Branding – evolution or revolution?

Posted by on May 24, 2013 in Branding, Business, Travel & Tourism

Developing a brand for your business is hard work.  How do you make sure your rebrand isn’t an expensive disaster? I’ve been talking to Pete Waters, a man who knows about brands and rebranding. He’s dealing with that challenge himself as Brand Manager for Visit Norfolk.

Branding expert Pete Waters visit_norfolk

“After product, branding is the most important aspect of your business,” Pete says. Branding is his day job. He’s spent many years in the publishing industry, working on new titles, relaunches and rebrands; he was the editor of the Eastern Daily Press (EDP) when it evolved from a broadsheet to a compact format and now he’s responsible for the brand to promote Norfolk’s £2.6bn tourism industry.

Pete advises that if you’ve got a good brand, one that your customers trust and buy into, you’ve got to be very careful not to throw the baby out with the bathwater in a radical new look. “One of the worst things people do with their brand, “ he warns, is to say: “I’m bored with that now. I think I’ll change it.”

But sometimes a brand has to change, to keep up with changing customer demand. The EDP is a much-loved brand, so it was very important to retain its loyal readership on the journey to a ‘new look’ newspaper that would appeal to a much wider age group. The Daily Telegraph solved the same problem by not changing its broadsheet format, but instead investing a lot of money in an online presence to attract its younger readers – the children of the broadsheet readers – thus serving two different audiences at the same time.

And sometimes you just have to start all over again. That’s the situation Pete’s in with Visit Norfolk. The existing brand only reflects a small part of the ‘real’ Norfolk and is selling the county’s wonderfully diverse tourism offer short: such as the bucket-and-spade family holidays at Yarmouth, messing about in boats on the Broads, the genteel charm of places like Holt, the buzz of the city… it’s got to be radical change, he says.

What’s the secret of success in rebranding? And how can you ensure your investment in rebranding is cost-effective? Read the full story here:

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[Photo ©Pete Waters/Visit Norfolk]