A relaunch of a brand and a product can be very different, even though the basic concept of re-imaging and repackaging can be similar between a product and an entire brand.
Both types of relaunching are needed for similar reasons, that is, in order to improve recognition and product sales for the product or products within a brand. A product relaunch is smaller in scale than relaunching an entire brand and usually costs less because a brand relaunch impacts the packaging and advertising of all of the products in the brand.
Brand vs. Product Relaunch
A product relaunch may need to happen because the product is not meeting sales goals or was discontinued previously due to falling sales or to make way for new products. On the other hand, a brand relaunch may just be an update to a more modern look and feel even though the brand continues to be highly successful.
A brand relaunch can also be an attempt to gain market share from competitors and better position the brand in a changing market. If the brand is losing ground, a successful relaunch can help to revive it.
Just a Refresh?
Sometimes a relaunch isn't needed because the brand or product never came completely off the market and wasn't declining, but something is needed. A refresh is less intensive than a relaunch but can give a product or a brand a fresh new look and some temporary attention to get people buying again.
The more successful the brand or product, the more likely a refresh may be more successful than a full relaunch. A refresh may involve slight changes to the logo and packaging that still retain its original colors, shapes, or style. It may involve tweaks to the wording of advertising rather than an entirely new campaign.
These changes can be more successful in some cases than a complete relaunch since consumers are not always welcoming to the drastic change of a beloved product (think New Coke). If a brand can get away with a refresh rather than a full relaunch, it can save millions.
One of the biggest considerations when looking at a relaunch or refresh is how the new strategy will align with goals for the brand or product. Looking at engagement with the product, particularly social media engagement, and how that compares with competitors will tell you how much investment is needed.
The best course of action is always the path of least change when relaunching or rebranding. Too much change will rub many loyal brand followers and consumers the wrong way and make them feel like you are taking away something they loved.
If you err when relaunching a brand or a product, you can go back--sometimes. Coca-Cola pivoted from its New Coke failure by launching Coca-Cola Classic, which soon surpassed sales of other Coke products and gave consumers what they wanted--the original Coke taste like what they were used to.
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