Say the same thing, better

Here in Nairobi, we might not have Super Bowl budgets, but we do have bravery. However, when it comes to communicating change, where exactly does that bravery go? Sure, redesigning a pack creates some excitement in our local market. But if that’s all you do… you’re missing a trick.

As it stands, our creative solutions end up in all-too-familiar territory: a new pack shot lands on a billboard with a line we see too often, “Fresh new pack, same great taste”. It does the job and it’s the easiest way out, but… so what?

We’re in a time when consumers see ten times the number of ads they did just over 40 years ago and each one is feverishly vying for their attention. You need to be able to cut through the noise so consumers realise it’s the same brand they love but one that is also taking measures to stand out. And ‘familiar’ isn’t going to do that for you.

Some brands get it wrong. Some brands get it right. Delamere is a great example of a brand that took a different approach and treated their pack update as a brand relaunch. It was both functionally fresh and emotionally captivating – just what they needed to make noise in the cluttered dairy category.

Whilst change can help evolve your brand – as MasterCard and Dunkin’ (formally Dunkin’ Donuts) have proven – and it can differentiate it through meaningful messaging, aesthetic design, and authentic brand stories, it shouldn’t be limited to a single line and rendered product shot. As an industry, we can do better. 

It’s time to stop overlooking and under-communicating what change can do because more of the same no longer results in resonance. Messaging needs to be bolder to inspire the people that create it, need it, and see it. 

It’s a big responsibility to communicate something as critical as a change within a brand and although the perception is that it might not get people talking around the dinner table, if done right, it certainly can. So, don’t just change for the sake of it. Have a reason. Make people curious. Have a story to tell and tell it boldly. Because a new identity deserves better than, “Same old billboard, same boring line.”

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