If you were online at all last week, you couldn’t miss Twitter’s chaotic rebrand to X. It was immediately met with resistance, appearing to be a job half done. For instance, Elon Musk gave the platform’s users control of the logo, a decision that meant the organisation likely had no immediate legal rights to protect it – leaving it at risk of brand hijacking.
A rebranding announcement should never feel like it’s coming out of blue, it should be a natural step – an evolution of a business.
Defining a brand is an important strategic decision that, if done well, becomes the blueprint for an organisation. They are the starting point for businesses to demonstrate and communicate who they are.
If businesses – in both corporate and consumer sectors – don’t fully understand how important brand can be across a range of activities, it can lead to incoherence in dealing with key stakeholders, including with politicians, business leaders, the media, and consumers.
It is my opinion that all organisations should regularly undertake brand audits to help leaders understand the wider environment they operate in. A lot of what makes up a brand audit is market analysis on a micro and macro scale, and so brand audits can help understand important external perceptions, calibrate appropriate engagement strategies, and keep other business decisions sound.
Ben & Jerry’s is one of my favourite examples of a business that grows, and makes big decisions based on its brand strategy. Through eye-catching political positioning, and carving out a clear place in a crowded market, an ice cream brand has become a social campaigner (that actually makes a difference).
To achieve this, the most important thing that Ben & Jerry’s has done is to keep their finger on the pulse in terms of how their external communications relate back to their evolving brand and how they can be a reliable ally to their customers.
At the end of the day, any big strategic shift is accompanied by a hefty cost, so to my mind it makes most sense to have all the facts and not leave it up to chance. If you’re anyone but Elon Musk, there is much to be gained by putting trust in the data, and in the finer details, before embarking on a major branding change.
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