend) next to you in bed. That might sound cool but it’s the kind of change you’d like to have some participation-in as you’re (usually) emotionally invested. Recently Gap and Starbucks have both been on the receiving end of an emotional customer backlash for changing their brand image with a ‘self-centered-organizational’ perspective.
With such shared brand ownership you can understand why so many brands choose the ‘evolutionary brand identity change‘ approach such as Coke does so well. Often businesses see the re-design of identity as being the first move to signify brand change, rather than focusing on ‘being the change’ first. Once a brand has changed what it stands for, what it means to it’s audience through its actions, it is better poised to begin a well communicated image change process with it’s community.
Our respected peers; Mark Gallagher and Laura Savard at brand agency Black Coffee in the US have just published an article on their blog which explores the touchy business of brand identity change with great smarts. Jump to it here – I highly recommend the read.