Retailoring Your Brand LegacyACQUIRING A HISTORIC BRAND WITH THE AIM OF RELAUNCHING DOES NOT MEAN DISTORTING ITS HISTORY. IT MEANS CREATING A NEW STORYTELLING THAT PROJECTS IT INTO A DIFFERENT FUTURE AROUND A NEW COMMUNITY OF CONSUMERS TO WIN OVER USING EVERY CHANNEL AVAILABLE
by Emanuela Prandelli, professor di fashion and luxury management
The success of operations to relaunch historic brands, in the context of acquisitions by large groups and single investors alike, passes through the ability to combine the brand’s heritage and legacy coming from the past with contemporary reinterpretation of communication codes, often through collaborations with artists and other brands, characterized by different modes of expression and distribution networks. The opening of museums conceived as immersive experiences, capable of enhancing both the historical origins and evolution of the brand's sources of inspiration, is often useful to send the relaunch message to the minds of end consumers.
Customer engagement initiatives supported by social media marketing strategies are also fundamental: they give a new voice to the brand insofar as they know how to speak to a new target, which is especially essential for historic brands that have grown together with their chosen segment and are called to interact with a new audience accustomed to different, and more conversational, ways of communicating. The identification of appropriate macro- and micro-influencers is often crucial to give an initial boost to the relaunch of the brand.
The importance of choosing the right price point according to the priority audience you want to reach, while respecting the legacy of the brand, should not be underestimated. And the same applies to selecting and developing the most appropriate retail channel: the so-called "retail tsunami", caused by e-commerce and accentuated by COVID19, has hit the wholesale channel with particular violence, so that many companies aiming to relaunch brands choose the path of investing in a limited number of owned stores in strategically identified cities, something that remains key for brands that have limited global recognition and reputational equity, while simultaneously focusing on the digital channel, thus embracing the omnichannel approach. Omnichannel is often key for the design of new forms of experience, capable of engaging the user through a plurality of touchpoints that are increasingly becoming intertwined in the purchasing process from the perspective of the individual customer.
In essence, the key principle of an effective brand revitalization strategy lies in the ability to question oneself without altering oneself, to move forward without forgetting your original path, which remains the real driver of differentiation in the increasingly crowded world of direct-to-consumer brands, which in turn arise as natural responses to communities of users steadily built around shared values. If many brands are, therefore, the emanation of communities today, the real challenge lies in being capable of nurturing a community around the brand in need of being revitalized. This implies using all the brand’s possible access doors to the world in synergy, and above all developing new content relevant to the target, spinning the essential storytelling that makes one's product talk, meaning capable of carving out its own market space not only because it is aspirational, as it has traditionally been the case with luxury goods, but also because it is inspirational, i.e. capable of conveying strong and characterizing values, so that a well-defined segment of consumers can identify with them and feel they belong there.