Which Brand Would You Refresh?

 Sara Arnell, CEO of Omnicom’s Arnell Group is a strong advocate of the “freshing” process as it applies to brands. Here are some examples:

  • Rolex is creating a tiara logo for women’s watches to complement the crown on its men’s watches.
  • Western fast-food restaurants are using apps so customers in India can suggest the regional foods they’d like to see on menus.
  • The Cannes Festival of Creativity is vigorously spreading the word about its festival app so that more delegates know they can use it to find out information on seminars.

Arnell said during a workshop last week in Cannes that “freshing” is a long-term approach to brand health. The examples were suggested by the festival delegates who gathered into small working groups after Ms.  Arnell’s brief presentation.

“Freshing is based on how we live our lives,” she said.  “Every time you upload a photo, change your relationship status or ‘like’ a news article you are keeping yourself fresh, relevant and in the news with your friends.”

Likewise, brands should continually evolve and invest in small changes over time to amplify their brand presence, she said.  Big projects and campaigns that take months to plan and produce keep brands out the public eye.  While not foregoing larger projects, brands should take on smaller projects to continually refresh themselves, Arnell said.

In this risk-averse economy, she argued that “freshing” helps brand managers and creative teams move forward with an acceptable budget and acceptable amount of risk.

Arnell cited M&M’s as an example.  The Mars, Inc. candies were not getting new colors but rather brighter colors—an incremental step in the brand’s life. The company made packaging and even candies black and white as part of a promotion to “help M & M’s get their color back.”

Reebok, a brand that has long skewed female because of its popular aerobics shoes, also did some freshing to appeal to young males. The guy-oriented Rbk sub-brand worked with  Olympic hopefuls (less expensive than professional athletes) to create new graphics at retail and gifts with purchase as part of a series of relatively easy executions to get in front of a male audience.

Freshing, Ms. Arnell said, helps brands respond to:

  • Economic conditions
  • Consumer desires and values
  • Competitive marketplace
  • Gut instincts
  • Budget limitations

And perhaps the Cannes Lions delegates really dug her final rationale for freshing: “It ensures creatives don’t fall into a rut or routine. The immediacy keeps them nimble and current.”

Posted on June 22, 2012, in Cannes, Cannes Lions, DiGennaro Communications, Social Media and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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