What is Rebranding and Why Do Companies Want to Rebrand?

What is Rebranding and Why Do Companies Want to Rebrand?

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Jaya
Jaya Sharma
Assistant Manager - Content
Updated on May 20, 2024 00:33 IST

Any company that undergoes rebranding aims to change and upscale its brand’s identity. Various strategies are applied to reconstruct the image of the brand. The aim is to establish the new brand identity so strongly that people forget the old version of your brand. There are several ways to rebrand.

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So, what is rebranding? As the name suggests, rebranding is the process of revamping your brand image. The aim is to change the way your audience or consumers perceive your brand. 

Table of Contents

Why do Companies Want to Rebrand?

A company may undergo rebranding due to the following reasons:

1. Target Market has evolved.

There is an established company that has been selling film cameras for decades. In current times when people have smartphones and DSLRs, film cameras have lost their utility. In case the company keeps on selling these cameras and does not upgrade to selling smart devices, it will lose its position in the market.

In such a situation, the company will have to enter the market space of digital cameras to retain its consumers. This will require the company to undergo rebranding so that the consumers are well aware that the company serves their latest requirements.  

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2. The company’s reputation was hit negatively.

There is an FMCG company. In its advertisements, it still shows women serving food at the table while men feast on the products. Had it been the 1970s, this advertisement would have worked like any other regular advertisement. In 2023, this advertisement was heavily criticised by female consumers as they found this advertisement misogynistic. 

Now, the company has acquired an anti-feminist image which is driving away its female consumers. In such a scenario, the company needs to rebuild its reputation amongst its female audience. The company will have to work on rebranding. 

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3. The company is entering a new market space.

A fashion retailing company that caters to men is now planning to expand its market and serve women as well. For this purpose, the company will have to become gender inclusive. They will have to include colour schemes and fabric in their fashion line. 

Along with that, they will have to film advertisements, change their positioning statement and its brand ambassadors. This is one of the ways in which the company will undergo rebranding.

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4. The company is moving to new locations. 

A US-based restaurant chain has decided to enter the Indian market. The company’s signature dish is Shepherd’s Pie which is a beef dish. This dish will not work for Indian consumers due to which the company will have to modify its menu. 

Now, the company cannot market itself based on this dish in India. Due to this reason, the company has to rebrand itself. The company will have to switch to either a dish without beef or a vegetarian dish in India.

5. The company wants to get ahead of its competitors. 

A company that sells beverages has to get ahead of its competitor that sells beverages without preservatives. To date, the company has been marketing itself as a tastier brand. However, with an increased awareness amongst consumers, the company has to work on its brand image.

The company will have to develop beverages that will have no preservatives added to it. Along with that, it will have to film advertisements that enlighten the consumers that there are no preservatives in the beverages. 

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Methods of Rebranding

Rebranding can be approached in various ways, depending on the depth of change required and the reasons behind the decision. Here are some common methods of rebranding, explained in detail with examples:

1. Brand Refresh

A subtle update to the brand’s existing elements, such as tweaking the logo, updating the color palette, or refining the messaging. It’s a way to modernize the brand without a complete overhaul.

Apple subtly refined its logo over the years, moving from the rainbow-striped apple to a monochromatic design, while retaining the iconic apple shape.

2. Name Change

Changing the brand’s name, often due to mergers, acquisitions, or to distance from past controversies or outdated associations.

The company Andersen Consulting changed its name to Accenture in the year 2001. The new name, “Accenture,” derived from “Accent on the Future,” was intended to signify the company’s intent to focus on future growth and innovation in the consulting industry.

3. Complete Overhaul

A comprehensive rebranding that encompasses changes to the name, logo, visual identity, messaging, and more. It’s a total transformation of the brand.

Old Spice underwent a complete rebranding, shifting from being perceived as an “old man’s aftershave” to a modern, youthful brand with humorous and memorable advertising campaigns.

4. Repositioning

Changing the brand’s position in the market or in consumers’ minds. This might involve targeting a new demographic, altering the product’s intended use, or shifting the brand’s values and messaging.

McDonald’s repositioned itself with the “I’m Lovin’ It” campaign and introduced healthier menu options in response to changing consumer preferences and criticisms about fast food.

