Reboot or Rebrand – What Say You?

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There are times when we all feel our story is a little worn around the edges, when we feel like we could use a reboot or maybe even something more revolutionary. Every morning we wake up is an opportunity to shape what our own narrative will be.

For companies though, these changes probably need to happen a bit more slowly and with at least some measure of other people’s buy-in.

I had the good fortune of attending an American Marketing Association event here in the illustrious Pacific Northwest that did a great job of digging into what it means to truly ‘tear the lid off your logo’ and rethink brand. The panel was led by moderater Kevin Shively from Tagboard, with President Chris Witherspoon from DNA and CMO Carla Sandine from PATH. All of them had great insight into brand – and when it’s time to reach forward and look for new ways to connect to audiences.

What is brand anyway? Perhaps the best way of describing it is brand = experience. The experience your customers have, the experience the employees have, the experience partners have. Zappos is a brand that is built, not on shoes, but on legendary customer service.

So as we’re looking to reboot a brand, we have to ask ourselves if our company needs an evolution, or a revolution. A renovation, as Chris Witherspoon says, or a rebuild.

That all comes down to the ‘why’. This has been talked about a lot, especially here. What are you and your company going to stand for? What is the gap between where you want to be, and where you are? And what’s the bridge that will get you there?

And since your audience is truly the one that shapes your brand, how are you going to be an active participant in that discussion?

At Hand Crank, we’re working through these questions as we move to become better. As we strive to service our clients in more meaningful ways. How can we be deeper (bolder) beyond the redesign of a logo or a new website? How can our work, all of it, meet higher bigger hairier more audacious goals? Questions that are continuing to be answered.

Carla Sandine, who led an impressive rebrand herself for PATH, talk a lot about this mission and vision and how it has to continue to grow. How sometimes even people who work for the organization aren’t clear on the meaning of the ‘brand’. So just stepping in and being a change agent isn’t enough, you have to present a clear change management plan internally and externally that rationalizes the initiative. You have to get everyone, everyone, on the same page.

For those who need to measure ROI (all of us), the question really becomes ‘What opportunities are we missing out on?’ with our current brand? If it’s incremental, then a reboot may be fine. But if it’s stratospheric, and blue sky beckons, then it may be time to think about really shaking the tree.

There’s a lot of work to do around this which needs to be discussed more, of course. Making the experience better. Deeper. Bigger for everyone involved.

Evolution versus revolution. What say you?

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