Breaking Habits To Strengthen Brands

In a recent interview, Caroline Adams, Interflora’s marketing director, was talking about the motivation behind the company’s new brand campaign:

“We got ourselves into a space where we needed to modernise ourselves a bit… We just weren’t as on people’s radar or as desirable as we perhaps wanted to be, despite the fact our research told us that we actually had everything that they wanted.”

“This is a very busy category; it never used to be. But actually, if you look across the category, everything looks the same. If you take the logo off, you probably struggle to know who it was; you would probably struggle to know the difference. So, we talk about this sort of sea of sameness across the industry.”

Adams recognised that the brand’s ingrained marketing habits had led to a degree of dereliction, in spite of having some really relevant products, and thankfully, she has turned that around.

How does this happen?

The Interflora story is far from unique. At Fizzbuzz, we hear this or something very like it, over and over. In fact, almost any established brand could be said to be staving off some degree of obsolescence.

In 2024, so much happens in just a short amount of time. Societal changes, shifting technologies, the wages vs. cost of living seesaw, competitors pop up seemingly out of nowhere and bring alternative brands into play. Look at the social shifts that happened during and after COVID. Look at how AI is currently transforming almost everything and how inflation and supply restrictions determine affordability.

Even companies who have invested a lot into their branding and market presence cannot have the expectation that their brand and its relationship to consumers is a ‘set-and-forget’ deal.

Obsolescence creeps up. Companies that follow entrenched habits with regard to their marketing as a whole, encompassing not just the brand itself but communication via ad channels, packaging design and other customer interfaces, are at risk of losing market share and/or being caught out of position whenever the economy changes gear.

Letting go of ingrained habits is really hard to do, but it’s essential for brands that want to stay on top. If you’re an established brand and you think you deserve more market share than you’re getting, then it’s definitely time to break old habits and find a fresh way forwards.

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