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Don’t Serve Stale Bread
By: Janet Kalandranis
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It is cost of entry at any restaurant — the bread must be good and it must be fresh. Sure, it can be the same French baguette that is served every night, but it must taste new and perfect to the customer. The same thing is needed for brands; customers want what they are used to, but they don’t want it to be stale and they want it to feel new every so often. Stale bread doesn’t taste good, but new variations of a French baguette might do.

Many brands dance the line between being relevant and providing new and interesting products and services for their customers. There must be a certain amount of each of these in order to sustain current, happy customers and of course create new engagement with different sets of customers. And the stale bread message applies to various aspects of a brand, from advertising to partnerships to messaging through community engagement. Customers don’t want a brand to be serving 300 hundred different types of bread every time they engage with the brand, but they do want to feel like the brand is able to evolve.

MasterCard has run its "Priceless" campaign for quite some time. It’s a known part of the brand and although it changes creative quite often, is it now stale? Are customers hoping for something new to drive them to sign up or use their existing card? Is the bread that’s being served continuously tasting new and fresh? Of course, brands want the ability to create lasting campaigns, but how long is too long? How new is too new?

Brands need to consistently evaluate programs and products to determine what is stale for customers and what is long-lasting and needed. Are there expiration dates on certain items that brands need to be aware of and make it a priority to serve the freshest bread? Sometimes it’s a completely new recipe or simply a variation on an old favorite.

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About the Author
Janet Kalandranis is here to give you all the little brand thoughts that run through her head with a little dash of spice. Find her online here.
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