Just over a year after completing a major brand overhaul, Telus owned Blacks Photography is closing the doors to their 59 remaining stores across the country.
While the classic Canadian brand did go all out with a new logo, retail look, website, and app, they couldn’t save themselves. The world has clearly moved past traditional photo processing and related services and Blacks was no longer able to deliver the services that Canadians once came to them for. In the words of Blade CCO Wayne S. Roberts, “No amount of slick branding or advertising is going to make up for a broken promise.”
And in just one year it became clear that products like prints, photo books, mugs and pillows using customers digital photos weren’t going to be enough to buoy the brand when consumers could find those things somewhere else. Roberts adds that the strategy seemed to be “let’s put a coat of paint on it and hope nobody notices it’s irrelevant.”
The lesson to learn here isn’t just that traditional photo technology is obsolete; it’s that a visual rebrand alone will not save your struggling brand.
If your brand is not committed to, or able to innovate and find something new that will set them apart from the competition and engage the consumer base, you will fail. Blacks found that out the hard way. And while there is a certain sadness to see a Canadian brand fail after 85 years in business, it seemed inevitable.
If your brand is struggling and you think it’s time for a rebrand, remember Blacks and think long and hard about what your brand’s real problem is and how you are going to solve it from the bottom all the way to the top.