How to make more bucks out of Brand$
Fishing out some brand truths from our recent work
Looking back, the year 2017 was an eventful one for us. Bubblefish launched new brands, repositioned existing products and moved offices. Importantly, we moved many consumers on their path to purchase, true to our brand promise: Scaling up your business.
BANZ was one such success story. It is an Australian brand of high quality baby sunglasses, earmuffs and sun hats sold the world over. Baby Banz has been in existence for over 16 years and was now keen to accelerate its growth in an increasingly competitive market with cheaper imitations. Over this period, it had added new avatars to its brand suite e.g. Kids Banz, J Banz, Adventure Banz causing some brand dissonance.
The brief from the client was to refresh the brand and revamp its packaging.
Rarely does one project illustrate so many brand truths. Here are a few:
Lesson 1: Start with the strategy and stay with it all the way
Instead of diving straight into the brand refresh, Bubblefish invested time in understanding the market context. We discovered an absence of any brand differentiation, a strong product focus, and virtually no attempt to appeal emotionally to the buyer (parent, mostly mum) or the child user (who was becoming increasingly brand receptive). These insights defined the strategy that anchored everything we did.
Lesson 2: Before you tinker with a brand think about its past as much as its future
Clients often get bored with a brand before their consumers do. Equally, agencies are eager to rebrand at the first opportunity. What you gain by building a new brand rarely measures up to the lost equity that the old brand has accumulated over time. Not including the costs involved. Rebrand only when an existing brand is unable to leverage its full potential.
We retained the BANZ name (dropping the Baby part) to allow for product extensions under the one umbrella. The brand managed to preserve its core equity while avoiding any dilution with too many variants.
Lesson 3: Emotion trumps reason in ‘moving’ a buyer
Baby Banz was always positioned on the ‘protection’ platform. The product was sold based on its safety credentials - its ability to keep away the harshest sun and the loudest noise. Yet, experience told us that emotion plays an undeniable (even if at times invisible) role in buying decisions (B2B included).
The brand descriptor “Carewear for kids” and the new tagline “Sensitive care. Sensible choice.” seamlessly blended rational appeal with emotional allure.
Lesson 4: Nostalgia is not merely about reliving the past, it’s also about reframing the present
In our quest to be contemporary, we can sometimes overlook the past. Nostalgia can be a powerful cue especially when dealing with mother-child emotions. For BANZ, the inspiration came from the timeless three wise monkeys.
The chimp duo, Banzee, the mum and her baby Bubzee, the brand’s new mascots along with the lines “See no glare” (sunglasses), “Hear no blare” (earmuffs) and “Fear no flare” (sun hats) created positive memory associations for the parent and instant visual attraction for the child. Carrying this theme through every brand touchpoint including packaging, website, trade shows, and POP display propelled the BANZ into new territory. Inviting the child into the brand conversation with the parent’s watchful oversight was part of the strategic repositioning from protection to loving care.
Lesson 5: Identity is most expressive when visuals talk, and words conjure up images
The underlying marketing and brand strategy was embraced in every part of the creative execution.
The typeface chosen for the bold BANZ lettering had sharp lines and rounded edges to represent the “Sensitive care. Sensible choice.” dichotomy. The curvature of the letter ‘A’ personified the brand’s protective property while its expanding arch signified a key consumer benefit (the ability to stretch the product to suit a baby’s growing needs).
The illustrative rendering of Banzee and Bubzee was designed to appeal to the kid (and the child in the parent) while kindling maternal instincts without detracting from the seriousness of the safety message.
A presentation titled “More buck for your BANZ” that shared the new Brand strategy with distribution partners and the endearing presence of make-believe Banzee and Bubzee at Trade shows made this a total rebrand. (Click here to read the complete BANZ case study).
There were obviously many more lessons learnt along the way (e.g. digital platforms). Email Delia if you want to know more or to explore how you can make more buck out of your Brands.
Good luck in your 2018 brand journey.
By Mahesh Enjeti, Advisor, Bubblefish