The 12 Year Window – Why Now is the Time to Invest in your Brand
Regardless of if you’re a FTSE 100 company or a start-up, a well-defined brand will give you a competitive advantage.
How? People are drawn to brands that look and sound confident about who they are. Potential customers believe that choosing a strong brand reduces the risk in a decision.
The success of a defined brand, however, can often be its own worst enemy. It tends to persuade decision-makers to leave it alone—let it tick on, day-by-day, untouched because ‘it worked’.
This is a mistake. A stagnant brand is almost as bad as no brand at all.
Everything from the images you use on your website to the words you use to describe your products demand regular review and update if you want to remain relevant and want to keep attracting the right attention.
But how do you know when it’s the right time to make a change?
That’s an interesting question, and one that brand experts around the world will all have varying opinions on. I’d argue that now is a particularly important time to keep a close eye on how you position yourself. Let me explain why…
The ‘Traditional’ Benefits of a Brand Identity Refresh
First, there’s the ‘traditional’ benefits of a brand identity refresh, which include things like:
- It can be used as an exercise to check your relevancy and ensure you’re future facing
- It can boost audience engagement
- It can foster a renewed sense of pride within the company and boost morale
- It allows you to improve and refine your message
I call these ‘traditional’ benefits not to downplay their importance but to separate them from the ‘this is the right time’ argument. Why now specifically? What’s so special about today?
The Times are Changin’
In October 2018, the IPCC announced that we have less than a 12-year window to limit global warming to 1.5°C (The Guardian, 2018). Since then, the global uproar against unsustainable practices and environmental issues has been astounding. People really care about changing the world.
On a business level, it’s B2C companies that have had to bend in the most noticeable way at the hands of this movement. In 2015, consumer goods companies that committed to sustainability saw sales grow more than 4% globally. Those that didn’t grew less than 1% (Nielsen, 2015).
In a recent Accenture survey, more than 50% of respondents said they would pay more for a sustainable product, indicating that for B2C companies the bottom line now depends on their ability to adapt to today’s purpose-driven economy.
This is not, however, exclusive to the B2C industry. Or it won’t be for long. Perhaps it’s society that will be the one to tip the scale. Perhaps science will deliver the final blow. Either way, it won’t be long before the B2B industry has to make similar changes to how it operates.
Rather than getting left behind and risking irrelevance, it makes business sense to start making the changes today. This is something many B2B companies are already doing.
Which brings us full circle to why now is the right time to invest in your brand. Many B2B companies are ensuring that they have adequate environmental initiatives in place to secure their place in the economy of tomorrow. But is that enough to ensure they pass the scrupulous test of an impassioned society?
By investing in a brand identity refresh today, companies can collect all of the ‘traditional benefits’ it typically offers, plus ensure that environmental initiatives pay off. That is, by hopping on this bandwagon (brandwagon, if you will) they’ll be able to ride the wave of a global movement and thrust their business into a position of leadership. Definitely somewhere you want to be in a time where one wrong move can damage your reputation for years to come.