I find novelty interesting. First because it sells without any other involvement. Second, because it means progress. Thirdly, because it makes life interesting. There is one field thought in which novelty, continuous, makes little sense to me: branding.
I have been watching the evolution of one category in particular in this respect: dailies in Romania. We have a few and all of them have changes hands lately and also most of them have changed face and strategy.
The new Adevarul, the new Click, the new Cotidianul, the new Gandul etc etc --> these are largely the headline of any recent dailies campaign.
Case in point: Gandul and Adevarul (first one leftist, second one new liberal) have changed strategy several times and with that their layout and slogans too almost twice in a year. Gandul started off with a layout done by Grapefruit, then they changed to something done internally, then the MediaPro people kicked in a changes that too. Adevarul changed face twice under the old ownership and twice under the new. All of these within less than 2 years.
All of these changes, instead of being performed under the radar were heralded in advertising and PR.
[Pretty much the same happened with Transavia, a local poultry producer, who changed face and slogan almost within a year.]
One underlying cause of this is the rivalry between various design or branding companies who have no reservations to wreck their competitor's work under the claim "it was wrong, we need to make it better".
But it is really one other thing that concerns me: the fact that personal pride and desire to leave a mark far outweigh the care and concern for the brand as an institution (if I may). David Aaker mentions change of marketing management as the second most important danger to coherent brand strategy. In brand design, I believe there are two important rules:
- mend silently
- let change be felt rather than cried out
This plays out in the way in which you engage your staff with the brand internally. If they don't buy it, then the new marketing manager will have no problem messing with it. If they do, a system of checks and balances is set up which prevents individuals from displacing the brand. Brand engagement is something few people know how to implement in Romania. That is why, for 18 years now we have failed to build any significant new brands and are slowly wrecking the old ones.
LATER EDIT: the senior editor of Gandul has just resigned because the management is unhappy with his strategy - let's see how this affects an already changed over and over again Gandul.
Adevarul version ??
communication is essential to business making and it involves more than the ability to name your product, write a tag line or a press release. It's an intricate, rational and scalable effort and, let's face it, not anyone can do it.