You’re already behind: Here’s why rebranding matters

At the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago, one exhibit is an open Twinkie with a birth certificate dated October 6, 2009. It is still edible, says the museum. That nine-year-old Twinkie has a longer shelf life than most respected brands by a factor of three. The current rate of the rebranding of companies and products is happening at a frequency I’ve never experienced in 30 years of agency work.

Why do companies need to evolve their messaging more often? And when has a brand, unlike the everlasting Twinkie, exceeded its expiration date?

Decades ago, companies evolved their brand every five to six years, though often less. Now, companies should consider a refresh every three years. The hyper-dynamism of nearly every market has cut the life expectancy of brands. Customers with shrinking attention spans stick with brands that earn their loyalty by constantly offering something new and relevant.

The internet, smartphones and social media might have shortened attentions spans, but I think of those as effects, not causes. They meet a clear demand for constant stimulation and build on a mass media diet that’s virally multiplying.

It’s only logical that restrained communications are going extinct. The news must give you 10 Unbelievable Examples of How Our Entire Culture Has Been Buzzified, and trust me, You Won’t Believe What Happens Next!