You’ve heard us talk before about how “brands are living, breathing things”. For us, it’s a simple metaphor to make the point that brands must constantly evolve in order to thrive and be successful. Sometimes the need is evolutionary; for example, the environment in which they compete moves and shifts, and consumer preferences change. Then again sometimes, the need is far more urgent. The brand and its franchise may be threatened and urgent action is needed.
A Sense of Urgency
When the cantaloupe Listeria bacteria crisis hit Colorado in 2011, the media inaccurately attributed the problem to the Rocky Ford growing region. This immediately decimated the Rocky Ford Cantaloupe™ brand, a brand that had, and continues to have, a spotless safety record for over 125 years…since 1887. Consumer and retail confidence needed to be restored quickly as the 2012 season approached. The Colorado Department of Agriculture contracted with BrandWerks to help the Rocky Ford Growers Association rejuvenate their brand.
Rocky Ford Cantaloupe™ is famously known for its sweet, juicy and refreshing taste. That’s primarily because of its higher growing altitude of 4300 feet, and a special climate of hot days and cool nights that act to “seal in” the cantaloupe’s characteristic sweetness. Strong brand features. More importantly, there is a strong emotional component to the brand. Generations of growers and their families since 1887 have dedicated themselves to Rocky Ford and growing this special melon. Their enduring commitment, often in the face adversity, is the real “face” of the brand. The BrandWerks approach to television advertising is to make an emotional connection with consumers. So, what is that connection for Rocky Ford Cantaloupe™? What’s the benefit to dedicated growers producing this best tasting, always sweet and juicy cantaloupe? For us, it came down to one thing. The feeling you get when you take a bite. A smile. Now that’s a rejuvenating feeling.
Evolving the Brand
Rejuvenating the brand requires care and patience. The last thing you want to do is change a brand that doesn’t need fixing. Remember New Coke? Fortunately, many brands have evolved smartly over time.
Take Converse and the basketball shoe Chuck Taylor helped invent some 80 years ago. “Chucks” were a true breakthrough in 1923, but as the sport evolved, the flimsy shoe became hopelessly inadequate for the power game of today. The style game is different too, so add color, change the brand image, consumer target and distribution strategy… and now you’re in 3-point range!
Elevating the Brand
Brand rejuvenation is about you too. Through BrandVision™, our interactive strategy event, we got to know the story and the face behind Schlereth’s Stinkin’ Good Green Chili Sauce. As a product, Schlereth’s is outstanding. It’s also interesting, complex, versatile, colorful, and premium…in many ways just like the endorsing face behind the brand, Mark Schlereth himself. Now broadcasting on-air in a suit, Schlereth, the man, has evolved. Gone is the gridiron grit. While many recall his play on the field, people now know him from ESPN. Your brand must be consistent or you will confuse consumers. So why not evolve and elevate Schlereth’s the brand, and its package to “mirror” Schlereth the man?