Yesterday was 1/1/2013.

 So with this new year, we vow never, ever again to use the “R-esolution” word. To us, that means a promise to fix this, upgrade that, add on something else  – or “renovating,” the usual gist of our “gotta do this.”

We could be talking personal renovating horrors:  Contractors who appear – and vanish at the speed of sound.  Projects that don’t want to be finished (like the tile floors our builder swore weren’t crooked or mislaid).  Pristinely perfect bathrooms with, in the day’s light, faucets that creak and showerheads that gurgle. 

Yet the same kind of fear, uncertainty, and doubt surround us when starting to look at brands and the brand experiences, ours and the companies that touch us.  We read with extreme interest, for one, about the makeover of Holiday Inns’ hotel bars, morphing into social hubs for extroverted guests (and reducing restaurant labor costs since bar staff will serve customers).  This is more than a refresh or facelift.  It’s a significant renovation, even in pilot, that signals a major update and brand experience change to not only business travelers, but also to the hotel’s franchisees, their staff, and the various vendors who work with the brand. 

Which is why it’s so refreshing (!) to read/hear about CMOs and other executives who are not afraid to call a brand renovation exactly that.  For sure, overhauls like Holiday Inn are standard in the hospitality industry.   And retailing as well.  In our minds, all businesses need to emulate that same kind of straightforward brand thinking.  As well as the news that renovations are underway:  “We’re making over our brand to better reflect who we are – and what our customers want.  Watch for it!”  Now that’s a conversation we’d like to participate in – with “R”s that can be named.