Your building materials brand — it defines who you are, establishes your position in the market, and influences behaviors.
If yours is like most building materials companies, your brand is established. It carries a strong heritage and a great deal of pride that connects both internally with your company and externally with your customers.
Sometimes, however, the connection that was once established no longer translates for the market. This can leave your organization feeling like you aren’t telling the best brand story — and customers feeling that your brand isn’t for them.
There’s usually nothing fundamentally wrong with the brand itself, so a full rebrand isn’t the solution. Instead, this problem occurs when a perfectly acceptable brand drifts into meaningless territory, a marketing no-man’s-land in which the brand no longer connects emotionally with customers.
But you can get your brand back on track — driving positive customer interactions and business results — with brand revitalization. This is your opportunity to tell the world (or, at the very least, your target audience), why your building materials brand is relevant to the market.
How brand revitalization differs from a rebrand
Before we get too far ahead of ourselves, let’s talk about what brand revitalization is and how it’s different from rebranding.
Brand revitalization isn’t an effort to change the foundational elements of your brand. Instead, it lends a critical eye to the execution of your brand within each marketing effort and uncovers ways to sharpen or hone your approach.
Think about it this way: A chef pulls a knife from the block each time they cook. And they always sharpen it two or three times before preparing a meal. That’s because chefs know that a sharp edge is stronger and more effective. By taking the time to ensure it’s in the best condition, the chef can be confident the knife is always ready to do its job and achieve the desired results.
Brand revitalization urges you to think about your brand the same way. Each time you execute a marketing tactic, you should sharpen your brand so that it will do the best possible job for you.
But just as the chef doesn’t trade their trusty knife for a new one the moment it starts to get dull, brand revitalization isn’t about throwing away your existing brand or changing it into something that it is not. It’s not a logo redesign or an overhaul of your brand pillars. Those will remain. Afterall, they’re at the core of who you are — and it has taken serious work for your brand to achieve the status it has today.
Brand revitalization focuses on messaging first and visual elements second. It may result in updated messaging for your digital ads or tweaks to the visual elements of point-of-sale displays to make them more provocative. But it won’t rewrite your brand’s DNA. In short, it helps your individual marketing tactics live up to exactly what your brand is already about and should be.
True brand revitalization is more than just tactics. It’s an ongoing assessment of your brand that focuses on the best outcomes — for your business and for your customer.
Brand revitalization starts with a mindset
For it to have the most impact, brand revitalization shouldn’t be a one-and-done project. In fact, it’s as much a way of thinking as it is a way of doing.
Let’s face it: With the time and budget to execute only a few major marketing initiatives a year, you need to maximize results. A brand revitalization mindset will help you get the most return from your marketing investment as you intentionally consider the needs of your business and of your customer.
Every touchpoint with your target audience is an opportunity to revitalize your brand. But before you dig too deep into how the tactical execution looks, take some time to think about the impact your work is having (or has not had).
Continually thinking about your brand and its impact on your audience — that’s before, during and after the launch of new marketing efforts — means you can be more certain that the messages and visuals you are launching are in lockstep with business goals and with what the market is demanding.
Brand revitalization keeps your brand relevant
Context is key to a successful brand revitalization. Ultimately, the goal is to drive deeper relevance for your customers — and a deeper connection to your brand. That happens when you talk about the things people actually care about in a way that makes them care even more.
Do this by paying attention to what your audience is currently experiencing, the problems they might be facing, and how you can help solve them. Conversations with your audiences are truly effective when you talk about the things that matter most to them in the ways that matters most.
The building products industry has a long legacy. In fact, many of the materials used for building have not changed over the years. Unfortunately, neither has the way that most brands talk about them. An intentional brand revitalization mindset helps you become more aware of this reality and positions you to pivot in a way that sets your product — and your brand — apart.
Create relevancy through memorable brand experiences
Let’s look at an example of how this works.
Sealant is a widely known, widely used product for builders. When OSI — a leader in window and siding sealants and adhesives — needed to stand out from the competition, they looked for ways that they could revitalize their brand with their target audience. A competitive analysis revealed that nearly all the sealant manufacturers were sharing visuals of the material being installed around windows, in a shower, or along baseboards.
But OSI knew their audience already knew what it looks like to install sealant. Showing people who install it for a living the basics of their job is redundant and unmemorable. Images like that wouldn’t differentiate their product from the others on the market. Their message would be irrelevant and, ultimately, fall short.
Instead, when they looked at their product through a brand revitalization lens, they were armed with insights from research and evaluation that positioned them to do something unexpected. OSI adjusted their marketing approach so that their message about sealant stood out among everything else their audience was seeing and hearing.
Like OSI, as you look at insights in relation to your brand’s attributes, you can look for opportunities to connect the two in a meaningful, relevant way. OSI decided to amplify one of their core attributes — durability. Not only is this important to the brand, it’s also top of mind (and relevant) for their audience.
Now, instead of showing the sealant being installed, OSI’s visual approach shows images of storms or other natural disasters that wreak havoc on a jobsite. This illustrates that their caulk is able to withstand it all — its durability is unmatched.
OSI didn’t change their logo. Nor did they change their brand tagline. Instead, they infused the context of their overarching brand and a relevant brand attribute into a specific marketing application in a way that helps them stand out from the competition.
Brand revitalization should always focus on results
The goal of brand revitalization should always be the evolution of your brand. It’s your invitation to step away from what you’ve always done and into marketing efforts that are leading edge.
Brand revitalization encourages you to separate yourself from the competition by speaking and responding to your customers in a way that is authentic — to create a more relevant and memorable experience for your audience.
When done well, brand revitalization infuses the context of your overarching brand into the messaging and visuals for specific audience types or segments in a way that speaks to them directly. It doesn’t take away from the core elements (the foundation) of your brand. Instead, it gives more meaning to your individual campaigns that, in turn, drives better results.