According to the Economic Times ‘Rebranding is the process of changing the corporate image of an organisation’. However, anyone who has ever been involved in a rebrand will know it is usually so much more than that. Your brand touches every part of your business.
There’s no doubt a successful rebrand can make a company. Apple were nearly bankrupt in 1997, but with a successful rebrand using their ‘Think Different’ campaign, they are one of the World’s top 3 brands.
So before you rebrand you need to consider why and whether a rebrand is right for your business.
In this article, we look at some famous rebrands and what we can learn about their choice to rebrand and their rationale.
DISTANCING YOURSELF FROM A REPUTATION
If you want to succeed in this scenario, this can’t just be the case of the emperor’s new clothes. If you want to distance yourself from a bad reputation then you need to look at the whole brand – what are the company’s values, what is the culture like, what experience do customers get- as well as the brand identity. Of course you can rebrand successfully without completely changing your brand identity and change the brand perception. Take Burberry. A decade ago, the brand was linked to gangs and hooliganism. 10 years on and the brand has Emma Watson and Kate Moss as ambassadors According to Statista, the Burberry brand is valued at 5.2 billion U.S. dollars, compared to 3.1 billion U.S. dollars in 2010.
APPEALING TO A NEW AUDIENCE
In 2017 Haagen Dazs moved away from their ‘fussy and olde-worlde’ look to appeal to millennials. Ironically, they took inspiration from the past, with designs influenced by “Scandinavian style”, harking back to Reuben Mattus, who started the company in 1961.
AMALGAMATING MULTIPLE BRANDS
You may want to amalgamate a series of companies into one brand. This has the advantages of economies of scale and brand strength. In 2010 Everything Everywhere (EE) was born when T Mobile and Orange merged. However, is it only a matter of time before EE disappears into the BT brand?
The alternative here is to have one main brand and have sub brands underneath it. For example, P&G has a brand structure where each brand has its own equity, target audience and positioning.
MANAGING INTERNATIONAL DIFFERENCES
If you’re looking to sell internationally, you may need to look at your brand. Take Walkers for example. In the UK whilst you might enjoy a packet of Walkers crisps, in the US it would be lays and in Australia it would be Smiths. These are all brands under the PepsiCo brand.
You may want to rebrand because you look too similar to other brands. In 2017 PayPal and Pandorra, the music streaming service, settled out of court after Pandorra created a brand identity very similar to Paypal’s.
Did you know that TK Maxx is actually TJ Maxx, but they had to change the name in the UK because there was already a store names TJ Hughes?
MODERNISING YOUR BRAND
Maybe you simply have an outdated appearance that needs modernising or needs more impact with your target audience. Take Sky News. They completed a simple rebrand to modernise their image. The most significant change in the new logo design drops the all caps rendition of the word “news.
REPRESENTING DIFFERENT OFFERINGS
In 2019 Facebook updated their company branding to be clearer about the products that come from Facebook. They introduced a new company logo, an all-capital typeface that changes colour depending on the service offered, further distinguishing the Facebook company from the Facebook app, which kept its own branding
So having looked at the positive reasons for rebrand, its worth also considering the downsides :
LOSS OF BRAND EQUITY AND IDENTITY
Brand equity refers to a value premium that a company generates from a product with a recognisable name when compared to a generic equivalent. Companies can create brand equity for their products by making them memorable, easily recognisable, and superior in quality and reliability. In 2009 Tropicana rebranded their juice, but consumers failed to recognise the product on the shelves, thinking it was a budget competitor. This led to an estimated 20% reduction in sales.
THE RESOURCES A REBRAND TAKES
In every rebrand that I have been involved in, I’ve always told the client ‘Don’t underestimate how a rebrand will cost in time and money’. The brand is at the centre of your business, from the way people answer the phone, to the experience they get online, from the logo on the invoice, to the tone of voice on social media. It’s huge.
Rebranding will cost you money and take time, so it’s important to make sure you’re doing it for the right reasons and doing it properly. Take Royal Mail. In 2001 they changed they brand from Royal Mail to Consignia. At a cost of £1.5m to launch the new brand, little over a year later Royal Mail realised they’d made a mistake and reverted back to the original name and branding spending another £1m in the process.
Rebranding takes time, effort and money and effects every area of your business, so its important to look at the reasons behind your rebrand before you embark on it. Ultimately it will come down to what you want to achieve with your rebrand, how it fits with your overall company vision and whether rebranding will help you achieve this.
If you’d like help supporting your rebranding and ensuring its a success then please do get in touch.