Brand Strategy

4 Moments When Your Brand Definitely Needs a Jumpstart

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Lindsay Ferris

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Brands of all shapes and sizes sometimes need a jumpstart. It’s just a fact of life. Sometimes it’s simply because the old brand has become a bit tired. But our research and forty years of experience reviving brands shows that often the need for a brand refresh is triggered by one of four events that will, at some point happen to all brands.

  1. When Your Brand is New to the World. Duh. If your brand is new to the world, it needs to be jumpstarted into existence with all that that entails. You need to identify its place in the marketplace and competitive set. But more importantly you need to identify the place that it occupies in the target’s life. What emotion is it tapping into and what role it fulfilling in their lives?
    Once you’ve done the hard work to answer those questions, it’s time to dress your brand up. What does it look like? Sound like? What personality does it embody? These are the critical questions that all new brands need to work out before they make their debut.

2. After Years of Not Being Supported. Maybe you’ve done all of the above and at one point your brand was the darling of its category. Sales were good. Brand equity scores were high and all was right with the world. But then something happened. Maybe it was “deprioritized.” Maybe marketing dollars were siphoned off to fund other corporate initiatives. Maybe leadership thought that the brand was so strong that it didn’t require the marketing investment that it once did.

There’s an old adage “out of sight, out of mind.” Never has that saying been truer than when it comes to brand support. It doesn’t take a genius to realize that once brand support wanes, brand value wanes, sales decline and your brand becomes an afterthought for your target. If this is the position you find yourself in, then your brand definitely needs a jumpstart.

3. With Corporate Structure Changes. New ownership, mergers and acquisitions, divestitures. All of these are inflection points that are ideal opportunities to take a deep look at your brand and set a new course. Often these structure changes come with opportunities if you know where to look. Are there new distribution channels that have opened up to you? New partnership opportunities? Maybe you’re one of the lucky ones and the new world order comes with an infusion of marketing investment.

The key to taking advantage of these opportunities is to shore up your brand and all it stands for. Revisit your brand strategy, identity, personality and brand manifesto. Is it all still resonant and distinctive? Are there some new siblings that you have to play well in the sandbox with? When you step back and consider your brand within the context of the larger portfolio, make sure your brand has a clear role to play.

4. When The “D” Word Strikes. It seems that everybody is talking about disruption. But it’s not without cause. These days you are either disrupting or being disrupted and if it’s the latter, then you, my friend, could use a jumpstart.

To shamelessly steal from Marshall Goldsmith, what got you here won’t get you there – especially if your brand or industry has been disrupted. It’s time to do something different. It’s time to find the opportunity in that threat. It’s time for a jumpstart.

If one of these four inflection points applies to you let’s talk. And be sure to subscribe to our newsletter, because the next piece I’m working on is about how we jumpstart brands. Stay tuned.

Lindsay Ferris

Alter ego: Liz Lemon.

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Brand Strategy

Brand strategy isn’t something we do from time to time, it’s one of the cornerstones of our business. So we think about it a lot.

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