Growing up, I remember seeing Cadbury’s chocolate commercials almost every day. They were one of my favorites. I can also recall how their branding changed over the years.
The company started 200 years ago and have continuously changed their marketing with time. From their old script logo to their modernized logo and branding material, they have not remained stuck in one branding style.
In this installment of the Level Up Series, we’ll be focusing on brand relevance.
A more recent example of brand adaptation is PayPal. We’re going to use them throughout today’s Level Up.
Brand relevance is not a ‘nice to do’ it is a ‘must-do’. For most Leveled-Up brands, it’s mandatory to remain connected and in tune with the marketplace, adapting as necessary. Otherwise, a brand risks becoming obsolete and losing relevancy and customer satisfaction. When this happens, customer connection plummets.
Here’s how to stay relevant in your market
- Solicit customer feedback. Listening to your audience is the number one way to stay relevant. You must know what they want and adapt as times evolve.
- Respond to that feedback and implement valid suggestions.
- Connect with social media followers. Social media isn’t a blasting platform for you to sell your offers. It’s a form of communication. And communication includes listening, responding, interacting.
- Participate and/or host community events
- Overhaul your branding material as needed. Remember the Cadbury’s example above? I’m sure they loved their logo and marketing pieces at each iteration. But as media and customer tastes changed, they changed.
- Participate in/sponsor community events. An example is the small business summits PayPal hosts in partnership with the SBA.
Let’s have deep dive into a successful rebrand!
PayPal is a brilliant case of rebranding to study. As mentioned above, they host small business summits. This is part of a larger rebrand strategy to connect better with their customers and stay relevant in the sea of rapid technological change and customer demand.
Let’s get visual and compare side by side before and after over the years (from 2007 – 2014). Quick disclaimer, Lane Jones agency is not in any way associated with PayPal and merely displays their logos below for informational purposes only.
1999 2007 2014-present
As you can see, they modernized their logo over a 15-year period. Their rebranding involved marketing assets and brand identity shifts. They’ve made it known that the intention was to redesign the logo for it to be more modern. They also aimed to inspire trust and to be easily identifiable on different types of screens. As you know, we’ve radically expanded the number of internet viewing options since 1999. It was important that PayPal keep up with that, and they did.
They also expanded offline. Whereas their earlier focus was building awareness just online, once they’d established themselves as an online leader, they began advertising campaigns offline and their marketing message shifted from solely targeting online users to those offline, too.
What does a rebrand like this demonstrate?
PayPal’s rebrand shows us that they’re a company who ‘gets it’. They understand the market. They’re on top of the rapid market changes and adapt to meet the evolving needs of consumers.
They have continued to expand and build a community over the course of their rebrand. In the Lane Jones Branding Framework, we detail how to lay your branding foundation. Here’s a synopsis as relates to rebranding.
Building a Branding Framework and staying relevant
We’ll continue to use PayPal as an example.
Branding Framework Pillar 1-Vision
‘We believe every person has the right to participate fully in the global economy. We have an obligation to empower people to exercise this right and improve financial health.’
What you can learn from this: notice their vision centers around empowering their customers. Is your vision customer-focused, too? What can you do to ensure that it is?
Branding Framework Pillar 2 – Values
Based on their mission and vision statements, we see that PayPal’s values include empowering users and helping them improve financial health. They add value to their customers by making them feel more equipped, in control.
Your takeaway: What are your brand values? How do they add value to your customers? Does this come through in your brand?
Branding Framework Pillar 3 – Voice
PayPal’s voice is helpful, relatable, simplistic.
Here’s a recent tweet that epitomizes their voice:
‘Shop global, gift local. #GiveBetter by buying thoughtful gifts from small businesses all around the globe bit.ly/36P25Ws.’
The tweet is simple, relatable, and helpful; reflecting aspects of their voice.
As PayPal continues to empower purchasers and stake their claim as more than just an online-focused company, this Tweet demonstrates their core message.
Branding Framework Pillar 4 – Visual Identity
Understanding PayPal’s vision, values, and voice make it clear why their new visual identity is more relevant than what they had before.
The newer visual assets are simpler, streamlined, and more modern. They’ve upgraded their visuals as their business upgraded and their consumer interfaces changed.
Branding Framework Pillar 5 – Village
PayPal’s target demographic is eCommerce consumers and merchants. Over the years, they’ve also expanded to be a payment processor for individuals offline.
They reach their target demographic and nurture their community through online portals like the PayPal Community (Forum)
They’re also active on social media using Facebook and Twitter. They also frequently run social media campaigns (such as the #GiveBetter initiative mentioned above). These campaigns help keep them top of mind and encourage consistent engagement and interaction with their users.
These efforts have allowed for PayPal’s continued grown and expansion of partnerships and their market share.
Looking at PayPal’s successful rebrand reminds us that staying relevant brings rewarding results.
Ready for a rebrand? Or would you like to discuss the options available to Level Up your business? Let’s talk. Get in touch for a brand consultation.
It’s step one for taking your business to that next level!