Our brand is too old for young people to ever buy into it.
New technology has made our company obsolete.
New, new, new – that’s all anyone wants.
Just a few of the things I hear from discouraged clients working in (seemingly) soon-to-be-extinct organizations.
Established brands present a great advantage over their new to the market competitors, however, how many times have we watched as an oldie goldie’s market share has been ousted by an up and coming?
Is it the established brand’s age, reputation, or track record that makes it obsolete, or is there something else…like a failure to connect with the ever-evolving market?
Pokémon GO Rocks
Topping 15 million downloads just in Week One, Pokémon Go is officially the most popular app in history.
It’s exceeded all download expectations, with:
I’m not a Pokémon hunter, and to be completely honest, found myself wondering on July 7th, “What are all these people doing sporadically scurrying all over the park looking at their phones?”
Over the past few days, I’ve watched in awe as enthused app users continue to make headlines all across the globe like the:
Pokémon – an established brand founded in 1995 – originally rolled out with comic books, video games, trading cards, animated shows and movies. I became a super-brand in the early 2000’s, only to slip towards aged obscurity over the years that followed.
Enter: Pokémon GO.
By building on its existing brand + adding a new age element (app, anyone?), Pokémon prevented its well-known brand from going by way of the dinosaur.
How'd they do it?
So what makes Pokémon GO so – um – awesome?
Here’s a few home run hitters for the app:
Pokémon GO understands that “relevant” doesn’t have to mean “new” – it can simply mean “innovated”. By building on established customer base and products, Pokémon GO was able to successfully roll out one the biggest tech hits of all time.
They didn’t focus on new customers.
They didn’t base their product on new characters.
They didn’t completely reinvent the wheel when it came to all thing Pokémon.
Instead, they took something that had worked and tweaked in a super cool, hip way.
What Pokémon GO can teach established brands:
Social media is just “not us” – we don’t want to get on it.
Rebranding isn’t worth our while; millennials just don’t like [insert: any declining industry].
What we’ve done for fifty years has worked for fifty years. We’re not changing for some silly teenie bopper fad.
As a millennial marketing and public relations consultant, I’ve heard almost every excuse for why established companies should ignore changing consumer demographics – aka millennials.
Maybe you’ve heard (or even said) something similar.
Wildly successful revamps of brands like Pokémon GO prove such excuses not true.
Established brands have the potential to totally rock out the millennial market.
The question isn’t “Can they?” - it’s “Will they?”.
Far too many established brands approach the emergence of the millennial market with their hands in the air, convinced today’s digital consumers won’t appreciate any aspect of their brand. Such discouraged attitudes are not only based on fallacy, but also lead organizational leaders to embark on a half-hearted attempt to revamp, expecting defeat before they even get started (or social).
Good news: You don’t have start from scratch to connect with Gen Y consumers; like Pokémon GO so poignantly demonstrated, millennials will (and do) appreciate nostalgic relevance.
By revamping your soon-to-be-obsolete organization in millennial-friendly ways, you can capitalize on the 30-under crowd’s appreciation for tenure, along with their commitment to consistent innovation.
About Hannah Becker:
Becker Digital is a full-service Marketing and Public Relations Agency dedicated to empowering mission-driven organizations to reach their goals. We apply our expertise in community development, social media strategy, and public relations to connect organizational clients with today’s always-scrolling online users.