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Brand Is You And It Is Them

 

 

Making people want to identify with your brand is crucial to any rebranding as Candice Chung explains

 

 

At the most fundamental level, all forms of rebranding is an attempt to influence the subtle chemistry between a company’s reputation and their customer’s social identities.

“Rebranding is not merely about revamping a brand name or logo, it’s about changing a company’s message, goals and their culture,” says Nicole Hartley, Senior Lecturer of University of Queensland Business School. “This requires a vision for the brand that is inspiring to customers, stakeholders and employees.”

To ensure an overall alignment of visions, first, a company needs to understand what it represents to its customers. “Specifically, what does this brand say about them and their social identities?”

Our social identity refers to a self-curated sense of who we are, and the groups we belong to. For instance, those who cycle to work may identify with people who stay fit; they may also identify with being environmentally conscious. Each of us contains a multitude of social identities, which in turn become powerful triggers to our consumer behaviour.

 

“Successful rebranding is about surprising or delighting customers in a thoughtful and authentic way.”

 

“When consumers identify with a social group that has a well-defined, positive image, they tend to select products that most clearly broadcast membership in it,” according to a recent report by Harvard Business Review.

“Toyota’s [environmentally-focused] marketing for its Prius hybrid car provides an example of how to do this well. By September 2014 the Prius accounted for over half the hybrids ever sold in the United States.”

As Revelian CEO Cherie Curtis pointed out in her recent ‘Change’ podcast with Institute of Leaders and Managers CEO David Pich, “brand is an interactive thing”.

“How much do your members/clients want to attach their identity to your brand? That is the biggest endorsement they can provide,” Curtis says. “It’s about people wanting to associate themselves with that brand.”

Most big rebranding mishaps result from companies not taking the time to understand their customers’ attachment to the brand, says Dr Hartley. “Wanting to merely inject a bit of modernism into a brand is not enough.

“Successful rebranding is about surprising or delighting customers in a thoughtful and authentic way.”

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