Old Spice Brand Repositioning

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Editor’s note: Dennis Crowley is president and CEO of Brand Engineers, a Teaneck, N.J., research firm. He can be reached at 201-530-5360. This article appeared in the March 28, 2011, edition of Quirk’s e-newsletter.

conic brands are in the enviable position of having developed long, meaningful emotional bonds with consumers. However, like in any lasting relationship, you have to constantly work on adapting to change as you grow. Every marketer plans to have their brand and target audience evolve together; unfortunately this is often not a reality. As in the case of Old Spice, which I will examine shortly, the longterm survival of many brands depends on their ability to rejuvenate itself and make themselves relevant to new target audiences. So, how exactly do you take a brand that most people associate with their grandparents and reinvent it for a new, younger audience? When considering repositioning a brand, brand managers must ensure that the new positioning meets three criteria: 1) it must be relevant to the customer’s frame of reference; 2) the brand must have the customer’s permission for the new positioning; and 3) ultimately the brand must deliver on the promise of the positioning. Zone of credibility To develop the most effective positioning, marketers must first look at the functional and emotional needs of the target customers, as well as the situation in which these needs occur. Understanding this reference point and how your brand is related to it is critical in determining the

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What Old Spice teaches us about brand repositioning IC ON TR Y EC NL EL O OR PUT F T OU

viability of any positioning opportunity. At Brand Engineers we refer to this as the zone of credibility. We believe repositioning a brand outside the zone of credibility creates confusion for customers and ultimately dooms the repositioning effort. To best define this zone of credibility marketers must understand the customer’s perception of the brand and recognize how far the...
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