Wellness brand building through a brand refresh
Competing in the health and wellness category gets tougher every day. Segments are increasingly more crowded, are overlapping and converging and consumers are upping the ante on what they expect wellness brands to contribute – not only to their lives, but to society and the planet.
Given this backdrop, it’s possible over time to become stuck or stalled. Helping a brand reset when it’s facing brand decline is a common problem that brand marketers grapple with every day.
To create new energy when the momentum is lost – a rebranding, repositioning or brand refresh are all viable solutions. But before the operation can begin, there needs to be a full examination of the brand in order to identify the right course of action.
When figuring out how to make a brand relevant again, you need to look at where the category, consumers and culture are going, but also back to what made your brand great in the first place. The best brand revitalizations are a careful balance of making something feel relevant and up to date without losing the brand’s integrity – who it is, what people associate with it and its enduring truth.
Honing In On The Right Brand Building Solution
All three of the aforementioned brand building solutions can help a company remain current, relevant and profitable. Individual circumstances dictate which strategic branding approach is the most appropriate. Each branding solution also requires a different level of organization-wide commitment.
A Company Rebranding
A company rebranding includes updating the brand identity, starting with name and logo. As all brand assets are on the table, it’s the most demanding of the three brand building directions. Examples of a company rebranding include Weight Watchers rebranding to WW (given today’s new definitions of health and wellness), Dunkin Donuts rebranding to Dunkin (to transform into a beverage-led, on-the-go brand) and CVS Caremark rebranding to CVS Health (to reflect its broader health commitment). One of our own Trajectory rebranding successes includes Cerebral Palsy of North Jersey rebranding as Pillar Care Continuum.
A Brand Repositioning
A company repositioning includes changing what customers associate with the brand. This typically entails a change in the brand’s promise and its personality to strengthen marketplace distinctiveness, image and reputation, along with updating marketing strategy.
It does not include changing the company name. Examples include Old Spice (from old and stodgy to contemporary, category leader), Spotify (from free music to original content and curated playlists) and Taco Bell (from cheap Mexican food to youth lifestyle brand).
A Brand Refresh
A brand refresh is a reimagining of a brand’s look and feel for a business that is fundamentally strong but feels stale or outdated. And it can have a powerful, wide-ranging impact on business performance and employee connection.
Depending on the company and the issues it’s facing, a brand refresh can include adjustments to culture, slogans, services, and visual and verbal language across a multitude of brand touchpoints. Two recent examples include Trajectory’s work for leading fertility benefits company Progyny, and our refresh of health services company The Wellness Way.
Common Across All Three Strategic Brand Initiatives
In any brand building initiative – whether company rebranding, repositioning or brand refresh – the starting point is your customer and the key problem your health or wellness brand can uniquely solve. To build relevance, you must understand your primary audience – beyond their demographics to their pain points, attitudes and behaviors.
The ultimate goal for any branding initiative is to establish stronger engagement with a target audience. And more (emotionally) engaged customers translate to positive consumer behavior, sales and profitability.
Pinpointing The Right Time For A Brand Refresh
Here are a few indications that the time might be right for your company to consider a brand refresh (versus a complete company rebranding or repositioning). Of course, all of these factors below need to be taken into consideration, diagnosed and weighed before determining the right path forward.
Growth Has Stalled
It’s inevitable that all businesses experience stalled growth at some point. If you’ve stalled out and want to grow faster, a brand refresh can be the jolt of new brand energy you require. Of course, it’s necessary to go deep to find the root of the problem. External forces impacting this slowdown could include aggressive competition, changing industry dynamics and evolving customer priorities.
Regardless, your brand differentiation has faded and you need to 1) bring customers back into the fold, 2) rejuvenate sales and 3) create renewed internal engagement companywide.
Competition Has Changed
Across multiple health and wellness segments, competitors are rewriting the rules of the game. Segments are overlapping, converging and being reimagined. Diversity and innovation are driving the industry forward and defining a new era of wellness for the modern consumer.
- Allbirds is changing behavior within Athleisure and Fashion.
- Mirror (purchased by Lululemon) is disrupting Fitness.
- Parsley Health is reimagining the future of healthcare.
- Seed Health is stewarding the future of how people use bacteria to restore human and planetary health.
- Ginger is changing the mindset about mental healthcare.
The list goes on. If your brand is starting to blend in, then you’re going to need new and unique ways to recapture your audience’s interest.
Brand Attention Has Fallen Off
A great brand gives your customers a reason to sit up and take notice. If you know that customers are just as happy with your products as they’ve always been, but you’re not gaining ground in the market, this could be a sign that your brand has lost its appeal.
There are plenty of ways to tell whether your audience has pulled back from your branding, and the first indicator is that you’re witnessing a slowdown in sales. Regaining brand momentum could be something as simple as refreshing brand design and brand messaging.
Your Company Has Evolved
A brand is typically born around a particular product or service. As the business evolves, new products, services and experiences are introduced. These changes mean that the company has to reimagine the brand’s identity to align with the business and the promises it’s making to customers old and new.
As the business evolves, it’s smart to keep an eye on your total brand experience (strategy, design, communications, actions) and take note of any limitations that might impede business growth and attract a wider range of customers.
Your Brand Experience Is Inconsistent Across Offline and Online Channels
A successful branding strategy hinges upon consistency in look, feel and behavior. It’s easy for print assets and digital assets to become disjointed since they can be overseen by different teams, so updates in one don’t necessarily translate to the other. Aligning both digital and print marketing strategies is essential to building brand confidence and trust.
Remaining Fresh and Relevant
If business is fundamentally strong, but you feel like your brand might be lagging, a brand refresh is a viable solution to creating new brand, customer and employee momentum.
Every company should be evolving in response to the market. This is particularly true in a category as dynamic as health and wellness. Chances are that if brand design, brand messaging and brand marketing haven’t been revamped in years, your wellness brand may be lagging the business and your vision for the company.
Look at a brand refresh as a way to fine-tune (not totally reinvent) your brand. While a company rebranding is a total reset, and a brand repositioning is also a more foundational exercise, a brand refresh allows a company to highlight its unique position in the marketplace, reinforce its value, more effectively compete in the future and and gain new traction with customers.
As a hybrid brand consultancy / marketing agency specializing in helping health and wellness clients grow stronger brand-led businesses, Trajectory is often engaged to help clients reenergize their brands when the momentum is lost. Reach out for a no-obligation consultation.