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A brand is forever?

March 23, 2012

 

Il packaging non è come l'amore!

Bad news!
Branding and packaging design carry a “best before” .
I am sorry to bring such a bad news but I think you’d better take a note somewhere: branding and packaging desing NEED MAINTENANCE.

Maintaining a brand doesn’t mean to start all over from scratch everytime. Maintening a brand means revamp, innovate, integrate and expand.

Think of your brand as a real person. As a real personinteracts on a daily basis with other persons, your brand interacts with other brands in the same market.

 

In the real world. as in the markes, tastes change, trends go by and styles run after each other. Would you attend a conference in an 1988 Armani suit? Even though Armani, would you feel ok with those shoulder pads and loose pants? If you say yes… you are a true trend setter… but I believe the most of you will answer no.

And so does your brand. Could ytou feel at ease to sell 2.0 web solutions with a logo that screams “designed to be faxed”.

Branding and packaging design are not time independent, they age.

You can’t sell perfumes and watches or rice with a packaging that has been “aged out” – you lose credibility.

This doesn’t mean that you are forced to follow and embrace each new trend, nor that your logos and packgaging must all be modern and trendy.
IT MEANS THAT YOUR LOGO MUST ALWAYS FEEL COMFORTABLE WITH THE PRESENT AND COMMUNICATE ITS VALUES AND HISTORY, TALKING TO ITS PUBLICS USING A RECOGNIZABLE LANGUAGE.

This leads to a perilious aspect: how often shgould you revamp your logo and your branding strategy? Only common sense can tell.

In a restyling project it is definitely important to focus on the RELEVANT FACETS of your brand. Usually the designers asked to revamp an aging brand tend to take no prisoners, and to start all over from scratch, while the clients tend to keep the status quo as much they can.

THE CORRECT APPROACH IS TO WORK TOGETHER AND BALANCE THE TWO OPPOSITE APPROACHES.

A brand carries with itself positive aspects as well negative ones, while at restyling, try to maximise the positive facets, but don’t forget that some market niches are very similar to old elephants and have some good memory, particularly for the negative aspects – so don’t sweep the bad under the carpet!

Give credit to the loyalty of your customers: unfortunately loyal clients are less keen to changes than you are.
Help them to understand the reasons why you are changing, reassure them that what they loved in your brand IS STILL THERE and you are only evolving with the market.

A restyling project for a known brand MUST be planned in advance and approached in a clever way. Allocate a comfortable budget to do things properly. None of your brand ambassadors should be left behing in the process.

Plan! Plan! Spend! but don’t hesitate!
Don’t let your brand age, don’t let your packagings be too old. Plan recurring interventions, don’t destroy unless what was there was a disaster.
Integrate new elements, when possible – colours, lettering, materials, etc

If your brand is not suffering, try to maintain and add a new line.
If your brand is limping or, worse, collapsing, don’t hesitate. Tear everything down and rebuild it anew.
Identify the market segment you are moving in and reason in terms of brand extension or brand stretching, before beginning to re-brand.

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