Having done a few kiwi brand ‘revitalisation’ projects, we are often asked by our clients whether they need a brand overhaul or a nudge. Unfortunately, ‘IT DEPENDS……’ is never an answer they want to hear.
So, we have developed a quick-fire EMPOWER cheat sheet to help our clients answer this question:
- Has the sales growth of this brand stagnated or declined?
A good initial indicator that a brand needs some work is if sales have stagnated or declined. Year on year growth is what every business strives to achieve. If your sales have plateaued or gone down, you need to take a long hard look and try to work out why. Has your entire category declined or stagnated or is it just your brand?
- Are your distributors/retailers asking you to reduce or remove your range lately?
Retailers and distributors have limited space and are constantly reviewing sales figures to ensure that space is given to high performing brands that will bring them the most profit. If you have been asked to reduce or remove your range from some key retailers, you know that consumers are not purchasing your products like they used to.
- Are your competitors growing faster than you and looking better than you?
Competitors who are growing faster than you and taking a bigger share of your market are always cause for concern. If you have noticed your competitors are achieving better than you, chances are that it hasn’t gone unnoticed by your retailers/distributors, your consumers and other companies competing in your segment of the market. What are the reasons that consumers are choosing to purchase the goods or services of your competitors instead if your offering? Success attracts success so you want to make sure you’re the one standing tall as an example of what others want to achieve.
- Are you facing new competitors for the first time and are their brands are in stores that you would only dream of?
You might have noticed new players in your market segment who have established themselves as a viable competitor. They may have their products in the same stores or even in stores that you aspire to be in. How did they manage to enter your market and leapfrog you, landing key display space that gets your product or service in front of the right consumer?
- Does your staff groan and head for the hills at the prospect of working on this brand?
A sure sign that a brand needs some work is when employees who are dedicated and enthusiastic on other areas of your business suddenly become disaffected and busy when there is work to do on this brand. It is hard for anyone to be excited about working on a brand and talking to customers when all they can see around them are challenges and problems without any solutions.
- Do you get more negative feedback than positive from your customers?
Largely positive feedback is a good sign that your customers are generally happy and satisfied that your products and services are meeting their needs. It can be good to receive feedback from your customers on what isn’t working so you can address the issues and ensure they don’t keep happening. However, if you notice that the feedback you receive is overwhelming negative, it is a sure sign that something fundamental in your business is not working.
- Do you want to attract another segment of the market but just can’t get their attention?
So you’ve identified another segment of the market that you think your products could be successful in but to date, everything you’ve tried to break into that segment and make your mark has failed. Although there could be other reasons why you’re not getting traction, a good place to start is your brand. How do potential customers perceive you? Do you measure up to competitors in this space? Is your message getting lost in the increasingly crowded market place? What can you do to stand out and get noticed?
These thought provokers are simple but an effective starter to answer ‘Is it a brand overhaul or a nudge?’
NB: This article was published in the EMA “Business Plus” magazine. Enterprises of all types and sizes join the Employers and Manufacturers Association, for opportunities to learn and grow, make valuable business connections and change the world. EMA provides its members with professional advice and training to succeed in many aspects of business.