The goal of any agency is to allow a brand to evolve naturally, but what do you do when that fails to happen? Revamping that image gives you, the marketer, more control, so your campaigns stronger. It is not an easy decision to make, but when you decide rebranding is the only choice, there is a right way and a wrong way to do it.
Reasons to Rebrand
Let’s start with some quick definitions. Proactive rebranding is an option when the company is about to grow, such as going international or interviewing grant writers for hire in order to obtain new financial backing.. It can introduce the business to a younger audience, as well.
Reactive branding repairs a damaged or changed image. There is a legal issue, for example, that puts a negative spin on the old brand.
Rebranding That Worked Well
Business Insider offers a peek as some historical rebranding campaigns. Fashion house Burberry’s image was taking a turn for the worse just a few years ago. At one point, this was the brand A-listers wore, but Gen Z saw the line as frumpy and called it gangwear. To rebrand its image, the creative director hired some sexy names to be the face of Burberry like Emma Watson and Kate Moss. The result was a 27 percent rise in sales and 50 more stores.
In 1985, Harley-Davidson almost became extinct. CEO Richard F. Teerlink saw a desperate need to rebrand in order to save the motorcycle icon. The problem wasn’t their marketing campaigns or their image, it was their products. As part of their rebrand, they worked on producing better quality goods and improving their customer service. Rebranding isn’t always about the advertising. Sometimes it’s about rebuilding from within to improve the way people see the business.
Not all rebranding attempts work well, though. When the SciFi Channel decided to change its name to reach a larger audience, they failed to do their research. If they had, they would know that Syfy is geek speak for syphilis. Poor rebranding made them a laughing stock with a large portion of their target audience.
Tips for Rebranding
Inc. offers some valuable tips for the company that needs to rebrand.
- Really? – Rebranding is a drastic measure and a lot of work, so make sure the change is really necessary.
- What’s the point? – Decide what problem you hope to solve through rebranding and then develop a mission for the project.
- What do other people think? – Get feedback from employees and customers about the company. What do they like? What could be better? Market research is your friend.
- Speaking of market research – What is your industry going to look like in five years and will the new brand still work?
Rebranding puts a fresh coat of paint on a business that is losing more than it’s gaining. It takes the company in a new strategic direction so it can evolve instead of stagnate.
Darla F is a full time freelance writer published internationally and an award-winning author.