In the Northern Hemisphere, the spring season is upon us. Spring is known as a time of rebirth. The brand world is not all too different from the world of living organisms. Like all living things, brands need to be cared for in order to demonstrate signs of vitality. This is the essence of the product life cycle, a fundamental marketing concept. Brands are developed, grown, and reach the state of maturity. A challenge comes in the latter part of the maturity stage, which is avoiding the onset of a brand decline. Through revitalization, brands can extend the spring like season in their life cycle. Many brands have successfully revitalized over time.

In successful brand revitalizations, brands often use multiple elements of the marketing mix to extend their period of maturity. A brand can change product features, target markets, packaging, distribution, communications, and pricing strategies. Some of these items are more difficult to change than others, and the difficulty of each item depends upon individual brand circumstances and the industry space that the brand operates in. Two of the items that I feel are the easiest ones to address are target markets and communications. Accomplishing a revitalization through these components of the marketing mix is no walk in the park.

With regard to target market, brands can change a target market, and change it drastically. Perhaps the target market that once proved viable for driving profitability is no longer the most profitable segment of the market. This idea was the impetus behind how Procter & Gamble decided to revitalize Old Spice when they acquired the brand in 1990, which is one of the best revitalization stories I’ve observed in brand marketing. When Procter & Gamble bought the brand, Old Spice was perceived as declining brand popular with older men. P&G sensed that this perception and market trend did not benefit the brand long term, and they sought to change it. Over the last 2+ decades, Old Spice has been repositioned as a brand that appeals to men 30 and under. Although the Old Spice revitalization involved various elements of the marketing mix in this transformation, much of the repositioning involved a distinctly new approach to marketing communication.

Marketing communication is the part of the marketing mix that has seen the greatest changes in recent times. With the development and explosion of a wide variety of online marketing channels, brands are facing a tremendous challenge in effectively optimizing, distributing and managing content across channels, along with the usual challenges of developing content that has copy & creative that resonates with the intended target market. Social media marketing is a key element in this. Mostly every brand has a target market that can be found in social media. It is a matter of using the right networks and the right communication tactics to increase market share, revenue and efficiencies in the marketing process.

If your brand doesn’t feel as fresh as plants in the springtime, perhaps it is time to consider where the brand could improve, and take steps in a direction that will positively affect change. One of the best things that any company can do is ensure their branded product offerings stay within the desirable parts of the product life cycle.