September 17, 2015

Avoid these mistakes during your consumer brand rollout

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How do you define a successful consumer brand rollout? Let’s start by talking about what it isn’t, and how much it can cost your brand. Think back to 2009. If you’re an orange juice drinker, you probably remember when the new logo and packaging for Tropicana orange juice led to a 20% drop in sales because confused consumers went to grab their usual cartons, with the image of a straw in an orange, and couldn’t find them. The old brand quickly returned to store shelves.

Basically, an unsuccessful consumer brand rollout is one where the brand leaves consumers confused and unhappy, allowing competitors to take away market share. I know it’s like comparing apples to oranges, but the brand implementation side of a consumer brand rollout can have just as much impact as the brand design side.

We’ve worked on many consumer brand rollouts – from food & beverage to retail to telecommunications – and found common mistakes across industries.

1. Lack of experience: Experience is key to consumer brand rollout success, and without understanding the full scope of the project, it’s hard to find cross-functional internal team members with the proper expertise. Often, essential employees are left off the team because their importance isn’t recognized until midway through the project. The stakes are too high to leave all decision-making to brand rollout newbies, so outside expertise is needed.

2. Silo thinking: While inexperience can lead to bad decision-making during a consumer brand rollout, so can selecting team members who use “silo thinking” to advance their personal agendas. Some leaders try to propel their careers forward by soliciting advice and support from unqualified leaders and peers in their own silo rather than qualified employees and subject-matter experts in other departments.

3. Lack of stakeholder buy-in: For consumer products, direct and indirect sales and service channels need to be evaluated at the start. We recommend an exercise early in the planning process where the team maps out all consumer channels and engages key stakeholders from start through completion of the consumer brand rollout. This type of early engagement leads to a faster, less expensive brand rollout.

4. Local optimization: This occurs when local suppliers are given free reign to design, manufacture and install exterior signs, interior signs, vehicle graphics, retail graphics, etc. based on their own skills and materials during a consumer brand rollout. To maintain brand consistency, standardize processes and keep costs in check, a centralized approach is important to ensure local suppliers meet the same high standards for production and installation across the globe.

Don’t let competitors put the squeeze on your market share. Make sure your consumer brand rollout is successful by bringing together exceptional brand design and brand implementation.