Look around and brands in decay are everywhere. This post suggests radical ideas for reviving tired brands. But the experience of Direct Line shows it needs courage and genuine innovation.
Tesco once looked unstoppable but the trickle of bad news dragged it down. In fashion, Croc shoes were once red hot as was Abercrombie & Fitch. It used to have queues round the block at its flagship W1 store. But Bloomberg noted recently: “It could be too late for Abercrombie to fully revive itself.” But wait. Apple was in the doldrums in 1996 – then Steve Jobs returned and it bounced back.
So how can marketers revive brands? Stay in the game? Win the game? Or change the game? The Marketer (April 2015) thinks the answer is to change the game. The key is to challenge every assumption, not just tinker at the edges with logos or packaging. Direct Line is a great example. It pioneered direct insurance – cutting out the brokers and their fees. But later it was “disintermediated” by rivals like price comparison sites and lost its USP. So now it is discovering another: customer service. A good example of changing the game. Like its Harvey Keitel ad says: car repairs are done in 7 days or the customer gets £10/day compensation. Lost laptops can be replaced within 8 hours. And, as The Marketer reports, Direct Line has a pipeline of new ideas like that to ensure the revived brand stays fresh.