The 3 Fundamentals for a Successful Rebrand
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JDate, the premier community for Jewish singles, is nearly universally recognized within the Jewish community. It’s responsible for more Jewish marriages than all other dating sites combined. While data suggests nearly one-third of the single Jewish population in the U.S. is a member of JDate, our belief we could do an even better job connecting with younger Jews led to “Get Chosen,” JDate’s first major rebrand since its birth in 1997.
While a rebrand is not an easy feat, when done right, it has the potential to help reinvigorate a brand. Here are three important factors to keep in mind if you’re considering a rebrand.
Focus on your audience. “Get Chosen” puts the “J” squarely in the center of JDate’s messaging. It resonates with the Jewish community by highlighting the history and cultural traditions Jews have in common.
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As the “Get Chosen” name implies, the campaign is, to some extent, one big inside-joke. Ironically, the campaign runs counter to that basic tenet of marketing, appeal to the widest possible audience. Instead, the “Get Chosen” messaging is intentionally aimed at our audience with the understanding that non-Jews may be left scratching their heads.
Our team’s challenge was to resonate with what potential JDaters have in common, connect with that common bond, build on it and give it greater meaning. Through the rebrand, we have successfully connected with the younger members of the Jewish community and further emphasized JDate’s place in their Jewish culture.
When rebranding, understanding and focusing on your core audience is critical, since doing so enables you to deliver a clear message that is most likely to energize your base. Failing to focus on a clear, identifiable audience leaves brands at risk of trying to speak to everyone which, unfortunately, all too often ends up with a brand effectively speaking to no one.
The “Get Chosen” ads are intended to lightheartedly reinforce what JDaters have in common. Following the “Get Chosen” campaign’s launch, we saw an uptick in activity on JDate.com. In addition, we also saw a lot of digital and social media coverage focused on the ads’ quirky messaging. That digital “chatter” is exactly what we hoped to achieve. It takes the “Get Chosen” campaign full circle by activating the community as well, which leads nicely to my next tip.
Engage your consumers. “Get Chosen” does not just represent our attempt to speak to our community. It was an effort to speak with our community. We, literally, gave young JDaters a voice that got them directly involved in the conversation.
Our “Find Mr. Right to Left” ad did not emanate from our marketing team or agency. It was a winning entry we crowdsourced from a contest asking JDaters to submit their own “Get Chosen” slogans. Similar to the initial ads, contest submissions were intended to highlight the unique cultural ties that bind the Jewish community. And, the community did not disappoint.
Empower your consumers to both participate in word-of-mouth marketing and help create your messaging. That gives them both a sense of ownership and a deeper connection to your brand.
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Stay true to your brand’s mission. While rebranding gives you a chance to reinvent your brand’s image, staying true to your core values and mission is of chief importance.
Unless it is a result of crisis management, the goal in rebranding is more often to strengthen your brand’s messaging and allow it to evolve. Consequently, although rebranding can do many things, most of all, it should support your core message while connecting with your audience in a new, authentic way.
JDate’s rebrand, in addition to the contest, were opportunities to reinforce our message and our mission while reaching Jewish millennials. While the creative is different, it clearly supports JDate’s mission to strengthen the Jewish community and ensure that Jewish traditions are sustained for generations to come.
Another of the winning slogans from our “Get Chosen” contest was “Matzah ball recipes don’t survive on their own.” It’s a funny line but also a metaphor for our mission. Earned media and a jump in site activity are validating but, ultimately, our goal is much bigger. It is to create a living, breathing campaign our members connect with and that connects our members to us.
By focusing not on everyone, but solely on our audience and what makes JDate unique and special, the “Get Chosen” campaign is doing just that. As more millenials join and subscribe, JDate will continue to achieve its mission, one Success Story at a time.