Oct 15, 2019

To Rebrand or Not to Rebrand?

Although a company’s name and logo are key ambassadors for a brand, the brand image transcends this, it is the total of all the experiences consumers have with that brand.

  • A company’s ‘brand’ goes beyond a name, logo or graphic. Although a logo provides an easy, well-recognised connection to a brand, it is not enough to simply rely on this to represent a brand’s image.
  • The whole customer experience needs to be considered when rebranding, this includes: logo, brand guidelines, social channels, website and even the manner consumers are addressed whether on the phone or in person.
  • If the business’s vision, mission, or values are no longer reflective of the brand experience, then a rebrand might be the right move.

A good brand is one that communicates what the company does and doesn’t to their consumers, they are transparent and honest. A good brand also establishes trust and credibility with prospects and loyal consumers, while engaging in a two-way conversation. Brands, like anything else, develop over time, and as a result, sometimes encounter an opportunity when they need to innovate to remain relevant, they need a rebrand.

To rebrand:

Just because a brand is well established, it does not mean they are immune to the risks that come with rebranding. For example, after Uber’s logo redesign, 44% of consumers still were not certain what their logo represented.

  • New locations: if a brand is looking to expand to international markets, a logo rebrand might be necessary as these new audiences may not identify with it in the same way as its current audience.
  • Market repositioning: brands are created to form a connection between a company and its customers. Therefore, if a company repositioned itself to target a new audience, whether that is through product, price or place, the brand needs to adapt accordingly.
  • Philosophy: brand decisions should be governed by a business’s mission and values, and if these missions are values are changing, the business should again, follow suit.
  • Mergers and acquisitions: if two businesses or brands come together, the next logical step is to create a brand that reflects the new business experience so that brand trust can be built again.

Not to rebrand:

  • Boredom: an audience builds a connection to a brand, and deciding to change part of the brand experience risks losing this brand loyalty.
  • Crisis cover-up: nowadays consumers are savvy and can see through inauthentic content, rebranding to simply cover up a crisis is not an effective way to alter a bad image. Consumers appreciate when brands admit they have made a mistake and this is a far safer path to go down. 
  • Ego: for new management, rebranding might appear like the most efficient way to make a mark, however, it is rare that this rebranding would also bring an institutional change and therefore reflects a selfish move as opposed to something for the good of the company.
  • Attention: at best, this will achieve some short-term hype, but without the correct strategy to sustain and uplift this rebrand, the current brand recognition that was built will likely be lost and set back the business’s sales and marketing efforts. 

Rebrand to differentiate from the competition:

A brand cannot excel if they are generic and similar to other businesses. Rebranding can help a business stand out from the many competitors that an audience is continuously exposed to, brands need to focus on showcasing what makes them different - focus on telling the story of the brand, as this should always be unique to each business.

Even well-established brands reach a point where they need to rebrand, before 1997 Google was originally called ‘Backrub’, it is perfectly normal for a business to outgrow its name and need a fresh makeover to aid business growth. 

Rebrand to give a new lease of life to the business:

If a business’s image looks outdated it can drag the brand image down, rebranding again presents an opportunity for a fresh look that is more relevant for audiences that have also evolved. For example, the Airbnb logo had many developments over the years before releasing the Bélo:

A rebrand is a declaration of a business’s growth and commitment to future growth. A rebrand can make or break the brand experience so, it should not be entered into lightly but with the right intentions and strategy, it has the potential to open many windows of opportunity for a business to thrive.