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Archive for branding

Focus Groups… who listens?

Why do organizations have focus groups? Most would say so they can cultivate ideas and get feed back on possible decisions the company is thinking of making. The only problem with this is that most companies have already made up their mind on what they are going to do prior to the focus group. One example I have is a company who has decided a name change is needed. So they hire a firm to come up with a couple of names and then have focus groups to tell them what they think. This to me seems wrong… Why would you not have a focus group to find out what is important and where your brand equity level is… after gathering information then comes the development of new names. Just a thought. Let me know what you think.

Brand Identity. To Change or Not to Change?

How often should companies change their brand identity? Every year? Every 10 years? Never? Over the past months we have seen AT&T, UPS, and Xerox all update their “look.” I think this does help you make a connection to a new generation or buying group, but does it distance you from others? I think these companies have done a good job of updating instead of changing. However I do feel some one line AT&T is keeping themselves in the news by changing from AT&T to SBC to Cingular back to AT&T…. or something like that. If you change a brand I think there are a couple of things to remember:

  1.  Do not forget your current audience. Conduct any focus groups and fact finding upfront, not to see if they like the change.
  2. Change for a good reason… i.e. to make your brand fit better with your mission, or to update your look like UPS has done.
  3. Be able to explain why to a stakeholder. You want to be able to create PR and not lose any brand equity you have established.

There are many more reason but those are a couple that came to mind. Feel free to comment and add yours.