Rebranding Done Right or Wrong?: 5 Examples To Learn From

Jun 1, 2017
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Rebranding is the hottest marketing trend in a prompt of efforts to appear fresh, new and significant for today’s audiences.

It refers to the repositioning, refreshing & rejuvenating of a brand and in some cases as even having a brand bring totally ‘REBORN’.

Many companies have tried and most fail.

A successful campaign needs more than a revamped logo. It demands a vision that encourages consumers, investors, and others to see the company in a new light.

In this case study, we’ll offer some inspiration and show how well a rebranding strategy can work.

Why Rebranding?

No matter how much you love your brand, sooner or later it may come time to change things up.

Your target market may grow unresponsive, you may develop a dubious reputation, or new competitive forces may put pressure on you to adapt.

When you face these challenges, you only have two possible options; you can stick to the old branding standards that got you into this turmoil, or you can rebrand your company with a new image and new vision, and start to rebuild.

There are some reasons for rebranding: a change in ownership structure, a change in corporate strategy, a change in competitive position, and a change in the external environment.

They also revealed that the change in ownership structure “appears to be the most common cause of rebranding as well as the most convincing reason for it with mergers and acquisitions at the top.

Successful Rebranding Examples

Here are3 companies that successfully rebranded themselves – see what you can learn from them.

#1 Old Spice

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The Problem

Old Spice has been around for 70 years, and it produced a dependable deodorant and body wash in consumers’ eyes. It was seen as a brand for older generations.

When you think of something old-fashioned, you tend to think of static, traditional and unappealing fragrances.

It may seem hard to sell something as every day as deodorant, after all, there are thousands of choices out there.

The Rebranding

Old Spice create a series of videos with a character that people actually like and an experience that people want to be a part of and share it on social media.

The brand featuring athlete Isaiah Mustafa, famous as the ‘Old Spice Guy’, in a strange, funny, “random” video implying the deodorant to be something sexy, surprising, fun, and youthful.

Mustafa resumed in the first of three new commercials promoting Old Spice’s latest collection of sprays, body washes and deodorants as a “scent vacation” in exotic locations.

The crowd went wild for this rebranding strategy, with the original video “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” attracting 54 million views across different social media platforms.

“Old Spice didn’t change its logo, it changed the experience,” said Marc Shillum, principal at Method, Inc. a consulting agency for brand designs.

Lesson Learned

  • A clever ad + smart use of social media can produce a fresh identity.
  • Message and brand reliability are important in improving customer awareness and sales. Look for ways to turn something everyday into something new and interesting.

#2 Burberry

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The Problem

Burberry is seen as a luxury brand. It is a fantastic example of how a brand can change its image with a few simple marketing twists. Just a couple years ago, Burberry was suffering from a bad reputation, being related as gang wear.

At one point, the use of the brand by bullies was so widespread that anyone caught wearing Burberry was banned from certain city pubs.

The Rebranding

High priced clothing is always going to be attractive to gangs, but Burberry took the initiative in reinventing itself, putting a beautiful twist on utility clothing.

Celebrity endorsements from Emma Watson and Kate Moss helped strengthen the new image of Burberry, and now the company is a major luxury brand, flaunted as a figure of high class and wealth.

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Indeed, the transformation wasn’t completely about focusing on the new and forgetting the old.

The brand still carries trench coats and swimwear but now, they’ve taken an even more creative, imaginative approach without losing the 150 years of legacy and brand goodwill they’ve generated.

Lesson learned

You nothing can do to keep your brand from being adopted by an unintended target audience, you can look for ways to adjust that brand to become more modern and exclusive, without giving up years of quality and the reputation you’ve built.

#3 McDonald’s

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The problem

Over the years, McDonald’s has been increasingly weighed down by the image of being a low-brow and unhealthy restaurant chain. The documentary “Super Size Me “and resulting analysis put McDonald’s as a leading cause of obesity, and sales began to drift.

The Rebranding

McDonald’s has since rebranded itself with a more health-conscious image. They now publish their nutritional facts and advertise meals under 400 calories.  It has poured tons of money and effort into changing its image.

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The chain now offers healthier options, including salads, fresher foods, and is dramatically renovating the appearance of its physical locations to appear cleaner, more modern, and stylish.

Lesson Learned

Keep a pulse on public emotion. Pay attention to what the public says about you and respond with products and services that counteract those accusations.

Unsuccessful Rebranding Examples

Many well-known brands have made some big branding mistakes. Here are some lessons learned from some of these brand failures.

#4 Yahoo Logo design Failure

There may be no company that has had more logo changes and different logos than Yahoo. The company, which was on top of the internet back in 2000, has struggled to remain significant.

In a move to try and be taken more seriously, Yahoo launched a new logo in 2013. This was a big move by Marissa Meyer, who took over as CEO in 2012.

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While a logo change is a noticeable way to show to users (and stockholders) that new organization is taking the company in a different direction, when it comes too late, there’s little a mark change can do.

Lesson Learned

A bold move must be timed properly, and when a company is on the rocks, it’s not that time.

#5 Tropicana’s Packaging Redesign Failure

In 2009, Tropicana decided to redesign its packaging for their consumers in North America. Unfortunately, the design was rejected by the consumers.

Unfortunately, the company underestimated how attached their customers had become to the old design. When it rolled out its new cartons, the consumer backlash was immediate and powerful.

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After a month of being bombarded by e-mails, phone calls, and social media commentary, PepsiCo announced that it would quickly return to the original packaging.

Lesson learned

Consumers often form an emotional bond with a brand. This needs to be taken into consideration before taking any major step.

Conclusion

The fate of rebranding lies within the decision of consumers and industry leaders alike. Everyone has to change opinions of what successful and unsuccessful rebrands are. The important thing is to have a reason for doing it.

Rebranding isn’t easy, and it can’t be done overnight. Instead, you’ll need to dive deep into your company and your target demographics; why, exactly your current brand is failing?

In any case, if your current brand isn’t working—it needs a change.

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