Extreme Brand Makeover: Three Key Elements

For some companies, rebranding is a smart move and it’s usually clear to see that it’s needed. For other companies, the decision to rebrand or to stand pat isn’t as clear. I think too many companies may be jumping the rebranding gun when they don’t really need to. Whether it’s needed or not needed put aside, it should always be undertaken with great care to have the desired impact of really moving the impression of the brand in a new direction within its market.

Having been through several rebrandings in my career, it gets my attention when a company chooses this path. Enter T-Mobile, a brand that has fallen on hard times of late and this week will launch its rebranding campaign.

Kunur Patel, reporter for Ad Age, recently wrote “T-Mobile Talks Tough for Its Comeback, Vowing ‘No More Mr. Nice Girl.’” In the piece she provides a helpful narrative of the creative:

Carly Foulkes, the leggy brunette who has starred in T-Mobile’s ads since 2010 and been dubbed by some a DVR-proof pitch personality, is trading her usual frocks for biker leather as the wireless carrier looks to halt mass subscriber defections and uncertainty following AT&T‘s failed takeover bid. The commercial, “Alter Ego,” makes its debut this week. It finds Carly, after tearing up her closet, emerging in a black-leather jumpsuit and riding away on a motorcycle.

Although there are many considerations when rebranding, here are three key elements that must be addressed with great caution, research and planning for a successful campaign:

  1. Identification of a strong value proposition that has significant meaning to the market and that will change perceptions and drive action.
  1. Ensuring there is brand ownership of that value proposition (does the product or service truly deliver the value proposition to at least meet, but better yet exceed expectations?).
  1. The supporting creative must be new and attention getting and reinforce a change in thinking about the brand.

To be sure, although T-Mobile is using the “face” of the brand, its creative is a radical departure for the company. We can only trust that the brand executives have completed their due diligence in making the choice to rebrand, selecting their value proposition and devising their creative. Will the campaign help the brand? Only time will tell.

What would you add?

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