“Brand. Brand. BRAND BRAND BRAND BRAND BRAND!”
There, we said it! The “B” word!
It may be OK now. But not many years ago, as marketing rocketed into digital, you often encountered a “what are you, a dinosaur?” glare if you mentioned it in a meeting. OK, maybe not at Nike, or P&G. But you had to be careful in a lot of other places.
We’ve come a long way since then, and most marketers embrace brand as part of all things digital, too. But in a meeting the other day, when an impromptu Brand Evolution discussion veered right to design, we realized the scope of what “Brand Evolution” is about may take a bit more time for some to grab on to.
So let’s set the record straight: Despite the topic of our prior blog post, Brand Evolution is not just about what a brand looks like. If it was, the visual evolution shown here would have led this one time most recognized brand in the world to have spawned the iPhone or GoPro or some other game changing device. But instead they stand as a great example of how Brand Evolution can be about so many things other than design, such as consumer insight, innovation, corporate culture, etc. All of which can make great design seem irrelevant.
The point is, while design is often a part of it, Brand Evolution is less about looks than about proactively navigating the constantly changing environment brands live in today. Part of that change is driven by technology, which was a primary issue for Kodak. But it’s also about evolving consumer norms and expectations, shifts in the economic, political and environmental landscape, and evolving demographics and media consumption habits, to name just a few.
Ultimately, when we speak of Brand Evolution, we’re talking about the entire world your brand and customers live in today. Then taking a critical look at where it’s all going. And making plans for how you’re going to evolve what you’re doing, or not, to STAY AHEAD of the game. Or to CHANGE the game. Or better yet, BE THE GAME.
How a brand accomplishes this is something each marketer will need to determine for themselves. In fast-paced times, the rule book for managing change is rewritten daily.
Though The BrandEvolutionist does have an approach of our own that constitutes a good start. Check back soon and we’ll share a bit about it. It’s not magic. Though we’ll warn you, it may have you suddenly sending out giddy tweets ending in #BWORD!
Until then, we’d be happy to hear your thoughts or chat about your own Brand Evolution.
BTW, if you worked at Kodak, don’t take this personally. The BrandEvolutionist was there a few times, too, and saw first-hand it was a challenge that may have been too big for anyone to solve.