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Best Practices for Recharging Existing Brands

By: Sheri L. Koetting
Posted: July 10, 2013, from the July 2013 issue of GCI Magazine.

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Let’s say that Concept A’s goal from the creative brief was to “focus on performance.” Regardless of whether or not you personally like the design, the solution can be judged on its ability to answer that objective. So often the process becomes bogged down with disagreements over highly personal aspects such as color and typography. Brands should trust their creative brief to depersonalize these discussions and provide insights on how details such as color and type might support larger marketing goals.

Assess and Reapply

For teams who rely heavily on customer perception and have engaged in customer testing up front, now would be a great time to return to your customers with your new design concepts. Your existing brand should be tested alongside your best new creative solutions, framed with targeted goals such as “Does Concept A convey performance to you?” or “Does Concept A convey performance more than our existing brand?”

If you did not engage your customer in feedback prior to design development, now is most certainly not the time to start. Good input equals good feedback. You simply cannot ask the customer afterward if they “like” the directions presented, or if your design directions answer your targeted objectives. If the customer wasn’t involved in the framing of those objectives from the beginning, you may get confusing feedback, especially if the customer inherently disagrees with the stated objectives.

Better Branding

Research to unify key stakeholders and existing customers, combined with targeted creative exploration, allows a brand to evolve with the changing marketplace. Change is inevitable, and taking control of the process with goal-oriented planning helps to ensure a successful outcome.

Sheri L. Koetting is the co-founder and chief strategist of MSLK, a marketing and design agency based in New York. MSLK specializes in helping beauty brands find their voice in today’s crowded marketplace through 360° brand positioning—from overall brand strategy to brand identity, packaging, retail experience, websites and social media campaigns.;