Kennebec Valley Chamber

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Friday Report ~ January 29, 2016

"Ch Ch Ch Changes" - Last January after attending a wonderful Annual Awards Dinner, I took a step back to ask myself how I can put a different spin on the event in 2016. I thought about the goal of the event and the many reasons that people attended. I knew there were a number of traditionalists who would balk at change and I also knew there was a growing excitement for something new. I was confident, that following the year of transition; the community would be open to a new idea. I am thrilled to report that it worked and I want to thank you all for embracing the new Kenney Awards.

            I will not talk for long about the Kenney’s but I want to spend some time talking about the challenge that any company faces when changing a long established brand or product.

The first step is to take a close look at the brand and assess two items –

1-     How does the public currently perceive your brand?

2-     How do you want the public to perceive your brand?

 If those perceptions are not the same, it’s time to look for a new direction.

            The first step in creating a new brand is to control the narrative and artwork. Establish the “look” and commit to it. Take to social media and begin talking about the new brand. Find opportunities to get into print articles providing insight in to how the new product differs from previous. What is improved? How does the new brand benefit the customer? 

            In addition to the look and public image, you also have to actually improve the product or service. Look at the aspects of your item that has lost your customer’s interests and tweak them. Get input from a variety of employees about the product and the potential new path. Do some brainstorming and let the best ideas float to the top. Add some new aspects that your customers are asking for and possibly even some that they are not expecting. This is your chance to WOW the consumer.


During the “roll out” phase, find a way to be everywhere. Flood social media channels, news stations and create a buzz about the product for the weeks leading up to it. Create that sense of anticipation and excitement among your customer base, and be sure to have a solid distribution plan. Make sure that everyone who wants your product can get it.

Finally – when the product is rolled out and successful, do not rest on your victory.  Continue to assess the product and get regular feedback from your clients. No product can succeed without some occasional adjustments to meet the changing needs of the public. A brand needs to be fluid and adaptable, responding to changes in the market.

In closing, look at your brand and make sure your reality meets perception. If not, consider what you are going to do to fix that. If you are considering a new product, or a re-branding, please let us know so that we can help you get the word out and ensure your success.