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You can’t teach an old brand new tricks… or can you?

How many brands can you recall from a few years ago that have disappeared into oblivion? How about Spectrum? Woolworths? Hillman? Were these not once everyday names we saw and heard?

So, where have they gone and more importantly, why?

The simplistic answer is akin to the demise of the dinosaurs: adapt or die.

But did these brands slip quietly off the grid, or was there a deeper malaise which meant they lost their relevance?

The latest Interbrand report of the world’s biggest brands cites tech companies such as Apple and Samsung occupying the top spots for another year, accompanied by the regular stalwarts of Coca Cola (despite the political backlash against sugary drinks). Most of these tech brands were mere infants 40 years ago, if indeed in existence at all.

No real surprises there given our digital world; except when you look further down the rankings and see the new entrants into the top 100. And there they are; Lego; Moet & Chandon, to name two (oh, and Mini).

Hang on. Just play that back. LEGO? First time entrant?

Now, you can either see this as evidence of Lego being a slow developer or, as is more likely the case, it demonstrates how even older brands can reinvent themselves and become relevant to new audiences and attract new fans. Okay, some of it will be the nostalgia aspect as the toy is introduced to new generations by parents, but taking Lego as a case in point, the brand has really upped its game. Take the charity appeal to buy a brick to help build a Lego Spitfire, or licensing deals with the new Star Wars film.

Your brand is whatever other people think it is. Sure, you can influence that perception with the way it (and your company) behaves and the values by which you operate. But it’s still down to the individual what he or she thinks your brand is. The best you can do is to ensure you stay as relevant as possible to your target audiences and demonstrate that you deserve a place in their hearts and minds in a new order.

So, maybe some key things to ask yourself about your brand are:

  • How are you staying relevant to your targets?
  • Can you stay relevant alone or do you need to collaborate (with other brands, technologies)?
  • How can you leverage trend and Zeitgeist to maintain brand longevity?

Envisage: bringing brands to life!


Author: Rachel Kelsall. March 2016.

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