In the San Francisco Bay Area, it’s impossible to escape the blinding pace of technology. Ideas, innovations, and companies emerge like skyrockets, lighting up the sky and sometimes the world. We’re used to the speed because we live here, and because many of our clients are start-ups. We build meaningful brands to guide their stratospheric growth.
Then there are companies that have been around for a while. Venerable tech brands that have stood the test of time. Some dating back to the days when Silicon Valley was populated not by software geeks on corporate campuses, but by apricot and prune orchards.
Rethinking and recalibrating brand strategy can be scary for an established brand. But adapting to shifting trends, while remaining true to the heritage that got you there in the first place, is essential for any brand that needs to maintain a connection to all the people that matter to the brand.
Here’s how brand strategy can help an established tech company refresh or re-brand.
Change is not a sign of weakness
When a brand has been successful over a long period of time, it’s a sign that it’s been doing something right. And it’s a sign of strength, not weakness, when the leadership team realizes it’s time to change with the times and alter long-standing behavior to address the reality of today. An authentic brand that knows its strengths is a in a great position to stay up to date and compete with current rivals, while gaining the most from its heritage.
Brand behavior drives brand health
Some companies are held back from greatness by the “this is how we’ve always done things” syndrome. Leadership teams who recognize these indicators often turn to brand strategy to figure out how to reconnect with customers in meaningful ways and how to reenergize company behavior to deliver on the promise. Great leaders live the brand promise personally and lead by example. But it’s not always easy. It takes guts for a CEO to change direction and adopt a new way of thinking and acting. It takes even more guts to enlist the entire workforce to follow.
Employees are involved. So involve them early.
Most people are resistant to change. So when a brand needs to change with the times, it’s a good idea to pave the way by including people from all levels of your team. When they’re invested in creating the strategy, they’re prepped to handle the changes needed to roll it out. This is doubly true for companies with employees who’ve been around for a while. They might have very good ideas to help the company evolve. So ask them for input and meaningfully socialize with them once the work is done.
An old-fashioned practice turns out to be very modern
Giving customers what they want is what successful businesses have always done. Sometimes venerable brands need to freshly rediscover what people want. When your team knows what your customers want, need, think, and feel, your brand can make a more emotionally meaningful, stronger connection to people in a way that meets their expectations. It’s called empathy. A new-sounding name for a very old fashioned fundamental of people businesses.
Venerable brands often have a huge advantage over newer brands because they’ve already forged strong connections and already mean something to people. Like all brands, a venerable brand needs to speak in a consistent voice and behave in a consistent way to deliver on both the rational and that emotional connection. Brands like this, that evoke emotions, don’t just feel better, they perform better. No matter how old they are.
Emotive Brand is a brand strategy company in the San Francisco Bay Area that’s only eight years old. But our experience spans decades with fresh strategic thinking for brands that want to stay meaningful, and stick around.