BY VINCE KERRIGAN
STRATEGIC SOLUTIONS MANAGER, VITAL COMMUNICATIONS
Rebrands are becoming more popular in the food and beverage industry as brand owners seek to revive dipping product sales and enhance consumer experience. But what can be done to ensure they’re successful?
Hellmann’s is the latest food brand to be refreshed in order to reposition its offering in a way that will appeal to modern consumers. The rebrand is inspired by the brand’s New York deli roots and features its iconic blue ribbon, which was originally used by Richard Hellmann when the brand’s mayonnaise product was first marketed in 1913. According to Unilever, the rebrand is a response to consumer demand for ‘authentic and natural’ food products.
Have a strategic plan
Often, the best rebrands arise organically when a brand is taking stock of its current market position – there may have been a dip in sales or there may be a desire to consolidate a position of market leadership, particularly if a new entrant is threatening to erode market share. In some instances, the business may also believe that there is an opportunity to realign its brand to better reflect customer preferences.
Define the scale and scope
Once a decision to rebrand is agreed, a thorough examination of the scale and scope of the required changes should take place. In the food and drinks sector, brands commonly offer a variety of product ranges, which might appeal to different segments of the market. Due to this complexity, it can be easy to overlook the full extent of the rebrand project. Brand owners should start by considering the impact the rebrand will have across its entire product offering taking into account all physical and digital assets.
Take a phased approach
When considering the logistical process, it is usually best to start with back-end systems. While it is not always possible, if there is the option to stagger the rollout of the rebrand, this should be considered. For example, the first step might be to focus on packaging designs and point-of-sale campaigns. Wider marketing and advertising campaigns could follow. Phasing also allows time to tweak brand messaging during the rollout.
Select supply partners carefully
Even the most well-planned rebrand projects can alter significantly in terms of their scope once underway. Therefore, brand owners should aim to select supply partners carefully to ensure they have the resources and flexibility to meet any shifts in demand. Keeping a close and open line of communication with suppliers will also help to ensure they always know what is happening and will help to ensure they can react quickly if needed.
Stay focused on the end-user
There is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to planning and implementing a rebrand project. Ensuring the new brand strategy is driven by real customer insights is fundamental to bringing about changes that go deeper than just switching visual identities. Customer research should inform and influence the rebrand initiative.
Review and evaluate
Don’t wait until after the rebrand to evaluate the success of the activity – this should be carried out at each stage of the project to ensure it is having the desired effect.
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