Jägermeister and Your Brand

Jägermeister is shaking up it’s brand identity to appeal to a wider, non-frat boy audience. As explained in AdWeek, it’s encouraging people to “be meisters of their own lives” and live by their own rules. The campaign is, if anything, very cool looking… Modern, dark, edgy, beautiful people, intriguing locales. According to a recent article in Adweek, this will, hopefully, give the brand a more appealing image as cool, edgy, aspirational, and premium. After all, if you don’t like or relate to the people typically associated with a brand, you probably aren’t going to use that brand yourself.

How does the decision by a liquor brand that appeals to a very specific audience affect your brand? It doesn’t directly, but their decision to take a huge risk and market themselves in a completely different way does. Because Jägermeister is already one of the best-selling imported liquors in the US, all businesses should take notice and pay attention to how they have chosen to evolve their brands. Over the last decade, we’ve seen many companies use re-branding as a strategy to save themselves from demise. RadioShack and Circuit City were two of the more infamous ones who waited too long to reassess their brand evolution and by the time they tried, it came across to consumers as a desperate attempt to cling to relevance and they soon went away.

An important goal for any brand should be to move forward and modernize on a fairly regular basis. Target audience desires and interests are constantly changing and with greater access to style influencers via Instagram, Pinterest, and a stream of lifestyle TV shows and websites, consumers are becoming more aesthetically savvy. In the past, a more dated branding concept could hold out for awhile before becoming tired in the eyes of the majority of consumers. Now, we are constantly exposed to new and exciting to that point that anything even remotely old or outdated is noticeable and will negatively influence a consumer’s feelings about the brand.

Many businesses have reservations about major rebranding, and they should, it can turn off long-time customers and sometimes it’s just not in the budget to redo everything. However, any business can resolve these issues by implementing a refresh and update strategy that can include subtle, but impactful changes like first updating an existing logo with a more modern typeface, slightly adjusting the colors, and streamlining the design of a busy logo mark. Once this has been completed, other corporate pieces such as stationery, brochures, one sheets, and the website can roll out as time and budget permit. For an example of how this strategy can work, please check out my Case Study on The Phil Simon Clinic and The Phil Simon Clinic Tanzania Project.

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