BRANDING: The Case for Refreshment

Smart organizations invest the time and thought into refining their brands, or when they are launching a new initiative, making sure they get a new brand right.

Sometimes a brand can just become old. As an in-house brand manager, that’s when you need to pour yourself a cold glass of refreshment — as in, refreshing that brand.

And the best way to refresh that brand is to do it through a careful, thorough and disciplined analysis, based on a cold-hearted assessment of what works, and what doesn’t work.

Case in point is the Beer Institute, one of the nation’s oldest trade associations, representing brewers, beer importers and suppliers. In 2012, leaders at the Beer Institute determined they needed to upgrade and update their brand identification. That means everything from logo (“look”) to how they positioned themselves (“feel”) and how they engaged their stakeholders (“do”).

This is where we started:

In short, a logo, website and presence that worked great in 2002. But this was a decade later. The old logo was hard to read. It didn’t inspire, and it didn’t say anything about the Beer Institute or the organization’s mission. The website was stale, lacking responsiveness or engagement tools, and was visited by an average of about 100 a week, almost entirely from within the industry and in-house staff.

After a disciplined approach to developing the organizations identification — using intensive and collaborative Q&A springboard with chief communicators from within the top member companies — we were able to develop a refined, up to date corporate ID package that completely upgraded the Beer Institute brand.

What we found in our disciplined approach to re-branding this organization was that we knew we had to “go beyond the bottle” with our audiences, but starting with beer was always good, because people like beer. Beer is associated with good social times and occasions, and is well-liked.

So the new brand puts the focus on beer itself (the old logo relied on beer’s ingredients, but did not include an image of beer), and makes beer the “hero.” Our updated brand package included logo, message points, digital presence (including social media), a creative paid-media campaign smartly played inside the Beltway, a cohesive brand guidelines manual, and more.

Here’s the new website and logo:

With the new brand, the organization’s member increased their financial investment in the Beer Institute, funding communications, public affairs and responsibility initiatives to better effectiveness.

The new website drew people in with its responsiveness, design and functionality. Visitor counts skyrocketed, pushed along by digital media that engaged audiences and drew them into the site. And when the Beer Institute moved its physical offices and built out a new Washington, DC, suite, it included an in-house bar designed around the brand.

Your brand is important. Take the time to examine your brand. Your outside agency, a group like 3 Advertising, can bring the expertise and know-how you need to refresh an old brand, or as I’ll cover in a future post, create a new one.

#beer #advertising #branding #brands