Introduction to rebranding
We know brands, and we know what branding is. Thus, it’s pretty easy to see that rebranding is just a new approach to a brand.
But rebranding is not just a change in a logo. Rebranding is an incredible powerful tool for growth. It’s so powerful, that it could mean millions or even billions of dollars in revenue. And if done wrong, it could mean a loss. However, not as big as the potential for growth.
Let’s see Wikipedia’s definition of rebranding:
Rebranding is a marketing strategy in which a new name, term, symbol, design, concept or combination thereof is created for an established brand with the intention of developing a new, differentiated identity in the minds of consumers, investors, competitors, and other stakeholders. Often, this involves radical changes to a brand’s logo, name, legal names, image, marketing strategy, and advertising themes. Such changes typically aim to reposition the brand/company, occasionally to distance itself from negative connotations of the previous branding, or to move the brand upmarket; they may also communicate a new message a new board of directors wishes to communicate.
In this article we will show you how rebranding and change in image, tone and messaging meant a massive increase in revenue.
One thing to keep in mind: just as a branding strategy is NOT ONLY A LOGO, same applies to rebranding. So don’t expect to see only logo changes, but the wide array of branding strategies
Reasons for a rebranding strategy
But … what are the reasons that lead companies to face a rebranding strategy? Why should any company invest on a sometimes expensive campaign without knowing the outcome?
This answer is complex and multiple. However, it may be due to one or more of these reasons:
Differentiation from other brands
In this case, the brands renew their image to strengthen some aspect that makes them superior to other brands. For example, being “eco friendly”, or being perceived as an inclusive brand.
A good example of this is Calvin Klein’s rebrand of its image, including transgender model Jari Jones as the new “face” of the brand.
Changing a negative image perception
There are brands that have a very negative perception. A clear example are the tobacco companies and their harmful influence on the health of the population throughout decades, which leads them to change their brand to make them “forget” the previous one and its negative connotations.
In 2008, AIG’s image became damaged due to its need for a Federal bailout during the financial crisis. AIG was bailed out because the United States Treasury stated that AIG was too big to fail due to its size and complex relationships with financial counterparties. AIG itself is a huge international firm; however, the AIG Retirement and AIG Financial subsidiaries were left with negative connotations due to the bailout. As a result, AIG Financial Advisors and AIG Retirement respectively rebranded into Sagepoint Financial and VALIC (Variable Annuity Life Insurance Company) to shed the negative image associated with AIG.
As you can see, the rebranding strategy for AIG included a naming strategy and a subsequent new logo.
Lost market share
As the name says: the brand is losing part of its target and needs to make a move to recover it. Due to this, current brand identity goes through some kind of (usually drastic) transformation in order to gain momemtum and PR.
An excellent example of this is the above mentioned Clavin Klein campaign: Due to COVID-19, PVH Corp (CK’s owner) hit a rock bottom $29 stock value on March 23 2020. This was the lowest stock value since 2008, when the stock went to nowadays equivalent to $24. After launching the new campaign, it peaked at $69.46 (that’s a 239% growth!) and now estabilized around $48, which means a 165% growth
In this case, the marks are updated to be consistent with the times and situations of change. For example, when the brand is acquired by another, or there is a change in the message and spirit of the brand.
Here we have an amazing example (because it’s one of the first known brands ever, and still exists): Stella Artois brand. The original brand dates to year 1366 and was Dem Hoorn (The Horn) until Sebastien Artois purchased the brewery in 1717 and renamed it Brouwerij Artois. But in 1926, they launched a seasonal beer for Christmas. They named it as “Stella” which means “Star” in Italian and Ancient Latin. It became so popular the brand changed to Stella Artois and now the current logo includes both the horn and the star. Now that’s what I call “changing contexts”!
Growth Hacking Strategies
Closely related to “Lost Market Share”, growth hacking strategies are the fastest, most effective and cheapest way to generate growth in a brand’s user base at a low cost. These branding strategies usually involve social media and PR (or PR as a result of viral social media). Wait… did you see the word “viral”? Well, that’s what growth hacking is all about. A great example is Dollar Shave Club and its funny viral videos
Cultural / Technology Changes
In this case, the previous branding must be replaced for external reasons that exceed the brand, but require a response from it. For example, when the brand is inserted into a new culture, or must adapt to new technological paradigms.
There are many examples of a brands that changed its name for cultural reasons, including Coca Cola and Sprite in China and Burger King in Australia.
To better explain a rebranding strategy need, let’s consider Danone: this is the brand for, well, Danone. However, people in US had issues to correctly pronounce the name, so it was changed to the phonetic name Dannon. Thus, Danone is known as Danone in any place of the world but US.
Conclusion on rebranding
Rebranding is a powerful tool and can change your brand perception in ways you never imagined. There are many reasons why the most successful brands go through a new brand strategy from time to time. And when done right, these strategies proved to be exceptionally good for most companies.
And remember: a branding strategy isn’t just a logo! It may include any kind of components of your brand. From logos to naming, from messaging to vibe, from SEO to growth hacking. And anything and everything in between!
Don’t you think is time to revisit the branding strategy of your business? Want to shake things up and get some great PR and social media buzz?
Just get in contact with us and let’s explore the options to make your business growth!