My company is changing rapidly – should my marketing follow suit?
Absolutely – there’s no better time in the history of a company to become aggressive with a new marketing image than during a major shift in the organization. Change creates change and makes room for even more change. Nowhere is that more true than your market presence.
I’m not saying that a major change is necessarily the time to completely reinvent the wheel (although that’s worked for Hyundai and Ruby Tuesday, to name a few). But it’s the perfect time to consider some changes that are a big deal nonetheless. These changes include your marketing message, logo and branding, website, print collateral, ad spend, sales materials, etc.
We’re very fortunate have several clients who have trusted us to help them through major organizational change. One client had tripled sales over the past year and needed to appear bigger and more substantial. Another had been bought out by a financial investor and needed to change from a family owned image to a corporate image to reel in the big accounts. Still another saw a new generation taking over a business and wanting to break away from their parent’s stagnant marketing vision. The old vision had worked in the past but needed a major update to take advantage of new technology.
There were some things that were consistent for all of these change efforts that can be leveraged in your changing organization:
1. Obtain a mandate – the decision to change the marketing strategy and market presence must come from the top. Getting the c-level on board is the first step to a successful change.
2. Stick with what works – if you have a great brand or great messaging that is still making you money, then they should stay and the focus should be on leveraging these assets into new applications.
3. Create variations on a theme – starting over for a company is very rarely starting from scratch. Work with your marketing team to identify how current assets can be tweaked to keep some of the key elements (colors, shapes, words) while building a new image around it.
4. Be ready to massage egos – very often, marketing elements (logos in particular) have an emotional connection to some within your company and any change efforts will meet some resistance. Managing the emotions of change is often harder than managing the change itself.
5. Try it and see what happens – the market will let you know if you’re wrong. Crystal Clear Pepsi is a perfect case study of the best minds in the world making a bad call and then cutting their losses. New and fresh works 95% of the time, but you have to maintain the calm necessary to recognize if your company falls in the other 5% and develop a plan to fix it.
Marketing is about providing the right information to the right person at the right time. A strategic change to a marketing plan that compliments a major organizational shift can be used to revitalize the company’s image and re-energize the market about your company.
If you have any questions about your own change or are looking for some advice on moving forward, please don’t hesitate to give us a shout!