The 2 Innovation Gifts Of Brand Repositioning

The new, intriguing and revolutionary brand repositioning of Lynx/Axe as more sensitive, grown-up and sophisticated caught our attention as innovators. On one hand it’s a gift to be given something so inspiring to work with, on the other there’s now tremendous pressure on the innovation team to maximise its potential and get the innovations that fall in its wake just right, to continue to build the brand story through innovation.

A well researched and executed brand repositioning brings fresh opportunities, and indeed is helpful to innovators in reigning in what we are not about; providing useful focus, but we mustn’t fall into the trap of thinking we now know enough to go straight to breakthrough ideas.

So let’s look at the gifts brand repositioning offers and how to unlock their potential – without falling into common traps.

Gift One: New and Deeper Insights On Your Existing Target

These insights will provide great new problems to solve to give your ideation efforts a laser focus.

For example, Shona Ghosh in Marketing reports that Lynx/Axe have identified that:

“Most men don’t consider themselves attractive as they are. By contrast, women find men are most attractive when they are themselves. The campaign, therefore, encourages men to have more confidence in themselves“ Read more

How to avoid the potential pitfalls

Be wary of making massive assumptions about which products/services and what positioning of those products/services will best serve your consumer (even when you have such insightful problems to ideate against).

The devil is in the detail here – your intentions could be spot on to meet their needs, but a small execution detail or miscommunication could cause your product or service to completely misfire. Iterative concept development with your target consumer/s is an absolute must to set them up for quant. success.

Gift Two: Attracting New Consumer Targets

Opening up your brand to a brand new target consumer provides a whole new pond in which to fish for opportunities and stretch your brand into previously unchartered territories.

For example, Lynx/Axe Glolbal Vice president says they have identified that:

“We have been catering to teenage guys and we are now talking to his older brother, who is in university.” Read more

How to avoid the potential pitfalls

You don’t know these consumers anywhere near as well as you know your current ones, but again, the temptation is to make assumptions about what they think, want or need. 

It’s critically important to spend quality time with your new consumers. Simple ethnographic observation is usually the default approach, but we passionately believe that you need to be provocative with consumers to unearth real insights, as opposed to just passively observing them.

Using lots of roughly visualised nubs of ideas (not product concepts!) that consumers can pull apart and build will give you a double whammy of rich, deep insight and very clear direction on which idea territories (not actual ideas) bubble to the surface. This will give you a really solid insight-driven framework from which to drive your ideation efforts.

Cherishing Your Brand Repositioning Gifts

Good innovation in the wake of brand repositioning should continue the story of how well you understand consumers and their needs. If it doesn’t operate at an even deeper level of insight, the repositioning will appear superficial when your consumer interacts with the new product or service – thus the effect of all that tremendous repositioning effort (and investment) will be watered down at best, negated at worst.