There's absolutely no way that you haven't noticed the dominance that Marvel has had recently. The company has become an entertainment juggernaut that has conquered both the big and small screens. But, it's hard to believe that back in 1996 Marvel actually filed for bankruptcy.
But instead of throwing in the towel, the powers at Marvel figured out that they had hot commodities that could and would translate beyond the pages of comic books. Marvel Studios was launched and they took a gamble on creating a cinematic universe - which has clearly paid off.
Marvel isn't the only company that has staged a comeback after seemingly being dead. Several brands like Lego, Mini, Nintendo, and Volkswagen have all been able to come back from the brink of death. But, what if your brand is completely dead? Does it have a chance to comeback? If you follow those tips, it very well could.
Overhaul Your Brand
Let's be honest here. There's a reason why your brand died. Maybe you didn't have a product that was built-to-last. Perhaps there was a PR disaster or you were unwilling to embrace change. Again, remember that you're not the only company that's gone through this. Almost every company above was in the same boat. Whatever the cause, if you want to resurrect your brand, then the first place to start is to give your brand a complete overhaul.
Since giving a brand a complete overhaul can mean a variety of things, are here a handful of examples of how brands overhauled themselves in order to make a comeback.
- Tap into new markets. Old Spice is an excellent example of a brand that appealed to new customers after the company realized that Old Spice was seen as an old and tired brand and changed that perception. In the early 2000s, the company released a new line of products and packaging that was aligned with absurd marketing such as the vid that went viral during the Super Bowl showing the guy on the white horse. (hint: They got a vid on YouTube.) The Old Spice marketers knew they had a great produce with their "Glacial Falls," but it wasn't pulling in the crowd that was needed to make it succeed. The name was changed to "Swagger." The name exudes confidence. They put out commercials with guys with the tagline, "The Man Your Man Could Smell Like." Awesome strategy increasing profits 107% immediately. Since 2010 sales have increased 11% year-over-year.
- Launch a new product. In the early 1980s a nefarious individual replaced Tylenol bottles with bottles contained cyanide in Chicago. While Tylenol was not at fault, the company recalled every bottle and released "gelcaps" that are triple-sealed and tamper-proof. Having a company take that very localized incident seriously gave them an opportunity to show themselves as proactive, protective of consumers, and also a new launch opportunity while they were big in the news.
- Bring in a new team. While Steve Jobs was an original founder, Jobs was brought back to save Apple. However, there are companies, such as River West Brands, that purchases dead brands and injects new life into them with a new set of ideas. In fact, there are a number of entrepreneurs who would rather invest in a business that has an existing fan base than starting from scratch.
When it is time to announce your revamped brand, you want to share that info with the world by creating quality content, reaching out to influencers, running promotions, and engaging and interacting with your target audience. It's imperative that you know who this target audience will be so that you can effectively market to that demographic.
Play the Nostalgia Card
Nostalgia isn't just fun. It's also an effective marketing technique. Research has found that nostalgia "can 'counteract loneliness, boredom and anxiety,' as well as make us more tolerant and generous." Another study discovered that "nostalgia is universal, experienced across all cultures, and actually increases self-esteem and 'social connectedness,' which relates to feelings of being loved and protected."
If you want to tap into the nostalgia you can share vintage on social media for Throwback Thursday, show the evolution of your brand, bring back an old logo or package design, or even run a promotion where your product or service is the original price.
Whatever direction you go into, use nostalgia as way to remind customers why they fell in love with your product or service in the first place.
Reach Out to Previous Customers
Speaking of previous customers, you can also reach out to your customers who made you what you are in the first place -- Maybe with all the noise, they have just forgotten you and need to be reminded. But you can find out why they left your brand in the first place. I personally like to give them a call as the CEO. I feel it ads a personal touch and they feel like it's not a standard sales call.
If you have an email list of your customers you could send them a questionnaires or survey to find what they liked and disliked about your brand. You can also read online reviews to see what your customers have to say regarding your brand. Take their advice to heart and do what it take to get this fan base back. This customer is more likely to give you a quick second chance if they enjoyed your product or service the first time around, which is easier than selling to an unknown. This group is also more likely to give you feedback.
Besides listening to your previous customers, don't hesitate to send them coupons through email or push notifications. We all love incentivizes, but don't forget to have a sense of urgency as well.
During this process, make sure that you have an excellent customer service team in-place. Top-notch customer service is one the best ways to make customers fall in love with brands.
Don't Let Your Brand Die in the First Place
While it is definitely possible for your brand to come back from the dead, you could make your life a lot easier if you prevent this from happening in the first place. That means that you pay attention to any potential warning signs that your brand is in danger.
- Not adapting your business to reflect the changes in the market.
- A shrinking customer base.
- A brand that has been constantly operating in the red.
- Your brand is not as exciting or innovative as your competitors.
What have you done to bring your brand back from the dead?