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Do Brands have Life Cycles?

The Tribe
December 4, 2014

Brands are typically thought of as coverings that work only as a packaging for an otherwise naked product or service. The deliverable is typically put on a pedestal (the product or service being sold) while the presentation of it is usually an afterthought taking place inside a vacuum of ambiguity.Yes, you may have a better product. Certainly, your services are unquestionably superior to your competitor’s. Of course, your branding may be elegant, even relevant – for a time. But what about in 6 months, a year, 5 years from now?Your marketing budget (if you allocate for one at all) should go beyond the initial push for new customer acquisition and name recognition. Successful marketers know that their strategic efforts have a direct effect not only on a brand’s perception, but its lifecycle.

Your brand is either alive, dying, or dead

The lifecycle of a brand can most simply be broken down in one of two ways:Birth, Maturation, DeathA product is conceived, developed, and brought to market via various channels. It receives its due recognition whether it be positive or negative. There is the initial rapid increase in sales (hopefully), then an eventual plateau as brand and market saturation reach maturity.This is normal; however, if the brand does nothing to reignite interest, capture new customers, or increase repeat returns, eventually they will dwindle into their industry’s background and are subsequently laid to rest in the graveyard of has-beens.It’s not that their product or service is inferior – in fact they may be superior – it’s that in today’s world of instant information, sitting still and not engaging current, potential, and repeat consumers on a regular basis is a sure-fire way of slowly emaciating your brand and eventually, your whole business.Birth, Maturation, Transformation, Maturation, Transformation, etc.The most successful brands are constantly in a process of transformation. Their products may remain unchanged, their services unaltered for years, but the key in their ability to continually capitalize off of the “same old thing” is by relentlessly finding new ways to capture the hearts and minds of their target audiences.Coca-Cola is still Coca-Cola, it tastes the same, is the same color, and has that unchanged familiar and satisfying burn, but Coca-Cola has consistently found new, relatable, and exciting ways to redefine what their products should mean to their customers. It’s this continual transformation that makes Coca-Cola as relevant and relatable to today’s consumers as it did over 100 years ago.

Your brand should be...

LivingThe opposite of death is life, but in order to be living there needs to be action present. Just like you groom yourself, eat, exercise, engage with friends and strangers, and do the things you love – your brand should reflect a living, breathing, and active consciousness. It should seem to have a life of its own – one with value, culture, and community. Don’t let your brand stay at home on a Friday night when it could be out engaging and captivating consumers.

Dynamic Being dynamic means to be defined by continuous, productive activity or change. Times change, people change, trends fall in and out of favor, and technology advances. Are you and your brand keeping up? Successful brands don’t fight change, they embrace it while still remaining true to their mission. Always be learning and finding ways you can transform the way you market your products and services. Create fresh ways of telling the “same old story” and you’ll be surprised how many “rereads” you get.RelatableBrands are not real people, but they need a real voice. Developing and applying human characteristics to your brand is of paramount importance. When consumers think of your brand what qualities come to mind? Empathy, reliability, honesty, humility? Being relatable goes beyond voice. It should permeate every facet of your brand – from people, to product, packaging, and presentation. If you’re relatable you can form relationships that go beyond products and are powered by people.

Let Tribu help you become the life of the party

It’s not enough to show up at a party and sit by yourself in a dimly lit corner hoping others will chat you up. At Tribu we want to make you the LIFE of the party. Let us help you transform your brand into one that is living, dynamic, and relatable – one whose value is not just made up of the products it sells, but of loyal and delighted consumers.

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Sources: New Strategic Brand Management


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