How to Keep Your Brand Rockin'

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Scenario: "Dude, we will always target the teenagers with our brand. Yay!"

  1. Say you're running a t-shirt company your segment market absolutely loves.
  2. Your shirts are having a cult following among them.
  3. Those super-loyal customers are the 19-24 year old demographic.

Now, flash-forward 6 years later when that entire target market leaves the 19-24 demographic.

You have three choices to grow your brand:

  • a) Drop the brand completely.
  • b) Continually grow with that crowd who loved you.
  • c) Stick to the 19-24 year old range like white-on-rice no matter who loved you before.

[Now, many of you are thinking the answer's (c). It's because every single one of our mutha-juggin answers to our mutha-juggin pop-quizzes have been (c). If we were a teacher, we'd give the lousiest quizzes. We = sorry.] If you answered (b) Continually grow with that crowd who loved you, Ding! Ding! You're right.

Keep the People Who Love You

Harley Davidson. Lucasfilm. Rolling Stones. Barbara Streisand. Harpo (Oprah). What do they all have in common aside from viciously loyal fans?

  1. They grew with their customers.
  2. More important, they kept those customers.
  3. Most important, over time: they built astronomically strong relationships that kept their cult brands ticking.

If you have a couple pets, you know the deal: The longer the relationship you have with a pet, the more loyal you are to that pet. It's not that you don't care about the other one. It's just that if you had one shot at saving one pet from a burning building, you'd probably go with the one who's been around you the longest. Super-dope marketers maintain their brands by building those long relationships with their customers. That ensures super loyalty that keeps your business happy.

The Problem with Sticking to One, Set, Demographic

According to Parisian Business Prof Fr - d - ric Dalsace:

The big problem with this approach to branding is that it positively discourages customer loyalty - and, as we all know, it's a lot cheaper to keep customers than to find new ones.

Building super awesome relationships takes more than 5 years. Yet, most marketers make the mistake of starting-all-freakin'-over-again, abandoning those most loyal to their brand. What happens then?

  1. Abandoned customers: "Oh-you-mutha-@^^%^&. You sold out. You = suck!"
  2. Targeted customers: "Uh....that brand is trying to be 'cool.' We all know it's for old people. Pass."


Now, if You Really Want to Keep Targeting a Certain Demographic

(or whoever else) Do what Prof Dalsace recommends, and what we've endorsed in the past:

  1. Keep a beloved brand with customers who have loved the shizzle out of it.
  2. Build a new brand for the new 19-24 demographic.

Toyota did the latter by creating the Scion brand for the youth crowd. That one freakin' ingenious company knew that younger buyers couldn't gravitate toward the Toyota brand like their fathers (and mothers) did.

  1. "Toyota's for old people!" they'd say
  2. "I don't want to buy a car that my dad drives!" they'd scream.
  3. "T-O. Y-O. T-A. What in the mutha?! Was that a commercial?"

So, came the Scion. Toyota in turn stuck their main brand with the demographic that grew up loving them. And, the car company's been rockin' for ages in a crazy industry.

O Sum - rio

  1. If you're trying to target a new set of people, start pimpin' a new brand.
  2. In turn, keep a devoted brand rockin' with the customers who built it for you.

"This is yo brand!"

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Posted on January 31

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