Brand Change Starts With Destruction

Derrick DayeMay 8, 20184 min

The process of intentional change for brands — and people is a simple four-step process. First, you explore where you are. Second, you decide where you want to go. Third, you determine strategies and habits that lead you to your destination. Fourth, you implement.

It really is that simple. On paper. In real life there are obstacles, habits and fears. There are prices to be paid and sacrifices to be made. In real life, intentional change is not so easy.

There is an additional step, a prequel step, to take before making intentional change that will help make the rest of the steps easier: destruction.

You must first destroy those things that are holding you in place. Our lives are constructed to maintain the status quo; where we are. Our habits, our relationships and our schedules all reinforce maintaining what we currently do. To make intentional change, we need to destroy some of the bonds that hold us.

To burn down what is holding you back, you must be willing to light the match. The following nine thought pieces will help you torch the old to make way for the new.

1. Brands Must Recognize Their Burning Platform

Today, every business has a burning platform; a friction point between their customers’ expectations and offerings that are disrupting their business. The longer they wait to solve it, the more likely it is to burn their entire business.

2. Change Leadership: Abandon Yesterday

The first step for a change leader is to free up resources that are committed to maintaining things that no longer contribute to performance and no longer produce results. Maintaining yesterday is always difficult and extremely time-consuming. Maintaining yesterday always commits the institution’s scarcest and most valuable resources–and above all, its ablest people–to nonresults. Yet doing anything differently–let alone innovating–always creates unexpected difficulties. It demands leadership by people of high and proven ability. And if those people are committed to maintaining yesterday, they are simply not available to create tomorrow.

3. Why Brand Change Triggers Emotional Reactions

Any business or organization wanting to make changes to a brand to which people have a strong emotional connection need to ensure that changes be discussed with, approved by or co-created with the people who really ‘own’ the brand – the audience.

4. Strategically Pacing Your Brand For Change

Marketers struggle sometimes to pace brands to the speeds of consumers. There’s a tendency to believe that everything must change, change, change – and that brands that aren’t always adding or shifting will lose attention. All the talk of innovation and customer impatience fuels that. The reality is something different. Buyers need brands to be familiar and interesting, not one or the other.

5. Seven Ways To Use Story To Inspire Brand Change

At some stage, many marketers will be called upon to explain why a brand change is needed. Here’s how to frame the business case as a story, using a combination of learnings from this article on the uptake of slow ideas and Freytag’s Pyramid.

6. Evolve Or Transform: 17 Brand Factors

No business these days can just sit pretty. But the extent and nature of changes confuses many. Brands evolve. Or die. But they must also retain something of what consumers know. Or they fade. So which is more important? And how should a brand act, when?

7. Ten Brand Keys For Persuasion And Change

So often it seems to me brand owners hope to bring about change rather than planning to bring about change. They see persuasion as an awareness issue rather than as a behavioral issue – often because they regard their product as the obvious choice that somehow, miraculously will spark a “road to Damascus” moment as soon as consumers encounter it.

8. Changing The Brand Culture – To What Purpose

Around 70% of large-scale change programs fail to meet their goals – and a key reason for that, according to Gary Hamel and Michele Zanini, is that organizations cannot resist managing the implementation of change rather than looking for ways to psychologically and systematically embed it. In effect, the authors suggest, most change programs are too late, too self-serving, too autocratic and too engineered to succeed.

9. Three Rules For Brand Survival

Capitalism rests on simple, predatory logic – weak brands must die and strong brands must kill them. Only then will the consumer be served and the market improve or progress.

Co-Authored with Tim Wolski.

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