Re-Branding Case: Old Spice

October 15, 2017

 

Shakespeare might have asked what's in a name, but if you’re marketing you know that the answer to this question is EVERYTHING. Would you buy Brad’s Drink or look for something on Backrub? Probably not. These were the original brand names for Pepsi and for Google. Branding is not only what you call your product, its what sells your product. Branding gives your product or service its identity and its appeal. Let’s face it, branding is not only the beginning but the end of your product. Sound Around, the original name of Sony’s Walkman, didn’t speak to a generation of boom box toting teens. Walkman spoke to them and said get me and walk gently with your music. That’s what caught the attention of their desired buyers. 

 

New Face -Old Product 

 

Ok you say, that’s a great idea for new things but my brand has been around for ages and it just isn’t doing it anymore.  There is a light at the end of the tunnel. Let’s look at a product that’s been around for donkeys ages OLD SPICE. In the 1950s or 60s Old Spice was a staple in most homes that had a man living there.  Suddenly, the deodorant was not selling.  It simply did not appeal to 25 year olds who thought of the brand as something for old men, for their fathers. They did not want to smell like an old man.                                                                                 

 

What did the marketing geniuses do? 

 

First, they changed the picture on their product. The stalwart colonial ship became a yacht. Then they looked at their target audience and said who do we need to reach. Their best audience was teen age boys who were just beginning to use deodorant. Who do guys like this look up to – you got it, a football hero. They got the American actor and former NFL practice squad wide receiver Isaiah Mustafa, to do a TV commercial, The Man Your Man Could Smell Like him and suddenly Old Spice the old man’s smell was the second best selling deodorant. Now, this was a young man's product.  They went on to create a massively successful YouTube campaign that went viral overnight gathering more than 5 million hits the first day. They went on to create more funny videos even targeting women who buy most of the products needed by family members. In 2010 Old Spice became the official wash of the NFL (National Football League), quite a change from their 17% market share in 1980. Old Spice may be 75 years old, but their re-branding strategy has really made them new spice. 

 

Re-Brand or Refresh? 

 

Re-branding changes everything and repositions your product or service. Old Spice needed to kill the images created with the birth of the product in 1934 and re-brand their product as something new, fresh and exciting. Re-branding is necessary to redefine your product or service for new target markets.  If your product has a robust market and loyal customers, then a refresh may be all that is needed. A brand refresh is more than the normal tweaks that keep your adverts up to date. It changes the look and feel of your brand and the way it relates to your markets while keeping the core value of your product intact.   

 

AQ Group - Language Solutions can help you create the right brand for the right target market.

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