very many years ago, I was running my errands in the suburbs of Nairobi at a place called South B. A lady approached me and asked me if I would mind participating in a Coke advert test group. Not wanting to let her down, I consented.
They ushered me into a room where they were conducting this test of the new advert for their brand. I gave my sentiments and promptly got out even though they wanted to hold onto me a little longer. You will notice that coke takes their brand seriously and they are always refreshing it every now and then.
The power of refreshing a brand is extremely critical. Now you will have to notice that to refresh your brand does not mean that you are venturing into something totally different. If there was anything powerful about any brand, whether personal or organizational, it is consistency.
Brand consistency is critical because it keeps one relevant and authentic to their niche. In other words, you do not change the value that your brand is adding to your niche. Immediately you do that, you have already changed the brand and by extension, you might even have changed the niche.
The need for brand refreshment is for two major reasons
Brand presence is important. That is why Coca-Cola is always advertising. Perhaps they are the greatest example of peddling brand presence. You cannot take for granted the fact that you already have customers and that they will always know that you are there.
There has to be the subliminal as well as direct prodding of your brand presence to your niche. This helps you to keep maintain the niche market as well as keep acquiring new clients in the same niche market.
A brand is about how you are perceived by your audience. If you are to refresh it, it will be ostensibly because you want to somehow control the narrative of their perception. One wants their perception to be always new and refreshing in the eyes of their audience.
As a matter of fact, if your brand is not refreshed, it sends out a subliminal message to your audience that you no longer care or you are no longer open for business. That perception, even if it is not true, causes people to stop doing business with you.
However, when people realize that you are fresh, “new”, and you are still around and bold, they still want to do business with you. Besides, if you do not refresh your brand, you will be up against those who are doing the same thing in the niche, especially the new entrants. These days there is a thin line that distinguishes brands.
The following are just a few ways in which one can refresh their personal brand so that the presence and the perception are taken care of. We need to realize that we have to be intentional about this and we have to calendar it.
At times we need to refresh the brand in response to the market. You might not be in total control of what happens in the market and as things happen, you refresh your brand in response. At other times, and this is the best, we have to refresh our personal brands so that we remain market leaders and we still are on the cutting edge.
This has been spoken of especially in reference to Coca-cola. Perhaps, advertising is the simplest of all the ways of carrying out brand refreshing. A personal brand needs the same thing. When you keep telling people who you are, why you are, and what you can do, that is advertising.
Of course, Coca-cola was not necessarily reinventing the drink, they were just redoing and refreshing their ads. In so doing, the brand is refreshed. If you live in Africa, there is a detergent called OMO that has kept refreshing and refreshing. For the most part, this brand just changed ads and not their detergent.
Aesthetics form a very great pillar of brand building. At the beginning of April 2020, a local daily in Uganda rebranded and had a new logo. Their value addition did not change, their customer base did not change, but the brand was refreshed by a new design.
When you change the aesthetics of your personal brand, you are sending a message to your audience that you are caring, you are still strong and that you are perhaps redoubling your efforts in value delivery. This brand design and advertising are methods that will always cost you an arm and a leg.
If you are not entirely changing your aesthetics, make sure that the refreshing you are doing is to make you look always new and sharp. People look down on a brand that is not taken care of using the broken window theory.
Let’s pick this up in the next article.