Too often consistency and renewal are set up as mutually exclusive adversaries. We either dogmatically bring the brand to life in tried and tested fashions, or we change, and in changing accept a loss of continuity that could be to the detriment of the brand’s equity for a period of time.
But does it really have to be like this?
Any brand strategy should be regarded as a ‘direction’ for the company that articulates the ambitions it has for its reputation. In order to own that reputation it may need to show flexibility. If the brand has values it wants to convey, it’s logical that it will to take actions to demonstrate these values and making these demonstrations real means the brand will have to evolve at the pace that its stakeholders and society moves at. This keeps the brand fresh and maintains momentum. After all, what felt innovative in 1990 is unlikely to feel innovative in 2010.
So perhaps the only way to keep a brand consistent is to accept that it needs to constantly renew.
Too often branding work is regarded as a ‘fix’ in its own right, or a solution to a problem or deficiency. This mindset allows businesses to feel that they have ‘done’ the brand whereas in reality branding is a continual an ongoing process. Once the brand is regarded as an asset, then like any other business asset there is a recognition that the brand needs sustained activity if its value is to grow.
Branding work that seeks to persuade an organisation that from here on in the brand shouldn’t be touched or is ‘off limits’ is misguided and ultimately won’t deliver the true value of the brand to its constituents. Brands have to be regarded as a living business asset that feeds off activity to grow and live.
Does your brand feel like it’s alive?