Alot of business owners believe that a company’s brand identity is just company name and logo and its not really a big deal.
A brand is much more than the name and logo of a business.
Your company’s brand is the sum total of the experience your customers and prospects have with your company.
A good brand communicates what your company does and how it does it. A good brand also establishes trust and credibility with your prospects and customers.
Brand identity is important.
But a brand isn’t forever.
Companies evolve and often, must evolve their brand and branding.
This happens for many different reasons.
You might no longer love your logo or your brand aesthetic no longer speaks to your company’s values and products. You might be expanding the scope of your business and the name of your business is too limiting. Or you might have realized that your brand simply isn’t doing a good enough job to differentiate you in the marketplace.
The truth is that many companies, including some of the most successful, rebrand.
We’ve seen this recently with rebrands by Dunkin’ Donuts, Weight Watchers, Uber, Unilever, and many more companies.
Let’s look more closely at rebranding and examine what it is, why companies rebrand, and what you should know to successfully rebrand your business.
Table of Contents
What is rebranding?
Rebranding is the process of changing the image or look of a company or product. The main purpose is to make the new image more attractive and unique to consumers. It is a marketing strategy that involves changing the logo, name, symbols, or a combination of all of them. Ad. We rebrand to raise awareness of a company’s or product’s new identity.
As we mentioned earlier, a brand is much more than a company’s name and logo. But the name and business logo are key ambassadors for any brand, so it’s important that both are strong.
When should a company consider rebranding?
Companies that don’t employ rebranding strategies at the right time often find themselves slipping away from competition. The importance of maintaining a strong brand image means always catering to consumer needs. This is why successful companies are continuously working to improve brand image by adapting to consumers and delivering effective messages.
A successful rebranding effort is built on the concept that a brand has to occupy a place in a consumer’s mind so that when a need arises, a consumer automatically associates a problem with a specific solution, or a brand.
The best branding strategies are enduring – they are built on a specific idea or concept that will never change. Think of your unique selling proposition (USP) or your competitive positioning statement; these elements will always incorporate a mission statement so that whatever opportunity or challenge a company may face, goals will always be aligned to end results.
The following is a list of problems companies without good branding strategies face:
1. Mergers, Acquisitions, And Spin-offs
For the most part, changes in business ownership, such as mergers, acquisitions, and spin-offs, result in an immediate rebranding. The aim here is not only to make the change visible, but also to comply with legal and regulatory requirements. In the case of spin-offs—sometimes termed demergers—the newly created company is obliged to develop its own brand. This makes clear that it is no longer part of the larger organization.
Over the past few years, this process has taken place at grid operators, which emerged from their energy companies. Some results have been the creation of companies such as Enexis, Alliander, and Stedin. There are several possibilities when it comes to mergers and acquisitions. The new company may develop a completely new brand, as in the case of @home, Casema, and Multikabel, which together became Ziggo. In other cases the name of one of the parties is used, e.g. Getronics, which continued under the KPN brand following its acquisition by KPN.
If implemented properly, a change to the positioning and brand promise of a company has major consequences for the organization. Everything is adapted in line with the organization’s new strategy and promise, its products or services, HR policy, customer contact, corporate identity, and so on. Rebranding makes this change visible for all stakeholders. We saw an example of this with Gamma, which repositioned itself by moving away from traditional home improvements (DIY—do it yourself) and towards interiors and enjoyment.
In some cases, rebranding is necessary so that a brand can also be used internationally. This may be because the brand name is too specific to a particular country. In certain countries, a brand name may also conjure up the wrong associations. Organizations that sell the same products in several countries, but under different brand names, are also increasingly opting to use one brand internationally. Famous examples include the rebranding of Jif to Cif, Smiths to Lay’s, Raider to Twix, and Postbank (which was only used in the Netherlands) to ING, the brand that is used everywhere internationally.
4. Changing Markets
For some companies, changes in the marketplace mean that their very existence comes under threat. The digital transformation of society in particular is making it necessary for certain sectors to reinvent themselves. Different requirements call for a different product to be offered. One example, also in the Netherlands, the Free Record Shop, adapted its logo, corporate identity, and retail environment to give its brand a boost.
5. Bad Reputation
If a brand has a bad reputation and this is having a serious impact on its operating results, rebranding can ensure that negative associations with the brand are ameliorated or dispelled. It is important here that changes are implemented both internally and externally. This is the only way that a rebranding project can remove any negative associations with the brand and succeed. The rebranding of VendexKBB to Maxeda is one example of this.
6. Conflict With Stakeholders
Developing a brand may in itself also lead to a rebranding. This may be because the new style is too similar to an existing brand, for example. Such a situation was faced by Multimate, which, after its rebranding, lost a lawsuit against IKEA as the two brands had become too similar. Multimate had to make sure that its new logo was no longer visible within a period of six months.
