A regular brand workshop with a prototype is a basic requirement for start-ups today for long-term success. The goal of these workshops is to solidify the desired perception from one’s own target group. Despite new insights into how to further develop one’s own brand, there is still a problem. In most brand workshops, new ideas remain just guesses. That’s why you need a prototype to understand if it’s the right evolution for your brand or if it will harm it.
Why a prototype for your brand workshop?
As already mentioned in the introduction, new ideas on how to further develop one’s own brand are based on impressions. But first, we would like to address why it is important today to hold brand workshops on a regular basis. Many companies make a fatal mistake after they have developed their brand strategy. They consider it a done task and so it often results in it not being developed further for many years. The result is that, due to the fast-moving market and the constantly changing needs of their own target customer group, these companies quickly lose relevance again.
Of course, the original brand positioning should be retained, but it should be further sharpened and consolidated. Large, well-known brands that have existed for decades do the same. They continually try to develop their own brand message and adapt to new needs. They do this through regular brand workshops, as this allows them to react agilely to new insights or to market situations. So not only do they remain relevant in the long term, but unlike many static brands, they are a living brand.
Brand workshops therefore offer us the opportunity to develop new ideas and be bold, with the chance to consolidate perception and our own differentiation. To ensure that these new solutions are not based on impressions, we need to test them directly. Through a prototype or as we call it „brand prototype“ you are able to quickly understand how your target customer group perceives your brand and how they react to the new ideas.
Test and understand the perception of your target audience
There are many well-known brands that have been developed from an internal perspective without testing how their target customer group feels about it. A classic example of this is the Tropicana brand. In 2009, the orange juice brand decided to change its packaging as well as its logo, with the aim of making the brand more modern through a new brand design. Tropicana invested in a $35 million campaign to promote the new packaging. Prior to the new packaging and redesign, the brand made $700 million in annual sales.
A few days after the launch, the previously loyal customers criticized the brand’s further development so much that they voiced their opinion on social media, among other places. Just two months later, Tropicana’s sales dropped 20%, resulting in a $30 million loss in revenue. Meanwhile, Tropicana’s competitors took advantage of the „Tropicana crisis“ and gained the sales they had previously lost. Just one month later, Tropicana announced it would return to its old design, so a few months later the old packaging was once again available in all supermarkets. In total, this move cost Tropicana $50 million.
But what happened? Looking at the packaging, it is very easy to understand the move from the brand. The new packaging looked much more appealing with a contemporary and fresh design. But the company’s own target customer group saw it differently. Statements such as the new design looks ugly, cheap, to the point that the brand was even not recognized were the triggers for this.
This example shows how important it is to test and validate new strategies and how one’s own brand should evolve. In addition to the perception of Tropicana’s new logo and packaging, many other components can be tested. Because the whole communication, message and tonality of a brand can be tested. It is even possible to test new experiences that customers should have with the brand. In summary, Tropicana shows what Marty Neumeier says and what we communicate again and again: „Your brand isn’t what you say it is. It’s what they say it is.“
Creation of a brand prototype
In our Brand Strategy Sprint, we create different prototypes depending on where the brand currently stands and how it should develop. One of the most common prototypes, especially if a brand strategy has not yet been jointly developed, is an app or a website. This brand prototype is clickable and offers the customer target group the opportunity to realistically experience their own brand. We test, for example, the relevance of the product, the communication as well as the design of the brand. But also points like customer service, pricing and the experience they have with the brand.
The goal is to understand the perception and how our own target group reacts to it. Are we being perceived the way we want to be? Or are we pursuing the wrong strategy? Moreover, this process can be applied not only to the company’s own customer target group, but also when it comes to recruiting new employees. A campaign can be developed specifically on the basis of the existing brand strategy with the aim of attracting new employees by testing the prototype on potential employees.
You save time and money
By working with a prototype, you are able to continuously develop your brand with more confidence. This security gives you and your team the opportunity to test new and bold ideas, so that your own brand stands out even further in the market. A brand prototype can be created quickly for this purpose, instead of a concrete elaborated implementation, and you get a direct response by your target audience. This response saves you from investing time and money in the wrong strategy.
Need help with your brand?
If you are facing the challenge of positioning your brand or developing it further, we should definitely get to know each other. In a joint conversation, we will find out where you currently stand, what your challenges and goals are, so that we can successfully position your brand with our Brand Strategy Sprint. Book an appointment right here and we look forward to getting to know you and your start-up.