There are a variety of reasons why a brand should be consistently adapting. Consumer taste changes, competitors, culture, marketplace changes and major events are all reasons to adjust accordingly. Adapting can assist businesses in expanding to new areas and new customers, as well as align with current customers with altering taste.
There are several insights to keep in mind when trying to adapt to your consumers and market changes. Be aware of how your consumers identify your brand at all times and make incremental changes to keep that identity alive and consistent. Another way to adapt is delivering on the brand’s promise in different and unique ways. This will build credibility and trust between your consumer and your brand.
We are surrounded by examples of great and poor brand adaptation every day by brands that we are familiar with. JC Penney is an example of a brand that has not adjusted well over time. JC Penney attempted to revamp their look and pricing to appeal to younger shoppers due to declining sales. The problem was their most loyal customers were older and being left in the dark with JCPenney’s revamp. The previous loyal JC Penney customers left BEFORE their “new” target market converted, resulting in bad news for the company. Old Spice is a brand who has been successful in staying true to their identity while still adapting over time. Old Spice’s identity for over forty years has been “manly”. With newer competitors in the market, Old Spice successfully created a new “Smell like a Man” campaign capitalizing on the historical masculinity of the brand while encompassing fresh and humorous components. The key element in both of these examples are the target audience. Audience segmentation is essential, and relaying different yet relevant messages to those segments is the difference between the success and failure of these brands abilities to adapt.