Dave Daily, Christine Dennis and Amber Greenwalt worked with me on researching these cases. We examined repositioning efforts over the last several years across a range of CPG, B2B and corporate brands.
As a starting point we isolated the most common strategies that marketers employ, levers that are often used in tandem for maximum effect:
- New visual identity
- New meaning and context.
- New behaviors (distribution, media, promotion, product, etc).
- New target audience.
- New pricing.
- Clearly define the problem. Don’t fix what isn’t broken. (Walmart did this particularly well.)
- Find a new positioning from within the truth of the brand. Be credible. No skin grafts. (Cisco is a good example of extending a core brand truth.)
- Create tight alignment throughout the value chain. The experience must line up with the advertising. (Few have done this better than Target. Sun Chips is another interesting example.)
- Change behavior, not just words and symbols. Provide tangible evidence of change. (Hyundai nailed this several times over. As did Old Spice.)
- Seek inspiration from your best customers. (Holiday Inn conducted extensive research among customers. )
- Execute a seamless re-launch, no patchwork roll-out. (Holiday Inn seems to be doing this well, with real penalties for franchisees that do not meet spec.)
- Pre-plan Phase 2 of the re-launch. Demonstrate continuous improvement. (Hyundai has successfully sequenced image-shifting initiatives over time.)