Is it time to reappraise your brand?




Is it time to reappraise your brand? 

In a world of measurable, data-driven performance marketing, brands and branding can get a bit of a bad rap. Logos, straplines, colour palettes can seem lightweight compared to the hard-working performance channels such as programmatic media, PPC, SEO.

In reality the opposite is true. A recent study from Kantar Millward Brown showed that companies with strong brand assets are 52% more likely to spring to mind when customers are shopping in that category. And if your company doesn’t even make it onto the shopping list, no performance marketing is going to help you. Another study (from Ipsos) showed that less than one in five brands had assets that were ‘truly distinctive’. Suggesting that companies aren’t taking the time to give themselves a competitive advantage and exploit the power of branding.

On average, companies conduct some kind of brand update every 7 to 10 years. Anything from a logo refresh to total rename and rebrand.

Some companies are lucky enough to have strong, recognisable visual assets that are embedded in society and do not need much work. This is often the case in sectors where the product remains similar and the audience is broad - think KitKat, or McDonald’s.

In other categories, external or internal events are the catalyst for companies needing to think about how they are portraying themselves. Change of audience behaviour, new competition in the market, factors in culture or society that make brands seem out-of-date or irrelevant.

In the world of travel, this is all happening at the same time. Companies that have been around for decades now need to appeal to younger audiences (whilst remaining relevant to their core). Meanwhile, there has been an influx of tech-powered competitors in the sector. Market activity has led to takeovers and mergers, or the need for growth has led to expansion into new territories, resulting in formerly niche propositions being diluted.

On top of all of this, the Pandemic and Climate Change are forcing travellers to reappraise the role of travel in their lives. On the one hand, having experienced the loss of travel, it renewed its importance in their lives. On the other hand, we all have to consider the potentially damaging effect our travel has on the world.

And this could be behind the sudden wave of travel company rebrands. The trade press is full of companies announcing their new looks, new names, new logos, new positioning. Brands like KE Adventure, Ramble Worldwide, Inghams, Explore, Exodus, Intrepid, to name but a few, have all gone through some kind of brand evolution in recent months. What’s positive is that there is no sense that companies are following a particular trend - a trap it’s easy to fall into. In the case of Explore, they are openly becoming more accessible and fun (and as such have dropped the daunting capital letters and aggressive exclamation mark).

Meanwhile, Exodus have upped the ‘adventure’ factor and are acknowledging that they needed to return to their adventurous routes. Ramblers Walking went through a partial rename - throwing out the old-fashioned association of a ‘rambler’, and becoming ‘ramble’: a verb with more relaxed connotations. KE Adventure, meanwhile, have taken a much more contemporary approach, to keep themselves relevant in the years to come, but without throwing out the heritage of their mountainous past.

With travel at a crossroads, it’s important to remind ourselves that a travel company’s brand is its strongest asset. Reviewing how you’re presenting yourself to your current and future customers is an important process, and probably one that is overdue as we emerge from the Pandemic and face the threat of climate change. The brands that emerge stronger will be the ones that understand their unique place in this changing world, and find a way to present themselves in a way that is unique, distinct, and their own.

For more information on how Wild Dog Design can support with branding, click here or visit their website