Breaking through the Resistance to Change

Breaking through the Resistance to Change

We have a complicated relationship with change. We’re told  “change is good” “change is hard” “change is inevitable”.

It seems change is all but guaranteed, and often a sign of progress, but for most of us it’s a tough pill to swallow, particularly in CPG. Briefs are safe, consistency is prioritized over upside, and revolution is a dirty word. On top of that the bigger a brand gets, the more resistant to change it typically becomes.

Interestingly, some of the biggest success stories in CPG - Halo Top, RX Bar, Siete, Poppi, KOIA, Athletic Greens - have come as a result of big, beautiful and transformational change. 

Halo Top went from focusing on all its nutritionals thinking consumers would appreciate all the nutritional elements to a heroic focus on calories per pint which is what consumers actually cared about the most.

RX Bar went from a dated, natural foods aesthetic that was anchored by an overly literal “as prescribed by nature” tagline that didn’t resonate with consumers to a clean, clear and differentiated look that made its ingredients the star of the show.

KOIA ditched its clinical look, feel and name (previously RawNature5) which didn’t connect with consumers and repositioned to celebrate the power of plants and people.

Siete unboxed itself from its previous Must B Nutty brand name and instead focused on family, heritage, and flavor leading to monumental success.

Poppi went from selling health under the Mother name (an ode to the mother SCOBY from ACV production) to selling flavor, fun and refreshment that just so happened to have gut health benefits.

Athletic Greens went from athletic clichés that didn’t resonate beyond hardcore athletes to a slick lifestyle brand with a premium and restrained aesthetic that reinforces efficacy through the sheer simplicity of a single scoop.

These brands, and many others, are shining examples of how change can be a beautiful thing so long as it isn’t simply for change's sake. Change is at its most difficult when we don’t understand it. Therefore, the key to change is to understand why it needs to happen in the first place.

Those that are smart enough to find the problem and creative enough to solve it reap the rewards of change. It’s at this nexus that we love to play and believe the power of design is unlocked, together. A sound brand and well-crafted visual identity should change little over the years once well established and aligned with its authentic self and consumer interests - whereas more temporal elements like advertising, marketing and activations change with culture to create conditional relevance for a company.

So to change we say welcome, and to lean into it only when you understand why it's necessary.

Future proof your brand.

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