Even the most successful brands require a makeover now and then. Hungry Lion is a solid case in point.
Every few years, most major brands undergo something of a refresh. Perhaps the logo is tweaked or the colours are enhanced, perhaps the strapline changes or investment is made into new uniforms or high budget ad campaigns. Such changes are great and necessary – familiarity often breeds invisibility after all, and no brand wants to become irrelevant – but to really enjoy the tangible results of such efforts, a brand makeover needs to go deeper than surface level tweaks to your corporate identity.
1. Do all you can to provide a product that’s uniquely better
There are very few markets which aren’t saturated with product offerings. Does your product offer the best possible quality in your price range? If not, invest to make it happen. Depending on your industry, it may ultimately be more profitable to reduce your profit per item to increase the number of items sold.
We worked on our recipes to the point that we were happy. Then we conducted blind tastings comparing our products to those of major competitors and refused to quit until we were confident in our offering. We went on to take it two steps further; we made sure our portions were larger and that our prices were better. In short, we persisted until we reached the point where we could say with confidence: our product is a better value offering than others in this market.
2. Invest in your people
People are amazingly subjective. We quickly associate personal offence or personal pleasure derived from our purchasing experience with our view of the product purchased, which is why the staff who interact with your customers are worth their weight in gold. In a country like ours, there is no shortage of available employees. As a result, too many brands make the error of seeing their staff as highly disposable assets. On the contrary, when you view staff interaction as an integral part of your customer’s brand experience, it quickly becomes obvious that happy, an invested staff is key to an enduringly successful brand.
We installed an e-learning system in all of our stores, ensuring our staff has free access to training and development materials. An incentive programme, known as “Earn More”, has further encouraged our staff to help us drive sales and, more importantly, has resulted in them sharing in the profits of the business. Our current CSI projects are not only aimed at the public, but we also invest in our staff’s community projects. Giving staff a voice of their own is important which is why we have given them the opportunity to choose their own uniform designs.
3. Invest in your communities
As a nation, we’re facing a lot, from political instability to pervasive poverty, unemployment and malnutrition. The best thing for our economy, and for the businesses operating within it, is that we address these issues. There’s no silver bullet solution, but if every profitable brand in the country contributed, there’s no doubt the nation would be better for it. Your customers likely don’t know what your CSI impact is, but your staff usually does and that matters.
Our current strapline is Share More. It would be disingenuous to limit this goal to simply giving people a tasty meal and sending them on their way. We want to take it further than that and really put our money where our mouth is. To that end, we’ve invested in various projects which are having a real impact at the community level. Some of these include hunger relief (supporting community vegetable gardens), skills development (supporting the upskilling of single moms and grandmothers), and contributing towards change within our communities (supporting the Smile Foundation of South Africa).
4. Think outside the box
We all know that there is a heck of a lot of marketing aimed at us from all directions, so how do you make your brand stand out from the deluge of visual clutter? One way is to target senses other than sight and sound. Another is to create interactive opportunities which give your brand a very personal interaction with your customers. A third is to create content which is compelling enough that your customers become your advocates.
As part of our overall marketing strategy, we have implemented ways in which we allow our consumers to have their own voice. Our above-the-line, below-the-line, digital and social marketing include campaigns aimed at empowering our customers to choose what product offering they want and how they like to spend their hard earned money. We’re reacting to their plea for employment, for better service, and more value offerings.
5. Revisit your corporate identity
This is where most brands start and end. Of course, it matters and of course it should happen, but it is far more effective carried out as part of a broader brand makeover.