How to Keep Your Brand Fresh and RelevantConsumers are a notoriously fickle species. What they absolutely love today will bore or annoy them tomorrow. That’s why no brand—however established and well known—can afford to rest on its laurels.

So says Michael Olguin, contributor to Inc. and president of Formula PR. Over time, he contends brands become stale and irrelevant “unless they reinvent themselves to be current.”

This re-invention can take many forms—a new marketing campaign, product innovation, or a radically different product value proposition.

“The first step is for brands to recognize their importance in this ever-changing consumer marketplace,” Olguin says.

Here are tips to stay fresh and relevant.

Keep Your Brand Fresh and Relevant

Look to the Horizon

The dynamics of the marketplace are always in flux, so it’s necessary to be prepared to adapt to changing circumstances and have a vision that encompasses what’s next on the horizon.

This applies even to world-class brands. “Even Apple, the brand that could seemingly do no wrong, is being questioned about its future innovation,” Olguin notes. Need we point out if the Apple brand is vulnerable, so is every other brand on the planet?

Find Out What Consumers Want

A common trap for popular brands is the belief their success means they know what their target customers want. Says Olguin, “This is a HUGE problem and it happens all the time."

Never assume you can think for your customers. Instead, make use of every communication platform at your disposal to ask them questions. Gather information through social media, research groups, surveys, etc., to stay on top of ever-changing consumer preferences.

Always Innovate

In the automobile industry, a high premium is placed on innovation. Doing something new—particularly something that anticipates changing consumer demand—marks a great opportunity for people to discover your brand for the first time, or re-energize those who are already familiar.

This doesn't mean abandoning what’s worked before. “However, the right kind of innovation can turn you into front-page news, which will ensure your brand stays relevant,” Olguin says.

Explore New Distribution Options

Knowing consumers buy online in greater numbers than ever before, can you devise ways to breathe new life into your retail distribution channels? What about creative opportunities to make your product more available to your target audience (straight to consumers, direct-response television)? Use your imagination to explore different options.

Never Say “We’d Never do That!”

The consumer buying process is utterly different than it was a decade ago, Olguin notes. “What made you successful then might be completely irrelevant today.” Don’t ignore someone’s idea about brand re-invention because “it’s something we’d never do” or because “it won’t work for our brand.” Consider all ideas with a “Why not?” attitude.

As consumer habits change, your brand has to change with them. The good news is, this effort can open up all kinds of previously unimagined opportunities for business growth.

How do you keep your brand fresh and relevant?