It is increasingly common to see well known, and reputable brands appealing to fresh markets in order to stay relevant in the marketplace. Discarding heritage and subverting their ‘traditions’ can be hugely beneficial for brands to stay up to date within an increasingly information saturated world with a multitude of global brand choices.
March’s Trendwatching report explains how brands reputations are no longer sacred when it comes to their heritage. Five aspects of ‘Heritage Heresy’ were explored and we’ve provided an interesting round up below to keep you in the know:
1. Brand Baggage
2. New Normal
3. Clean Slate Competition
4. Tumblurred lines
5. Not-so-virgin consumers
So what is ‘brand baggage’? When a company tries to constantly practice irrelevant and old-fashioned values, it can not only miss out on fresh new consumers, but also develop an inapplicable image within the market. It is also shown that the motto’s ‘Our brand must always…’ and ‘Our brand must never…’ are some of the most damaging values a brand can employ. Just like a previous un-successful relationship, rules shouldn’t be carried across into new and fresh markets, especially where they aren’t welcome.
In plain language, brands that have been around for a long time need to adapt and align to fresh consumer values, rather than focussing on their traditional and irrelevant ones. This will help them re-establish the brand, rather than it falling by the wayside. An example provided by the Trendwatching report was that of Moet’s new release of a more affordable sparkling wine made in India – now sold in vending machines in Britain’s Selfridges. Moet has subsequently removed themselves of their heritage baggage and claimed a new spotlight within the new global industry with affordable and relevant product options.
The ‘New Normal’ extensive growth in a universal market, free from the constraints of demographics. As the flow of information becomes greater, consumers become unpredictable in a demographic sense. No longer are generalised demographic samples useful in defining consumer patterns. This is not to say niche and small target markets don’t have a place within brand marketing – however now more than ever there is a need for globalised, unanimous brands. Examples of this are global demands for smartphones, and the success of global convenience store 7/11.
‘Clean Slate Competition’ simply put is the popularity of brands without history or heritage. Brands solely developed on the basis of other brands, what is popular and what works. Due to the flow and freedom of information, these brands have a perceived accountability thus allowing consumers to purchase without history of the brand.
In order for brands to survive, adapting to the social landscape should be a minimal requirement – hence the concept of ”Tumblurred” lines. Brands should aim to be culturally aware of their social presence and adapting their values to online platforms. Being aware of the influence the market has online is fundamental to the relevance of the brand. Along with social media and citizen consumer journalism comes the “Not-So-Virgin Consumers”. Young, affluent consumers’ tastes will evolve and will lust after fresh and exciting brands.
The focus and question brands should be asking is “How can we excite a younger and more affluent consumers about our brand?” Most importantly, is heritage and history helping the company align with consumer values or is it all just baggage?