Brand Positioning Services

Keeping the Heritage Brand Alive: Brand Positioning Services


The challenges for a Brand with heritage.

In the UK over the last 10 years, there’s been a shift in which brands command consumer love – with many historical brands losing ground.

Being a heritage brand is very much a double-edged sword! Whilst people know and respect you, alas, it doesn’t always mean they are buying your products! You have to work hard to find the sweet spot that honours the heritage but expresses a relevant point of view.

Every ‘old’ brand holds so much more meaning to us because we connect with their story on a deeper level, and thus, they hold more value. That’s why we fall in love with heritage brands.

Brands that have a legacy behind their name have the power to inspire their audience to dream by producing goods that transport us to another time and place. They can evoke powerful sentiments towards their products because they have become representative of a simpler way of life.

The most successful heritage brands still hold onto their original purpose.

In our fast-moving, price-conscious, problem-solving world, more traditional and much-loved brands must make themselves relevant to younger consumers, or suffer the consequences, as the ‘new kids on the block’ muscle in on their shelf space. Heritage is a strong foundation but brands need to modernise to avoid becoming obsolete.

The trick with most great brands that have reached the point where they are older than the customers that they serve, is to use history and origins to work out the brand position and then apply that position disruptively to the consumer world.

Brands built on fundamental beliefs can evolve with the times.

We are living in a golden age of ‘challenger brands’ – those agile, fast-moving brand start-ups that are shaking up the norms of FMCG. Challenger brands have an intuitive sense of customer trends and changing requirements – such as the demand for healthier or higher quality craft products.

It’s therefore critical that FMCG companies with heritage apply some of the same thinking as challenger brands. There’s an opportunity to re-invigorate and refresh their established heritage brand.

Be proud of your heritage – then innovate.

By embracing a brand’s history, developing new formats and propositions – and crucially remaining true to their values – the future of brands with heritage is bright. It’s possible to beat the market disrupters at their own game, they just need to get into the challenger mindset and use their heritage as a platform on which to innovate and reinvent themselves.

Yes, there’s an opportunity for the heritage traditional recipe but tastes change and develop. We are now, more than ever before, exposed to a whole array of world foods and flavours. Consumers want choice, demand choice and have a choice.

If these strategies are executed correctly, challenger brands will struggle to compete with the real affection and emotional attachment that many heritage brands can proudly claim to have had with their customers over many decades.

Be nimble and adaptable.

Businesses must be careful not to get stuck in the past. New product development is the key; using the brand’s heritage as a plus; a sign of knowledge and authority but bringing a “twist of modern”, with contemporary flavour profiles and recipes.

Marketing a heritage brand is all about storytelling and engagement, if you have a story to tell allow your packaging to tell that tale. Avoid seismic shifts in your pack design; often small tweaks to packs are best as they allow consumers to get used to changes. Use enough recognisable cues and references within your pack design to comfort your brand’s loyal consumers but be contemporary enough to engage with a new audience. It’s a fine line, we know, but make things too contemporary and you may lose loyalty. Leave it as is, and market share will dwindle.

Build on your heritage to make it relevant and memorable and ensure that product innovation is a cornerstone. Be nimble and adaptable.

If you get it right, it’s a big opportunity. Talk to us and find out how we can help you to make the most of your heritage.

Check out how Wow Me have helped Homepride reclaim it’s rightful place at the heart of baking.

Wow Me Design is the Cheltenham-based brand development agency creating brands people want. We would love you to get in touch at

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