What is Brand Revitalization? (Philip Kotler Summary with Examples)

A detailed explanation of Brand Reinforcement with examples as stated by Philip Kotler.


What is Brand Revitalization?

Brand Revitalization refers to the set of activities a brand undertakes to stay relevant in changing the environment. As a process of Brand Revitalization, these changes might be only restating the brand promise with more clarity OR by taking a completely new positioning altogether.

Need of Brand Revitalization:

A brand might need to revitalize itself because of one or more of the following reasons:

1. Changes in consumer tastes and preferences

Changing consumer preferences might make the current brand positioning stale in the mind of consumers. They look for brands that talk about their language and understand their current needs.
e.g. PepsiCo’s lays is one of the highest-selling potato chips in India. However, as the consumers started turning their preference towards healthier products, it opened up a completely new category of healthy snacks. A new brand ‘Too Yum’ capitalized on the opportunity roping in a celebrity endorsement.

2. The emergence of new competitors

New competitions pose fresh challenges. Brands may have a bigger stronger core competency and existing players will need to tweak their positioning and communication.
e.g. A indigenous car brand might need to tweak positioning when a global competitor with stronger competency enters the market. Maruti Suzuki might need to change the positioning around safety when Volvo enters the market.

3. The emergence of new technology

Failing to evolve with technology is one of the most common reasons why a brand might need revitalization.
e.g. Nokia failed to evolve with changing technology and vanished for years before making a comeback with fresh products with new technology. Other brands, like Kodak, could never make an impactful comeback.

4. Any new development in the marketing environment

In a changing market environment, new products might take a completely new positioning with an existing product and gradually expand base to capture a bigger market share.

e.g. Oneplus Smartphones were launched as a niche segment product for the tech enthusiast. The product was even made available only by invite in a closed community. However, with time the brand has emerged as worthy competition to mainstream smartphone brands.

OnePlus Invite Registration

Many brands have managed to make a comeback or stay relevant for a longer duration – Samsung, Volkswagen

Step 1 in Revitalizing a Brand

Before taking corrective actions, it is important to understand the sources which add up to build a strand of brand equity for the brand.
There could be:

  1. Positive associations might be losing strength
  2. Negative associations may be linked to the brand

What to do in Revitalizing a Brand?

a) Marketers might choose to stick to original positioning (Back to Basics)

At times marketing itself might be responsible for depleting image in a failure to communicate the actual brand promise. In this case, its time to get back to basics and rerun.
E.g. Harley Davidson: From running into bankruptcy twice, to rerun the promise and create strong campaigns. Demand always exceeds supply.

b) Create a New Positioning Altogether

Depending on the state of positive and negative associations with the current brand promise, organizations may choose to completely reposition the product for good.
e.g. Pepsi initially introduced Mountain Dew in 1969 and marketed it with the tagline “Yahoo Mountain Dew! It’ll Tickle Your Innards.” However, even in the 1990s, the brand was struggling to stand out. To turn the brand around, Mountain Dew updated the packaging and launched ads extreme sports such as bungee jumping, skydiving, and snowboarding while consuming Mountain Dew. The brand slogan became “Do the Dew.” Young soda drinkers connected with the brand and its market share swelled up to become the 4th highest-selling brand in terms of market share by 2005.

Brand Rejuvenation of Mountain Dew
Mountain Dew’s original positioning was changed to ‘Do the Dew’ followed by ‘Dar Ke Aage Jeet Hai’



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