How To

Jackman Reinvention founder Joe Jackman on how to reboot your brand

“People think reinvention means casting aside old ideas and starting again. That’s not the case.”

Outer facade of the Beer Store

Jackman Reinventions led the redesign of the Beer Store. “Anyone can figure out how to reinvent a brand. Our job is to compress the time it takes to do that.” (The Beer Store)

Joe Jackman, founder and CEO of Jackman Reinvention Inc., on how his team works quickly and effectively to help companies like Hertz, Old Navy, FreshCo, Rexall pharmacies and the Beer Store, zero in on the most powerful version of their brands:

1. Know your brand

“People have the notion that reinvention means casting aside old ideas and starting again. That’s really not the case. You have to understand the journey a brand has been on, the place it holds in the world and the beliefs that are held within the organization. With Walgreens, it came down to the notion of having everything customers need to lead happy and healthy lives, right on your neighbourhood corner. So the tag line became, “At the corner of happy and healthy.”

2. Understand the case for change

“It can be difficult for leaders to accept that change has to take place. A lot of energy is focused on the risk attached to certain proposals. There’s less energy directed toward asking, ‘What risk are we facing if we don’t change?’ At the drugstore Duane Reade, we did an extensive amount of research and found that on every measure customers cared about, the competitors were better. Duane Reade believed it was really good and really strong. And it did have the highest sales per square foot. So we had to share, not just with management but with the entire organization, what the facts were and what they were telling us.”

3. Find your best customer

“We choose segments of customers that matter most to the brand going forward. We look at customers as a hierarchy and try to determine who we can mean more to and sell more to. That way, you end up standing for something to somebody. It might sound counterintuitive, but that makes you more relevant to more people. I remember a CFO saying, ‘You mean you want us to deselect some customers?’ The interesting thing about brands is if you choose to focus on certain customers, you create a halo effect that will attract others.”

MORE: How to Really Listen to Your Customers »

4. Bring in the whole team

“People tend to support things they help to create. So we operate on a workshop-based model and work with full leadership teams. Everyone has the opportunity for input and feels like an owner”

5. Fire when ready

“Brand life cycles are compressing, and once decline begins, it comes faster and steeper than ever before. Anyone can figure out how to reinvent a brand. Our job is to compress the time it takes to do that. When transforming Price Chopper into FreshCo., speed was an ally. The faster we could move, the more geography FreshCo could expand across and the tougher it became for competitors to sustain a campaign of aggressive discounting in response. Plus, when an entire chain flips over at once, there’s an unbelievable opportunity to create buzz and get people talking.”

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