Brand Makeover Part 1

Your Brand Makeover: Part 1 of 6

This blog post is the first in a six-part series called “Your Brand Makeover.” The idea behind the series is to address a range of issues, concerns, and questions a CPG might encounter when undertaking a brand makeover. Our goal is to provide guidance so projects like this can come in on budget and on time, as well as exceed the sales and share goals--maybe even more, but more about that later.

Let’s get going!

After months of research, consumer studies, and analysis you’re elated to hear your brand makeover proposal has been approved by senior management. Consumer satisfaction with your product came back solid during your research phase and you have several product innovations in the pipeline that will keep you ahead of the pack.

But you’ve confirmed the need for a stronger shelf presence, plus the need for consumers to more easily pick the right item from your product portfolio. You also face a growing assortment of competitive products that are slightly less expensive than your product and almost as good in quality.

So, where do you begin? You want to focus on changes to your packaging that will help differentiate your product at the shelf, but you also know the competition won’t stand still while you complete your brand makeover. On top of all that, your senior management will only give you about nine months to get the brand makeover on the shelf instead of the 12-14 months you requested.

The logical starting point is to look at the launch date and then plan backwards to determine what has to be done and when. Projects like this typically get moving on the assumption you can use the same process in the same order as you have in the past to accomplish all the work, but in less time. It’s kind of the old “do more with less” corner you find yourself backed into when the schedule gets condensed. Unfortunately, this approach doesn’t always produce the most successful results.

Answers to the following questions will help you streamline the planning and development process:

1: Who is the ultimate leader of your project (department and specific individuals), and who has to be at the table at what stages of the project?

2: Assuming you will not be doing a brand makeover every year, or even every five years, what do you know and believe about your target market, and how do you position your project to win on the shelf not just now, but where your target market will be five years from now?

3: Your package is the most important part of your representation of your brand at the critical moment when choices are made by consumers. It has limited geography to convey information that is sometimes mandatory. But how do you allocate what you will do with the rest of the geography available, and maintain flexibility for unforeseen situations in the future?

4: Packaging is more than design. It’s also about functionality. What aspects of your product interact with the packaging covering it, in what ways, and how does the design process influence selection of the packaging materials and the manufacturing process(es)?

5: What ROI can you expect from changes to your package design in your brand makeover and how much are you willing to invest from your expected share and revenue gains back into the look and function of your package?

As you might expect, a brand makeover covers a lot of ground. We’ll address each question in subsequent posts, so stay tuned as we help you along the way to a successful brand makeover that comes in on time, under budget, and ahead of sales and share goals. And maybe more for you ... like a promotion!

John Giesfeldt, Senior Manager-Marketing