A Careful Rebrand – The Peak Did It Right!

– By Nicole Freeston

At 1:02 PM on September 10, 2012, local radio station The Peak swapped frequencies with Vancouver Co-op Radio; and it’s a big deal for those who live outside the general vicinity of the core-Vancouver area. It must be difficult attempting to listen to Cory Ashworth and Laurie Logan over a pile of static every morning. Considering everything (signage, messaging, on-air station I.D.’s) had to change from 100.5 to 102.7, a mini rebrand came alongside the frequency swap. As a member of the Peak Street Team, I saw how effective the rebrand was through communicating information about the switch with enthusiastic and curious listeners at community events.

There may be some brands that will never require a rebrand because they are so widely known and recognizable; and no matter how outdated their brand looks, no one will notice or care. But sometimes rebrands are necessary. Times are a-changin’; logos can look outdated and messages that were once witty can go corny. If it’s going to be done, it needs to be done properly and in the best way for your company. Having completed recent website updates and visual branding revisions for Magnolia, it’s become clear that rebranding can be a tricky thing when you’re trying to create something new while maintaining something old and recognizable.

AdvertisingAge offers an example of an unsuccessful rebrand:

Why mess with a classic? You can probably guess how well they did post-rebrand.

 

How the Peak Did It Right

1.) Similar Logo

 

Both devoted and once-in-awhile listeners will recognize this similar logo while knowing the new frequency.

2.) Strong promotion & awareness of the swap

The Peak promoted the frequency switch well ahead of time and relayed the switch in the right way, emphasizing the two main things listeners needed to know: new number, stronger signal.

3.) Included listeners in the rebrand

The Peak put out a commercial contest for listeners to create a short video that communicated the frequency swap in a creative way. This built a strong audience surrounding the rebrand and reflected how involved The Peak is with the local Vancouver community. They’re not only highly supportive of local musicians but of listeners as well.

This is one of my favourite submissions:

The moral of the story is, why mess with a good thing? Sometimes a little messing is necessary, but it needs to be relevant to your brand in order to achieve the results you’re looking for.

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