Successful brand repositioning examples designed to reach a greater consumer audience
Sometimes, iconic brands get consumers to look at an existing product in a new way. Any time a brand makes a significant paradigm shift, whether they’re introducing a new product or reintroducing an old one, they’re taking a risk. Several successful brand repositioning examples show us how a product can reenter the market and resonate with an audience.
Reputation management is often a challenge for brands. If a brand has established itself as a big business, consumers may write them off as impersonal. A personal connection is what allows smaller challenger brands to take market share from their established competitors. By focusing on connecting with consumers, brands of any size can reposition themselves in the marketplace both online and in the shopping aisle.
Successful Brand Repositioning Example #1: Campbell’s Bets on Transparency
Consumers want transparency from brands. Specifically, 94% of consumers report they would remain loyal to brands with transparent principles. Keeping all business practices open isn’t easy for large brands, but Campbell’s managed this to do so leveraging the digital space.
Campbell’s “What’s in my Food” database delivers ingredient lists across six of Campbell’s product categories. Consumers can search for any product and get a concise list of its ingredients—as well as an explanation of each ingredient’s use. This explanation helps consumers understand what’s in their food and make informed decisions.
The What’s in My Food” database, along with other initiatives, helped boost Campbell’s to the top of the Reputation Institute’s annual USRepTrak 100 list. This strong reputation is vital among the company’s key demographic of families seeking nutritious, affordable foods. It also targets Millennials who seek healthy meals on the go. To reposition itself as a quality leader in the food industry, all that Campbell’s needed to do was make product information public and accessible.
Successful Brand Repositioning Example #2: Hallmark Trades on Brand Equity
Hallmark serves as an excellent example of brand endurance in a changing market. The brand has been around for more than a century and has seen significant paradigm shifts from its early days as a simple greeting card company, to its current status as a multi-brand conglomerate. In 2014, Hallmark’s movie channel was floundering. They chose to reposition it to reach more consumers by changing the tagline and adding a new focus: mysteries.
Hallmark chose to rebrand the channel, but kept their brand equity by building it into the name. The name changed from the “Hallmark Movie Channel” to “Hallmark Movies & Mysteries” to contemporize the brand and reach new viewers. The title eliminated the dated “channel” while keeping critical brand recognition. It also targeted the massive mystery viewership, allowing them to reach new consumers whether they were watching via mass channel options or through their iPads and smartphones. Two years later, the channel is considered one of the strongest performers in Hallmark’s portfolio.
Hallmark didn’t toss out their brand equity when trying to reach new consumers. Instead, they adjusted it slightly to appeal to old viewers while simultaneously drawing in new ones. Eliminating the restrictive “channel” from the name freshened the image for today’s non-traditional viewers. It was a seamless paradigm shift for which the brand is known.
Successful Brand Repositioning Example #3: CoverGirl Updates Its Tagline
In 2017, CoverGirl faced shifting attitudes in the cosmetics industry. No longer just an everyday product for women, some consumers began using cosmetics as a means of self-expression. The 60-year-old “Easy, Breezy, Beautiful” tagline didn’t do enough to reach the growing pool of diverse consumers. As such, the brand shifted its focus with a new tagline: "I Am What I Make Up."
The brand debuted the tagline and its accompanying video on Instagram, a popular platform for cosmetics influencers. They also showed off a new listing of non-traditional spokespeople to include chef Ayesha Curry, 69-year-old model Maye Musk, pro motorcycle racer Shelina Moreda and its first male spokesmodel, YouTuber James Charles. Partnering with these individuals allowed the brand to connect to new audiences and reach consumers that use makeup for different reasons than everyday wear.
This strategy was another case of a brand revitalizing its image without the need to change products or acquire new companies. The new tagline was welcoming to both loyal users, as well as new customers. Social media allowed them to spread the message and familiarize users with these changes, ensuring the new logo, packaging, and product designs wouldn’t confuse consumers when they hit the shelf.
Successful Brand Repositioning Example #4: Clorox Targets Aggressive Growth
Many brands failed to make the transition to digital because they became too comfortable with the status quo. These brands had successful products and loyal users. However, even the simplest of products need reinvigoration to stay relevant. Leaders of the Clorox brand understand and embrace the need to innovate, even with items as basic as household cleaners. It’s recent “2020 Strategy” is a three-pronged approach which combines:
Co-branded product development:
One way that Clorox expanded its presence was by collaborating on products with other well-known brands. A few examples of these strategies include Clorox with Scentiva and Fresh Step cat litter with Febreze. By combining brands, Clorox created awareness across multiple markets and solidified their overall household product lead.
