We just adopted an 8-year-old dog who is sweet and smart, albeit with a few bad habits. Seeing as how we have allowed our 6-year-old lab to lapse into some bad habits also, we have decided to retrain them at their ripe ages. This has led to quite a bit of resistance and confusion on the dogs’ part, and frustration and impatience on their caretakers’ part.
So it also goes with changing a longstanding marketing approach or brand position. You will get resistance from co-workers, senior staff, owners, board members, practically anyone who had a part in formulation the approach or position in the first place. And although this resistance is to be expected and can be a healthy reign to keep the process from going unchecked, it can also keep a company from evolving and growing, and evolution is what keeps a company relevant and in business.
If you are trying to make a change in your company’s marketing or branding direction, the first thing you need to remove is the fear of change, so grand gestures and big announcements aren’t where you should start. Instead, do your research first, quietly and discreetly. Then meet one-on-one with stakeholders, ask for their advice and input individually, slowly open up the discussion of shifting course. As my dogs are already proving, an old dog can learn new tricks, but only over time and with patience.