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Reinventing a Brand Message
By: Janet Kalandranis
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It’s the start of the school year and in many people’s minds this is the actual new year. It’s back to routine, a new focus emerges, and many are making goals and resolutions. And brands know this. They put their best foot forward with suggestions and ideas to be a part of this new start. Many health and food brands create a focus at this time around healthy living and want customers to choose them as a solution to reach a weight-loss or activity goal. Kellogg’s Special K has been a part of this September plan for years and is staying strong in its message to choose the brand as a way to reach a goal. But something has changed recently for this brand. They are no longer talking about losing weight (well, not as blatantly) and there is no mention of calories or fat. Instead the brand has taken a new approach, one that reinvents the message to be more relevant and more accepted in today’s world. The goal is the same — for consumers to choose Special K as their product of choice — but the path to get there is different. It’s reinvented and more accepted to ensure that the brand gets the results it wants.

In years past Special K was pushing its line of healthier products to help consumers lose weight. There was an image of a tape measure and conversation around losing so many pounds in two weeks. All seemed happy. That is, until that message wasn’t respected anymore. Times have changed and doctors and consumers are focusing on healthy living, not a number on the scale. It’s very similar to what has been created by the Dove brand — the focus is on beauty, all beauty, and not a dress size or skin color. Special K understands that the landscape has changed and messages that sold product a couple years ago are no longer relevant. So the brand reinvented and is out with a new campaign. One that focuses on women feeling and being confident instead of measuring themselves by a number. Special K’s newest spot has women shopping for jeans, but no sizes are labeled; instead there are inspiring words like size “strong” and “confident.” And of course the goal is for consumers to choose Special K products as a way to help them get to their goals, but the message is more subtle, yet more emotional.

Brands need to make sure they are consistently evaluating messages and strategies to make sure they stay relevant to the consumer. Updating or reinventing a message to stay current doesn’t mean the brand is losing focus, but instead allows people to see how the brand fits within their lives today. What worked last year may not work this year and brands need to make sure they put the time and effort into finding the right message each and every time.

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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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