A Look at the Do’s and Don’ts of Rebranding in Adult Retail

To ensure ongoing success, businesses need to keep up with the latest trends. That doesn’t mean jumping on every fad, but rather acknowledging the wants and needs of consumers and changing with the times. When consumer demand is clear, hopping on the bandwagon helps ensure relevance. Being responsive to new trends keeps your business relatable and helps it to grow and thrive rather than come across as outdated.

In other words: When the market shifts, you need to shift with it — and when a big enough shift is called for, that sometimes requires rebranding.

When should you consider rebranding?

Rebranding can be an important part of helping your company grow. Reluctance or failure to keep up with the current demands of the industry can be harmful to a company in many ways. Consider how important it has become to build and maintain an online presence for your company. Tending to your online presence helps establish loyalty to your brand and widens your reach by appealing to a larger audience. During the COVID-19 lockdowns, companies that had not done so were forced to scramble to catch up. Those that didn’t already have an established online platform started off at a disadvantage, missing out on additional visibility and revenue. If you find that your company is falling behind the times, that may be a good time to think about rebranding.

Stagnant or declining sales are another reason to reflect on whether the status quo is no longer doing the trick for your business. Questions to consider are: What can we be doing better? What’s no longer reaching audiences? What are people saying about our company or product? Utilize feedback whenever you can and be on the lookout for any increase in complaints or unsatisfactory reviews to avoid falling behind.

Rebranding can also be a focused way to accomplish specific marketing goals, such as expanding inclusivity. We are currently seeing a lot of this in the industry as various brands and products lean more towards gender neutrality. To achieve this, many companies are taking the initiative to rebrand, beginning with their online presence. This includes — but is not limited to — reworking the terminology and verbiage in various product descriptions and usage instructions, as well as removing gender-specific pronouns when marketing toys and accessories online. Steps like these can help you reach and appeal to a larger audience.

This tactic is not only being incorporated into the products themselves but has also made its way to retail stores. Gone are the days of vibrant pinks, floral decals, and overly feminine aesthetics. Instead, it’s hello to purples, teals and the return of classic neutrals.

Do’s and don’ts of rebranding

Keep it original: As the saying goes, “Just be yourself.” Nothing could ring truer when taking a step back to rebrand. Even a reinvented brand still needs to retain its original or signature components to remain recognizable. Keep in mind that some consumers may not go online much and therefore may not see the “We’re getting a facelift!” memo. By staying true to your mission and what you stand for as a brand, you can remain relevant while still moving forward. You can even take advantage of rebranding as a great opportunity to re-introduce the company. Recount your origin story. Reiterate your mission statement or add to it. Announce future ambitions, and do not be afraid to share available business opportunities.

Send the memo: If the brand is suddenly unrecognizable, this can leave the consumer feeling left out or betrayed, and you never want to leave a loyal customer disgruntled by your rebrand. Starting from scratch isn’t always easy — especially when the connection between the brand and the consumer is so personal, as in the pleasure products industry! This is a shared experience, and to be left out of the loop can leave consumers feeling as if they have no claims in their investment. Keep the crowd up to date on changes and innovations. Get the conversation going while also taking the time to acknowledge, address and update the online community. Consumer connections are nurtured through loyalty and transparency on the part of the brand.

Less is more: A picture is worth a thousand words. In other words, let the product sell itself. Move towards a simpler aesthetic and away from overstimulating packaging. One of the newer trends seen with product rebranding is the conversion from packaging with windows to enclosed box packaging with printed images of the product, offering a classier, cleaner, and more modern look. Color palettes have also shifted back to neutrals and away from neons, creating a more gender-neutral appeal. A personal favorite characteristic of today’s packaging is the use of metallic foil stamping — it’s just sparkly enough to catch the eye.

Don’t lose focus: A common mistake when rebranding is neglecting older products. Although they may be selling more slowly, rebranding presents a great opportunity to re-introduce past designs as “classic” or “original.” Reviving older models and acknowledging where it all began is a great way to stay recognizable, while still giving you the opportunity to discard outdated aesthetics and terminology.

Finally, when rebranding, it is important not to get lost in revamping your image just for the sake of it. New branding still needs to remain true to the company, the mission statement, and the goal. Remember, you’re going for a facelift, not a makeover.

A Look at the Do’s and Don’ts of Rebranding in Adult Retail by Kaitlyn Lembke originally appeared in XBIZ

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