Another reason is that aspects of a rebranding can sometimes be so negatively received by internal and external stakeholders that it stands in the way of the organization’s success. One example involved the identity change by Gap clothing company, which decided within one week that it would keep its original logo after all.
7. New CEO
A new CEO often brings a new lease on life to an organization. This may result in major organizational changes that also influence the course the company takes. Such a situation arose at Apple, for example, following the return of Steve Jobs in 1997. At that time Apple had to change in order to survive. Jobs himself took a hand in choosing the new logo, which changed from the rainbow-colored apple to the more modern metallic variant, in addition to steering the company’s shift in the modern era.
8. Outdated Image
One of the most common reasons for undertaking a corporate rebranding project is modernization. Trends mean that over time brands come across as old-fashioned if they have not been updated. Although in many cases it is not the main reason, a more modern image is often one of the motivations behind a rebranding project.
9. Changing Brand Portfolio
Over the years, some organizations develop or acquire new brands. In time, this results in a broad brand portfolio that is no longer coherent. Furthermore, carrying many different brands often leads to high costs when it comes to maintaining and promoting the brand. In such cases, rebranding ensures that the entire brand portfolio is brought into line and tells a clear story about the organization. A number of years ago, USG People rationalized and coordinated its brand portfolio in this way.
10. Further Development Of Brand Components
Years ago, for the majority of organizations, a corporate identity consisted of just a logo, a primary color palette, and typography. Brand elements such as photographic style, visual language, and a secondary color palette had not been defined back then. This meant that there was a great deal of freedom when it came to applying the elements, with the result that the brand expressions ultimately became misaligned. In such cases, the further development of an organization’s brand is a must to ensure it is coherent and recognizable.
Since a new name can be part of brand change, here are the top four reasons for changing a company name:
1. Change of ownership
2. Change of business strategy
3. Change to competitive position
4. Change of business environment
Contributed to Branding Strategy Insider by: Marc Cloosterman, CEO, VIM Group. Excerpted and adapted from his book Future Proof Your Brand.
10 Rebranding Ideas
1. Establish the Purpose of the Rebrand
Before going right into a rebrand, first make sure you are clear on the purpose. What do you want to accomplish with this new brand and what changes do you want to see? It may be drawing a different crowd to your products/services, or creating a new image for your company that sets you apart from your competitors. Make sure you have a specific and defined purpose so that you can put structure around your rebrand and stay on track with success.
2. Have a New Brand Vision
You may think that it’s best to start your rebrand with a vision, but without a defined purpose, your rebrand may not go as successfully as you’d like. Once you have a purpose and goals in place, you can then start shaping your vision accordingly. Your vision is more like the visual representation of your rebrand and the feeling you hope to inspire with it.
3. Make Your Rebrand Known
When you finally go public with your rebrand, make sure everyone knows about it! You had a vision and set goals, and you achieved them. This reflects wonderfully on your business reputation. Also, letting your current customers and target audience know will help them to feel more connected, and to recognize that you care enough to keep them in the loop.
To make your rebrand known, put together an event, go to the media, or advertise your changes. If you don’t spread awareness of your changes, many people may not even notice all of your hard work!.
4. Be Consistent
Even though you are changing a lot of elements of your brand, there are still many elements that you should preserve—in particular, your tone and language. People will enjoy fresh new colors and graphics, but will not enjoy feeling like they no longer know you as a company. You may even want to preserve some of your design elements to help your audience with the transition. Brand consistency is important, so don’t overlook it even when rebranding.
5. Experiment and Be Creative
Creativity can go a long way in today’s world. Each day we are exposed to thousands of advertisements, some of which you may not even notice. Rebranding is an opportunity to start with a blank slate and try out new marketing and communication strategies. You can compare metrics before and after the rebrand, or start fresh new experiments with new channels. Make your new brand stand out over the others by doing things no one else is doing. Try out some clever ad copy, build a stand-out social media profile, come up with a custom hashtag, or start incorporating more behind the scenes content into your posts.
6. Notify Your Vendors
Think about the vendors you use to market and run your business. Make sure you notify them with your new name and any other new information so they can update your account, and to avoid any confusion or billing errors. Other businesses will appreciate your attention to detail and your consideration of their side of things. Even better, if your vendors are also local businesses, you will be helping to strengthen the community and its connections.
Rebranding can be key to changing the direction of your company moving forward and helping you to accomplish the new company goals you set. Have a clear vision and purpose in mind for your rebrand and follow that path with confidence. Rebranding is not an easy task to complete and could hurt your company more than it helps it. Keep these 6 tips in mind when executing your own rebrand to assist with your company’s new transition.
Rebranding is one of the most cathartic endeavors a company can undertake. It gives you the power to shape your brand into an authentic, cohesive entity with agency and purpose. Letting go of the past can be a difficult proposition. We find safety, after all, in that which is familiar. But charting a confident course for the future of your brand is well worth any discomfort along the way. Putting the above tips into practice will ensure you get the most out of your rebrand, and build an impactful brand that inspires customers to take action.