Flower arranging

Alex Baldock: Branding is more than just a flower arrangement

‘Baldock! Branding is just the floral arrangement, isn’t it? The man who shot me (years ago) was a professor of marketing at Harvard, so I suspected a trick question. But it got me thinking.

It’s always like that. What can a brand do for a business today? And when is the right time to change brands? This has been in mind recently as we embarked on rebranding our business to Currys.

After all, renaming thousands of customer touch points, from vans to uniforms to 300 stores, is no small feat. And putting long-standing brands like PC World, Dixons, Team Knowhow and Carphone Warehouse on the back burner doesn’t come lightly, cheaply or without risk.

So it must be worth it. In this case, I think so, for four reasons.

First, get customer recognition for everything you do. Many weren’t sure they were dealing with the same company when they bought a washing machine in Currys, had it installed by Team Knowhow, upgraded their mobile to Carphone, or their laptop to PC World. From now on, we will be recognized for everything we do for our customers, whether it is electrical or mobile products, products or services.

Second, rebranding can help you evolve what you stand for. In our case, we’ve always been known to help customers choose new technology in a store. Now we want to be known for helping them choose, afford and enjoy their technology, bringing them the best of online selling and shopping together. We want to be famous for the services as well as for the products; and for omnichannel, not just stores.

Third, a better economy. People often worry about the short-term cost of taking down established brands, and we need to be aware of that. At the same time, a strong brand gives us real leverage in marketing. Every pound we spend supports every part of our business. In our case, we had a head start. We saw the power of moving to one brand when we brought our entire Norwegian company together under the Elkjop name six years ago. It worked and gave us an encouraging precedent and a proven business case.

And it’s not just for cost optimization that successful businesses often put their weight behind their strongest brands. These brands also attract customers. Today who remembers Midland Bank or the Marathon bar – HSBC and Snickers are household names. Closer to home in retail, who now remembers Isme, which was grouped together in Very? Nor was it the most difficult decision to put our shoulder behind Currys, for 130 years the best-known and most trusted brand in tech retail.

Last, but not the least, rebranding can be beneficial for both colleagues and clients. If you bring together previously disjointed businesses into one, this can best be reflected by a single brand. “I work for Currys” is what we can all say now.

There is a clue, and a potential trap, in this last point. An integrated business can be best reflected by a single brand. But if you don’t actually fit in with the business, don’t bother with rebranding. It only works if the branding reflects what you actually do, if the brand is backed by substance.

This is true not only for colleagues, but also for customers. We had to be convinced that, for the customers, we had made sufficient progress on the basis of our transformation. On improved retail basics like range, availability and price. On an easier customer experience. On building a stronger online business and providing each customer with the benefits of selling online and shopping together. And on services – helping the customer not only to choose a product, but also to afford it, to get started, to give it a longer life and get the most from it. When we were confident enough about this substance, we changed our name.

The other way – sticking the mark on nothing below – only breeds cynicism. The other way is just the flower arrangement.

Disclaimer

Curries plc published this content on November 09, 2021 and is solely responsible for the information it contains. Distributed by Public, unedited and unmodified, on November 10, 2021 11:04:21 AM UTC.


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