Digital advertising initiatives:
Almost half of Clorox’s marketing budget goes to digital initiatives designed to increase online awareness. So far, online sales bring in only 5% of the brand's revenue, but it's also the fastest growing segment for sales. The brand's efforts to expand online marketing have helped it gain a greater e-commerce foothold which will drive sales in years to come.
Brand equity investment:
Clorox has the benefit of strong brand equity. This equity is critical in household goods, where consumers tend to stay loyal. The brand reported reaching two million new households in 2017. This result indicates that the focus on staying true to the Clorox brand through integrated marketing strategies is paying off.
Even though Clorox is a clear market leader, the brand continues to innovate and target aggressive growth. This dynamic, continuous expansion strategy is one which helped the brand succeed as shopping went digital across product categories.
Successful Brand Repositioning Example #5: Walmart Uses Digital Initiatives in Stores
Brick-and-mortar retailers faced challenging times when the internet turned into the source for all products, even lower cost CPG items. However, Walmart didn’t abandon its brick-and-mortar locations to focus entirely on digital sales. Instead, it tied the digital and physical together through its mobile initiatives. The brand focused on convenience features for consumers such as:
The retailer offers an option to view location maps to find items at its stores easily. New maps are added regularly, as they have more than 4,600 locations to digitize. Through digital mapping, the brand improves the customer experience while limiting work for associates.
Consumers can create an in-store shopping list to better budget their time and their grocery money. They can gain information on product deals and discounts and easily locate in-stock items across various locations.
Third-party app partnerships:
Partnering with third-party app developers like Shopkick allows Walmart to reach new audiences who don’t typically use the retailer’s proprietary apps. It also expands the kinds of apps the retailer can offer, as consumers may use several shopping apps while in the store or online.
Specialty department integration:
Consumers can get details on Walmart Photo Centers, Auto Care Centers, and Pharmacies. They can also review availability for Rug Doctor rentals. This integration serves to cross-market these niche businesses within the store ecosystem.
By using mobile as a way to enhance the in-store customer experience, Walmart has seen consistent growth in same-store sales. While some of this stemmed from the closure of underperforming locations, much of this success comes from the enhanced omnichannel experience.
Successful Brand Repositioning Example #6: Amazon Embraces Shopping Innovations
When compared to other examples, Amazon is a young company. However, that youth doesn’t trump its need to innovate. Amazon, through the development of its smart speaker and Alexa digital assistant, has disrupted the industry by creating a new means of online shopping: voice ordering. The retailer also partnered with the popular social media platform Snapchat to take advantage of image-based search.
The voice ordering market has been slow to take off, but it’s rife with potential. Smart speakers have not fully penetrated US households. As they do, voice ordering is expected to explode in value. The industry could account for up to $40 billion in sales by 2022. Amazon, being the primary purveyor of smart speakers, is set to profit exponentially from this trend.
Image recognition in retail shopping is another area poised for growth. Through visual search tools, consumers can use photos to locate items. Artificial intelligence and machine learning have driven such innovations, but are still in their infancy. Amazon was also ahead of the curve by partnering with Snapchat to offer a way for consumers to search for items with photos in their account.
Amazon stays ahead of the competition by seeking out new ways to do traditional things. Even simple online ordering seems old-school when compared to the ability to order something with just a word, or turn the entire world into a digital shopping aisle. Meanwhile, partnering with Snapchat limits Amazon’s exposure if the trend fails to take off, while the company’s strong lead in smart speakers doubles its benefits for voice ordering.
Successful Brand Repositioning Example #7: Bloomin’ Brands Integrates Rewards
Customer loyalty programs are nothing new in regard to hospitality. However, integrated programs that allow consumers to dine at a variety of locations are. Bloomin’ Brands, the parent company of Bonefish Grill, Outback Steakhouse, Carrabba's Italian Grill, and Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Barn offers consumers a consolidated rewards program.
The company doesn’t just use the loyalty program to drive visits. Instead, their focus on servicing the 4.6 million users of the app is to gain data. Through it, the brand can discover what encourages consumers to visit specific locations. They can also use this information to guide future marketing initiatives and keep members alerted to promotions.
By integrating the program across all its concepts, Bloomin’ Brands reached a wider audience and built significant cross-promotional opportunities. They also eliminated a common barrier to rewards program adoption, in that consumers won’t participate if they don’t think they’ll use it frequently. By offering four options instead of just one, the likelihood of consumer participation and retention increases.
Companies should follow the successful brand positioning examples of industry icons to understand how to expand their reach. By leveraging industry innovations to gain insight into target demographics, brands can pivot their campaigns and increase market share. Digital marketing initiatives can even drive in-store sales with a robust mobile program. Sustainable brand growth is only possible through a strong consumer connection, and mobile marketing programs support these efforts.