Get Fired Up

It’s what The Atlanta Hawks’ Web site tells us – and we’re listening. The Hawks advanced to game 7 of a first round playoff series after a nearly 10-year playoff absence, and a sold-out stadium of nearly 19,000 people greeted the team for its last two home games. The team was able to draw attention to its brand – with new uniforms and refreshed logo and Web site – at the same time it was climbing to the top of its game.

Timing is everything, and knowing when to re-brand can be difficult – especially for a highly visible brand like the Atlanta Hawks. The re-brand has been executed at a time when the sports industry is plagued with bad publicity a la Michael Vick, Roger Clemens and others, making it potentially risky. Still, the Hawks guessed right, and timed its re-branding perfectly to build a new corps of fans.

But does re-branding always work? What about Wal-Mart’s “Save Money, Live Better” tagline? The brand’s new tagline was relevant since it was rolled out at a time when Americans began feeling an economic pinch, but Wal-Mart drew heat from critics who failed to see the connection between shopping there and being able to afford the mortgage, a family vacation or a new car. Some also found the slogan ironic – coming from a company notorious for high health insurance premiums and low employee wages.

Whether you’re considering a complete overhaul or a minor brand refresh, give as much weight to the timing of the announcement as you do the planning stages, creative and design process. For example, you might consider tying your re-brand to a newsworthy event, like a tradeshow in which your company has a presence, or a milestone or significant occasion in the company’s history, which can help to leverage your message and make it even more relevant to employees, clients and stakeholders alike.

On c21’s 15th anniversary, the company unveiled its new logo – a more contemporary design that embodied the company’s cutting-edge marketing PR services and its expansion into new media marketing. We communicated the change via an integrated campaign consisting of media relations, e-mail marketing and a special event – all of which echoed the essence of the new brand. Learn more about c21’s approach to branding.

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