Why do most brand relaunches fail

Each month, our two agencies get together to debate and tackle brand and industry challenges and this month, fuelled by one of our favourite OTC throat lozenges and a vat of coffee, we debated an (often uncomfortable) truth about brand relaunches.

Quite a lot of them – in fact, most of them – simply don’t resonate with consumers.

This is just the kind of challenge that we love to tackle in our Friday sessions. The teams at both Creative Leap and Legend Engage have spent their working lives creating brand restages for some of the healthcare and pharma industry’s best-loved brands, including Juverderm, Seven Seas and Viviscal.

So we set about thinking how we could change this; what advice we would give to any client about to plan out their 2017 brand activity – and which pitfalls we would avoid. Here’s our starter for five…

1.       Success starts with the robustness and relevance of your data 

We use realtime insights powered by Mapper360 to identify, target and uncover genuine sentiments amongst a brand’s most high-value audiences. These real-time, far-reaching and robust insights inform each stage, from packing design to ingredients to product categories

2.       If you start with creative, you’ll never win

Is it any wonder that 72% of consumers couldn’t name a brand launch that impressed them? Most brands work in isolation from the millions of consumers who use them each day and rely on them for their health, pain relief or peace of mind. We are hardwired to create solutions before we’ve properly interrogated sentiment, need state, attitudes, awareness and appetite. This can’t be achieved in old school qual groups – and when you can uncover representative data from several thousand in your target audience when they are authentically interacting online (either via social insights or specialist social consumer panels), why would you only ask 20 or so at a time, in an unrealistic focus group setting?

3.       If you start by looking back, you’re starting on the back foot

Smart insights do not simply report on what has happened and what people think. Valuable as that is, it’s only useful in brand restaging when deployed by strategic marketers to create an innovative, future proof brand solution.

When we were tasked with restaging Viviscal we started with the emerging trend amongst older women for thicker, more lustrous hair and correctly predicted that this would continue to grow. For the first time in over 40 years, fashion forward women over 40 have embraced long hair. We created the Viviscal Gorgeous Growth range of densifying shampoo, conditioner and elixir to complement the existing supplements product and developed and researched a new stand out packaging look and feel for the range. 

So back to that stat on consumer indifference… if most brand restages fail because of lack of genuine consumer data, and a focus on developing creative without actionable, future-proof insights, is it any wonder that the end result does not resonate or inspire consideration, purchase and loyalty?

Using our Mapper360 and Brandscape methodology, we springboard brands into more successful relaunches, restages and brand extensions. With a typical project taking up to 2 years to relaunch, this initial ‘Springboard’ stage, which can be delivered in as little as 8 weeks, ensures that the brand leaps to success and doesn’t plummet into oblivion.

Creative Leap and Legend Engage work across brand insights, brand restaging and brand strategy. Email david.gray@creativeleap.com or kath@legendengage.com for more information on Brand Springboard.