Summary. Building a comeback brand will require you to adopt a different mindset and approach than typical in a rebranding effort. It starts with asking the right question from the beginning to lay the groundwork for creating the best possible brand for your company.
It’s a familiar story.
Business was great.
The pipeline was full.
Sales were peaking.
More people joined the payroll.
The company had its best quarter ever.
And then one day the CEO realizes the tides within his or her company started moving in the opposite direction. It’s not the market. It’s not the industry. It’s something else.
Business went from great to just okay.
Sales turned lukewarm.
Those people added to the payroll are hunting for something to do.
The company’s last two quarters have shown a southerly trend.
Did a new competitor woo away customers?
Did a competing company’s new game-changing product or service seem more appealing?
Was the company’s reputation damaged?
When the good times were rolling, did the CEO or some of his or her people take a little break from the hard work that paid off so well, allowing a status quo to take deep root within the organization? Maybe just enough of a break to make it easier for a competitor to catch up, exploit the company’s weaknesses and appear a little more attractive to its current and prospective customers?
Let’s assume you’ve been retained as the company’s turnaround CEO. What would be your winning move to reverse the company’s unsettling trend?
- Accept the situation and hope things improve?
- Give a state-of-the-company pep talk to re-motivate and re-engage your people?
- Make some internal changes and improvements? (e.g., spend more on marketing, expand sales incentives, build more brand visibility through networking, etc.)
- Or do you get to work on building your comeback brand?
What would be more exciting to you? What would be more exciting for your team? What would be more exciting for your customers?
Deep down, you know the answer.
And no, I’m not necessarily talking about changing the name of the company. (Although, that may certainly be a consideration.)
Building a comeback brand will require you and your team to start at the ground level, starting with the question:
“If I were to build a company that would put mine out of business, how would I do it?”
(Brand: A set of distinctions a company owns that make a positive and noteworthy difference in the lives of its customers.)
This question will naturally place you in the mindset needed to build the strongest possible comeback brand for your company. It will drive you to examine every component of your business from the ground up, starting with your business plan.
You will begin to tediously question everything within your plan. Along the way, you will make needed modifications based on the benefits of your 20/20 hindsight. You will look at yourself like you would a competitor – searching for your weaknesses and how you can exploit them as you formulate your comeback brand.
How will you outperform yourself in all those critical metrics, such as sales, market share, mind share, innovation, etc? What changes will you need to make? How will you redefine and build your company culture? What values will you need to adopt? What’s your new strategy?
Most importantly, what will be your company’s new mindset?
You’ll ask yourself if the people who helped you get to where your company is today are the same people who will help you get to your next destination in terms of sales, market share, and mind share. I’ll never forget hearing from a business owner who revealed that some of the friends and family he leaned on to help him start his business were not the same people who would help him leap into a leadership position in his industry. For some, the answer was “no” and had to let them go. (They did receive handsome severance packages.) Likewise, you’ll need to determine if you have the people and culture to build and launch your comeback brand.
And let’s not underestimate marketing opportunities. People love “comebacks,” whether it is an athlete, an actor, or yes, a brand. A comeback is something new. It arouses curiosity and interest. It gives prospective customers a reason to try your company while giving former customers inspiring reasons to give your brand another shot.
If you’re looking for examples of higher-profile brands that came back from the depths of the abyss, click here.
Is it time to pump new life into your brand? Is it time to freshen up and update your why along with renewed value propositions and a new brand promise? Is it time to reassess your values and approach your business and customers from a new direction?
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