Rebranding – should you do it and what works best?

By Lauren | Branding

Apr 20

Trying something new, or refreshing your brand can also be a pretty big deal, and a step not to be taken lightly...

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A number of well known, global brands failed miserably at relaunching their brands, including GAP who rebranded during a busy Christmas period in 2010, ditching the instantly recognisable logo that had served the brand for more than 20 years and launching a new logo design with no warning.

The original Gap brand disappeared without trace, only to be brought back in just a few short days after customers rebelled.

Trying something new, or refreshing your brand can also be a pretty big deal, and a step not to be taken lightly...

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New Coke was a similar rebranding debacle, where executives decided the iconic flavoured beverage needed a refresh, changing the hundred year old recipe in response to the market share Pepsi was winning with its New Generation advertising campaign.

Consumers hated it, and clever PR by Pepsi suggested Coke were trying to make it’s product more Pepsi-like.

The new Coke product lasted only months before the old product was brought back.

Coke learned the lesson that nostalgia and loyalty count for plenty in a highly competitive market, and Pepsi, well they struggled to retain their sense of brand identity, spending billions on updating their look numerous times over the years.

With 'New-Coke', they learned the lesson that nostalgia and loyalty count for plenty in a highly competitive market

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So why rebrand if it’s so problematic?

If a business has outgrown it’s brand, or has pivoted in direction and the brand is no longer serving the business, then change probably needs to occur.

This is often the case when a brand has been originally developed poorly or with little strategy and  no long-term approach, or if the brand has been an afterthought when the company was created. This is often the case when the business creators underestimate the power of a brand.

Dysfunctional branding is the major reason behind the need for rebrands and they can be mammoth efforts with a massive scope of change effecting everything from company structure and processes to costly signage, vehicles, uniforms and marketing to be updated.

But sometimes rebrands are not only necessary, they are good for brands.

Dysfunctional branding is the major reason behind the need for rebrands

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The now iconic rings of the Audi logo enabled a heavily structured merging of 4 companies, each with their own history, to effortlessly become one, not only modernising the brand but also defeated the Olympic Committee who tried to sue them for the use of rings in its logo.

AirBnb created an entirely new language with its meaningful iconography combining people, place and love, moving away from a simple brand name to an icon everyone can instantly recognise.

MasterCard is another example of a rebrand getting it right, simplifying its identity, knowing that after 50 years, consumers no longer need to see the brand name smeared across it's brand identity.

Mastercard branding has now joined the ranks of Apple, Target and Nike, their distinctive combined red and yellow circles are enough for us to recall and recognise their brand and their brand name is starting to disappear entirely from their 'priceless' advertising campaigns.

Google and Instagram have also successfully rebranded, creating identities that resonate and move with the consumers view of their brands and what their businesses stand for.

Google and Instagram have created identities that resonate and move with the consumers view of their what their businesses stand for.

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Here are the top Neurobranding tips for rebranding, and some pointers to ask before deciding if you should even go ahead with a rebrand…

1. Be 100% clear on the reason for the rebrand.
Is there a need for your brand to change, has your business model changed, have you merged or restructured how you deliver?

Has the market indicated the need, is your current brand no longer communicating what you need it to?

Or is it a case of your executives getting bored with the current logo? Or maybe a change in leadership or agency that has lead to a rebranding discussion?

Before you jump into what could be a costly exercise, consider your customer and the brand loyalty they have. How will a rebrand effect them?

Before you jump into what could be a costly exercise, consider your customer and the brand loyalty they have. How will a rebrand effect them?

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2. No-one likes change
It is true, our human brains want to keep us safer and for many brands who resist change, they count the cost when they become irrelevant, old fashioned and disregarded or overtaken by more relevant brands.

Brands such as Kmart and many retail chain or shopping mall store brands urgently need to rebrand to keep pace with he fast moving online purchasing World. The longer they delay, the more stale the brand gets and consumers will move for convenience and ease, which is why UberEats is taking off.

If you know your brand is not speaking for your business, or your business has fundamentally changed since you first developed your brand and you now have to communicate an entirely new proposition, you probably need a rebrand.

3. Branding is way more than a logo
A rebrand is far more than just changing your logo, updating to a new font or creating a new look.

Your brand communicates the core and essence of your business, its values and key sales proposition.

A rebrand needs to be considered from every angle of the business, from manufacture to marketing, customer service and sales to packaging and retail. remember to work with your consumers and your team to convey the rebrand, tell them the brand story, involve them in the rebranding process so they feel they are along for the journey.

Communicate the reasons behind the rebrand, show the evolution and don’t just change the logo, change your approach, systems and tone of your marketing as well (remember, no-one likes change!).

4. How to avoid a rebrand
The simple answer is to get 100% clear on what you want your brand to achieve from the outset.

Understanding the target avatars demographics and psychographics and how you want your brand to make people feel. Consider your business plan and SWOT analysis and create a brand from the outset that will last the test of time and the changing marketscape.

Have a clear brief fro your brand, create meaning and purpose in the look and feel, identify the underlying themes, emotions and messages you want to convey about your brand and business.

If you invest in your brand from the outset, you will probably never have to go through the pain of a rebrand.

How to avoid a rebrand? Get 100% clear on what you want your brand to achieve from the outset.

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Want to learn more about Neurobranding and how to select the right colours and brand images that captivate your ideal clients brain and engage with them emotionally, so your brand resonates and stands out from the crowd?

Download this free Neurobranding guide with more great branding examples, a list of colours and their meanings plus tips to create a stand out brand that lasts the test of time - CLICK HERE

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About the Author

Lauren Clemett is the Best Selling Author of the “SELLING YOU” series of practical guidebooks Know Me, Like Me & Trust Me. She is a personal branding specialist and award winning Neurobrander, helping service providers and consultants generate more income from their expertise. For more information Click Here.

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