5. Brand Expansion

Extending the brand into new product categories or markets. This can involve leveraging the brand’s equity to introduce new products or services.

Virgin started as a record label but expanded into diverse sectors like airlines (Virgin Atlantic), telecommunications (Virgin Mobile), and space travel (Virgin Galactic).

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6. Digital Rebranding

Updating the brand’s digital presence, including websites, apps, and social media profiles. This can be part of a broader rebranding effort or focused solely on the digital aspect.

Domino’s Pizza revamped its digital ordering system, introduced a pizza tracker, and emphasized its tech-forward approach, leading to a significant boost in online sales.

7. Cultural Rebranding

Adapting the brand to resonate with cultural shifts, societal values, or global trends. This can involve changes in messaging, advertising campaigns, or even product offerings.

Mattel’s Barbie underwent a cultural rebrand by introducing dolls with diverse body types, skin tones, and professions to reflect societal values around inclusivity and representation.

 

Success Stories of Rebranding

Following brands have been able to successfully rebrand themselves:

1. Apple

Apple’s “rainbow” logo was introduced in 1976, reflecting the uniqueness and technological advantages of the brand. However, by the mid-90s, the logo became outdated and even looked childish.

After Steve Jobs returned to the company in 1998, Apple introduced a new design philosophy based on simple shapes and “cold” white and silver colors. The logo was redesigned to fit this new brand identity, retaining its familiar shape but adopting a more modern look.

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2. Airbnb

Airbnb faced several public scandals, which negatively impacted its image. The company decided to rebrand to improve its image. The old logo, which had fat blue letters, was replaced with a new logo featuring a round-shaped triangle, symbolizing an entrance to a cosy hut.

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3. Stella Artois

In the 1990s, Stella Artois was positioned as an upmarket beer brand. However, by the mid-2000s, it became associated with abusive men which earned it the nickname “wife-beater.” To combat this negative image, Stella introduced a range of beers under the Artois brand, including Peeterman and Bock. They also launched Stella Artois Cidre. The rebrand helped Stella Artois distance itself from the negative associations and reposition itself in the market.

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4. Old Spice

Old Spice was perceived as a brand for older men and was not popular among younger consumers. In 2010, Old Spice launched a viral ad campaign featuring former NFL player Isaiah Mustafa. The humorous and memorable ads appealed to a younger audience and generated millions of online views.

5. Domino’s Pizza

In 2011, Domino’s Pizza faced criticism for the taste of its pizza. Domino’s launched a “brutally honest” advertising campaign, asking consumers for feedback. They acknowledged the feedback, accepted responsibility, and made necessary changes to their recipes and offerings.

Tips for Effective Rebranding

While rebranding, these tips can be followed for successful rebranding:

  • Add a unique symbol to your logo and always work with fonts and colors to resonate with your target audience.
  • By addressing customer concerns head-on and making visible improvements, brands can regain consumer trust and see a growth in sales.
  • Ensure consistency between the messages your company conveys and its design features, as these form the brand’s identity.
  • Before fully launching your rebranded identity, test it with a smaller audience to gather feedback and make the necessary adjustments.
  • Ensure that the rebranding is consistent across all platforms and touchpoints. This includes your website, social media, and marketing materials.
  • Consider hiring experts or consulting with branding agencies. Their experience can guide the rebranding process and ensure its success.
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FAQs

Why do companies rebrand?

Companies often rebrand to signify a shift in strategy, target a new audience, differentiate from competitors, or rejuvenate an outdated image.

How much does rebranding cost?

Costs vary widely based on scope and company size. It includes design, marketing, legal fees, and other operational expenses.

What are the key steps in the rebranding process?

Steps typically include market research, defining new brand identity, redesigning brand elements, planning a launch strategy, and communicating the change to stakeholders.

How do you measure the success of a rebrand?

Success can be measured by increased brand awareness, customer engagement, market share, and internal stakeholder satisfaction.

About the Author
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Jaya Sharma
Assistant Manager - Content

Jaya is a writer with an experience of over 5 years in content creation and marketing. Her writing style is versatile since she likes to write as per the requirement of the domain. She has worked on Technology, Fina... Read Full Bio