Reinventing your brand, your company… How often?

It seems that timespan for change is narrowing down day by day. Not only in FMCG, but even in less end-customer-driven industries in B2B.

Let us first remind ourselves what is the cause for any change.

The challenge of change

Any brand interacts with the environment as a complex memetic entity that can be defined as identity of a brand. Brand’s identity is (for any external entity) a sum if its interactions as explained in previous post. Consequently brand changes with the change of each entity in interaction. Even if brand would not change internally it would change. To live is to change.

And here comes the challenge. Change happens by necessity. If change stays unreflected for longer period then discrepancy between identity definition and reality grows meaning, that communicated promise of a brand does not match perceived promise. The end result is, if discrepancy stays unmanaged, the devaluation and eventually a death of a brand.

Constant re-formulation?

If change is constant, does that mean that as brand managers have to re-formulate brand’s identity monthly, daily, hourly?

Alongside with the question “how often” comes the question: how? And “how” is closely linked to the frequency that re-formulation occurs. It seems logical that with higher frequency the way how we rebrand, reinvent our company, changes.  The way we reinvented ourselves each year cannot be the same as if we have to reinvent ourselves weekly, daily or even in shorter period. Shorter period? What a nonsense! Is it possible to reinvent, rebrand something second by second?

Evolution of brands

Nonsense? Do tigers reinvent themselves yearly, daily or every 1000 years? How often does evolution happen?

It is not that we need new tools for reinventing our companies due to new trends. Old ways of reinvention were obsolete in the moment they were conceived already. There is only one way of reinvention. The way taught by evolutionary biology. From Darwin on we should understand dual nature of reinvention. It happens both evolutionary and revolutionary.

What I want to say is that we have to turn around the very perception of our brands. And we have to do this radically. If reinvention is a prerequisite for sustainable life of any company then the need to imply tools from evolutionary biology should be quite obvious? Isn’t it?

But wait! Tigers are living creatures, while brands are not! Aren’t they? If not alive, are they dead stuff like stones or carpets?

Life within brands

We know that a stone does not evolve. Stone changes according to an entropy law: it gets more and more messy. While on the other hand we see that brands do evolve, they do get more and more organized, less entropic. So they are alive!

What a mess? No.

Life is constant re-interpretation. Memetic life is nothing but constant sense making activity. Each memetic activity reinvents the objective reality (brand per se) into something for us. To make sense means to re-invent, to re-brand.

Andrej Drapal