Updating your brand: Be careful of the “Lipstick on a pig” syndrome!

Many (well-intentioned) managers looking to revitalize a company that’s losing steam tend to think that a refreshed logo will miraculously solve all of their business problems (to read the 5 business challenges identified through our qualitative research).

At first glance, these managers should be commended for actively trying to change their company’s course. Unfortunately, many are skipping crucial steps in the revitalization process or base their decisions on tactics or methods without first taking the time to reflect on their brand, which starts with the adoption of a solid development strategy.

Getting a new logo is not a quick business fix

Each brand has its strengths and weaknesses. However, even if your brand is showing its age and starting to lag, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it must be replaced. In many cases, the problem is greater than you think, mired in the quality of your products or services, your corporate culture or a declining market.

An abrupt change in logo can create uncertainty among a company’s stakeholders, which include (above all!) your employees. A brand that’s built on solid foundations (that is, well-defined vision, mission, values, strategy and positioning) has every chance at success, but a brand that pursues merely cosmetic changes will undoubtedly disappoint its target groups. When it comes to brand management, this is called “putting lipstick on a pig”. Because even if you put a little colour on its lips, a pig is still a pig.

Your priority: Innovating or improving everything you do

As the only constant in business is change, focusing on innovation is a good way to keep pace with the evolution of your market. However, it is also essential to have the financial and technical means, as well as the necessary structures and proven methods, to help make innovation an integral part of your corporate culture.

Innovation, without structure, is a waste of time. Therefore, it’s best to focus on reviewing your business practices. Discuss at length with your employees about how to identify and eliminate obstacles in the value chain, improve customer service or increase the performance of your facilities. If within a few weeks, you can show clients and employees that the changes you’ve implemented are generating results, you will have created a virtuous circle in your company. Much more profitable in the long term than a quick logo switch!

Remember: Communication puts fuel in the engine. In fact, efficient communication will mobilize your employees, boost customer loyalty and maintain your assets, while you build a winning strategy for the years to come. Once your company has been transformed, perhaps then you can start thinking about changing that logo.

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Philippe Jacques

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