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3 Steps To Resurrecting A Dying Brand

Is your company stagnant? Are you losing customers? When people hear your brand name do they say “Oh, yeah, I remember that name”? If so, then you might have…a dying brand.

People get caught up in success and sometimes sit back and put the plane on autopilot. Unfortunately, sometimes they look out the window and realize they have gone way off course. Well, don’t fret. There are things you can do to revive your company and brand. Over the past few years we have been approached by more and more of these companies. With a little bit of our “human” magic we have been able to successfully help turn these companies around. Here are the first steps you need to take:

Step 1 – Admit that you have a problem.

The first step to recovery is admitting that you have a problem. Obviously your numbers will show you that you have a problem. More importantly, you need to realize that something is broken. Is it marketing? Sometimes companies get too comfortable and stop investing in new marketing channels. If you aren’t investing heavily in digital or social media, then you are missing out. This Spring, digital surpassed TV for the first time. Not investing in digital or social is like not investing in TV in the 1950’s.

Sometimes the marketing is fine and it’s the product that is broken. Take Blockbuster. They simply got too comfortable and stopped innovating. They didn’t keep up with the changing technology. They didn’t admit to themselves that they had a problem.

Step 2 – Be willing to reimagine your brand.

Do you remember Old Spice? No, not the quirky, fun Old Spice that we know now. I’m talking about the original Old Spice? How did this dying brand bring itself back from the dead? After they admitted that they had a problem Old Spice (really P&G) went to an agency to help them reimagine their brand. They had to completely scrap everything and start over. They had to be open to reimagining their brand.

The agency, Wieden and Kennedy, was involved in everything from naming the fragrances (like “Champion” or “Swagger”) to creating a completely bizarre campaign targeting women to buy Old Spice for their men. Today Old Spice is a category leader because the powers-that-be at Old Spice were open to reimagine their brand.

Step 3 – Know the difference between scary and dangerous.

Jim Koch has a brilliant story about starting Sam Adam’s, the Boston beer company. He said there is a big difference between scary and dangerous. “Leaving my good job, that nice office, flying first class, staying in nice hotels, making a very good income, people think that was really risky, that that must have been really scary. Well, it was scary, but it wasn’t dangerous. What was actually dangerous, but not scary, was staying and continuing to do a job that I wasn’t happy doing anymore. It wasn’t my passion.”

Making a pivot and trying to resurrect your dying brand might be really scary, but it’s not dangerous. What’s dangerous is letting it continue to die and then looking back one day and saying “If only I had given it a chance, maybe I could have saved it.”

There are many more steps that need to be taken in order to bring a dying brand back to life, but if you can start with these three, from our experience in bringing several brands back to thriving, growing businesses, then you are well on your way to recovery.

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