Why Changing For The Sake Of Change Is Not Always A Good Idea.


questionmarksChange is inevitable, we all agree on that, but are we always forced to change because we live in a highly connected  fast-paced global environment ?  I think change for the sake of change has nothing to do with true innovation and fostering creativity or acquiring new knowledge and learning the necessary new skills to stay competitive. I am not going to talk about creativity and change management here but you can read a very good article about The Innovation Catalysts on how to change ideas into great products or services.

If you are a small business owner, a corporate executive or an employee, do you think you have to change if you are satisfied and successful with who you are, what you do and with  most of the components of your work and life environments ?

I think there is a difference between being reactive to changes and anticipating changes but in both cases you need to balance the costs and risks associated with change versus the benefits you can expect to gain. You also need to plan carefully the changes by having first some research conducted and a sound strategy before implementing any new tactics, even a small one like changing a logo on a product or a color in your website.

For big or small businesses any change in brand identity such as image, logo, slogan, has an impact on the brand image and how the customers perceive the products or services.

People make decisions to buy from you or hire you more based on emotional needs than rational reasons. Buying is based on TRUST.

Changing any brand attribute may have a different impact if you consider potential new customers or existing loyal brand lovers with emotional bonds attached to it. In a majority of cases, loyal brand lovers hate change,  so why taking the risk of changing anything if you are not forced to do it due to change in competitive environment for example ?

So the question to ask before implementing any change is :

What additional value do I bring to my customers, employees and other stakeholders ? 

Do you have experience with companies that changed just for the sake of change and fail ? We all lean from failures but we don’t need to be one

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8 thoughts on “Why Changing For The Sake Of Change Is Not Always A Good Idea.

  1. anthonypompliano January 8, 2012 at 6:43 pm Reply

    Anne great point! I agree that many companies seem to change when they feel they are bored, rather then actually changing for a legitimate reason. I lay some of the blame on business gurus and advice givers who constantly say you must be changing to stay current. If they could tweak the message to say “you must be improving” I think it would be more appropriate.

    As for brand image, I have done a simple test to prove some of the things you are talking about. Take a companies logo, and have them change just the color scheme. Executives immediately feel uneasy and say that it doesn’t feel right. If that is how they feel, then they can see how a consumer is affected. Just my two cents!

    • Anne Egros, Global Executive Coach January 8, 2012 at 7:34 pm Reply

      Hi Anthony, thanks for your comment. I feel the pressure for testing new internet tools, new marketing tricks or even engaging new followers or new fans is dangerously spiraling up. I am near overdosing and I really want to stop testing anything new right now. I agree with your observation that boredom is often the motivation for change but I don’t think it is a good one. In my case my sin is curiosity but hopefully when I feel its enough I can stop, I am not addicted, well I think so🙂

  2. Kittie Walker January 8, 2012 at 6:53 pm Reply

    I think you hit the nail on the head there, you need to think/research and plan carefully before making any changes to your brand identity.

    There was a huge disaster for GAP in 2011 when they attempted to re-brand and in fact after the re-brand they had to reverse their decision, that was a very expensive mistake (not just in terms of $). The Starbucks one went marginally better, actually compared to GAP it was a million times better. They tied it in with their 25th anniversary which seemed to smooth the way a little.

    If big organizations can make such enormous mistakes with all of those resources behind them then, the watch word for small businesses is tread carefully.

    • Anne Egros, Global Executive Coach January 8, 2012 at 7:46 pm Reply

      Thanks Kittie for giving really good examples of changes that brings no value but costs a lot! I also agree with you that small business owners should be really careful about changes even minors ones, not only because they may distract and confuse their audience but also they often do not consider their time as a real investment and get consumed and overwhelmed by all the “new” out there (see my previous post Is Someone Stealing Your Time ?)

  3. Joel Carter January 8, 2012 at 7:42 pm Reply

    Loved the great thought provoking discussion, graphics, links, examples, and highlights about reasoning and strategies for branding and whether to modify and how much. Good advice.

    • Anne Egros, Global Executive Coach January 8, 2012 at 8:08 pm Reply

      Thanks Joel for your comment. I think the DIY method as its limits. If you really want to assess the value of change in your design or business services better hire a professional who really know your target market.

  4. Jayna Locke January 8, 2012 at 10:38 pm Reply

    Change is indeed inevitable, as you said, Anne. But I agree with you, too, that changes in branding have an impact and a business can take a hit in credibility, public image and other measures of success. I had to rebrand my business last year due to trademark issues, and the time and resources involved in such an undertaking are immense.Fortunately, by treating is as an opportunity to do some things better with my new brand, I feel like I came out on top. But I would never recommend anyone make that choice lightly!

    • Anne Egros, Global Executive Coach January 8, 2012 at 10:55 pm Reply

      Hi Jayna, Thanks for the great advise coming from a marketing and branding expert. It takes years to build a brand so re-branding should take the same time or even longer due to change in technologies, SEO algorithms or simply more competition. Better plan ahead and check everything including Intellectual property as you mentioned even if someone steal your brand name by using it in other industries and territories for example.

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