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Brand evolution is necessary for any companies who want to enjoy sustained long-term growth

Do You Need a Brand Evolution? Take Notes From These 3 Companies

Phillip Reinhardt

Brands have evolved from simply companies that produce goods and service you can rely on to something much more than that. Driven largely by social media, a brand today needs to be exciting and something that people are proud to associate with. Consumers want to share their favorite brands with the family and friends, engage with them on social media, and make them an important part of who they are.

Navigating these waters properly provides your brand great awareness, a sense of consistency, customer loyalty, and much more. However, that means you need to evolve with the times. You need to make sure your brand is still just as relevant and participatory as it ever was.

To help you understand brand evolution even better, here are three examples of companies that were able to evolve to improve their brand and overall performance:

1. Coca-Cola

In its most recent earnings report, Coca-Cola announced that its overall drink volume improved by 3% in the first quarter of 2018, led by strong performance by Coke Zero and Diet Coke. This is on the heels of a concerted effort to improve its outdated Diet Coke brand. In order to freshen up and appeal to a younger audience, Coca-Cola redesigned their Diet Coke cans earlier this year, making them slimmer and taller. After thorough testing and tweaking, they also released four new flavors in bright, colorful cans: Ginger Lime, Feisty Cherry, Zesty Blood Orange, and Twisted Mango. Simultaneously, they bolstered their digital marketing to include a heavier focus on QR codes and augmented reality.

The takeaway here is that Coca-Cola realized it wasn’t performing well with a specific audience that was critical to their brand – Millennials. They took specific steps to rectify that, including redesigning their packaging, focusing on different marketing channels, and improving their product. This led to tangible results that kept their investors happy.

Coca-Cola was able to evolve their brand by identifying their weaknesses and finding specific ways to improve

2. Netflix

Today, Netflix is one of the world’s largest companies and is often looked at as the company that killed Blockbuster, who simply couldn’t evolve with the times. The truth is, though, that Netflix wasn’t always ahead of the curve. In fact, they were around for almost ten years before they even offered video streaming.

At the height of its popularity in 2011, Netflix announced that they were killing their plans that included both streaming and DVDs-by-mail. Instead, they spun the mail business into a separate business entity, known as Qwikster, and consumers were outraged. Shares dropped from $300 to about $65 in less than six months. Netflix quickly recovered by scrapping the plan, forever removing Qwikster from existence, and refocusing on what they saw as the future – streaming. Today, Netflix still offers DVDs via mail, but their main focus is on not only offering television shows and movies via streaming, but producing them.

The takeaway here is that you need to make changes carefully. A mistimed step can cause consumers to drop you quickly. While Netflix was able to avoid disaster, it halted their momentum significantly. When they did misfire, however, they accepted it and fixed their mistake as quickly as possible.

3. Domino’s Pizza

About ten years ago, Domino’s had a serious problem: people didn’t like their pizza. Sales dropped consistently from 2006 until 2008. They needed to turn things around. Eventually, they came to the conclusion that their product wasn’t up to snuff and decided to do something revolutionary – admit it. Over the next several years they improved their pizza considerably and ran marketing campaigns about it, admitting that their previous pizza simply wasn’t good enough. This honestly, along with an early adoption of online ordering, compelled people to give them another chance. It worked. Since then, Domino’s stock price has skyrocketed from $9 per share to over $180.

Your takeaway from Domino’s is that the truth isn’t always pretty, but you need to embrace it. Domino’s wasn’t performing well because they had a bad reputation for a good reason. Their product simply wasn’t good enough. By being honest and facing their problems head-on, Domino’s was able to turn things around and evolve into a brand people believe in again.

Keep in mind that brand evolution doesn’t always need to be as extraordinary as the examples discussed above. If you’re in-tune with your marketplace and customers, you can simply make improvements as you can, evolving as necessary. And if you’re not sure how to get started, or what direction your brand needs to take, we’re here to help. Just click here to reach out to us and we’ll help get your brand on the track to success!