First and foremost, to know what rebranding is, we need to understand what branding is.
What is Branding?
Branding is the strategic efforts you take to alter people's perceptions of your product or service—so they will pick your brand over and over again. It is, in essence, the way your product or service is perceived in the minds of your customers. You may ask yourself what types of branding you may need to succeed, here you’ll find your answer.
So, what is Rebranding?
Rebranding is the process of changing an organization's corporate image, and it is a market strategy that involves giving an existing brand a new name, symbol, or design change. There are a few reasons why rebranding may seem to be necessary: when targeting a new audience, changing your target’s perception of your company and product, or just pivoting.
When deciding how to rebrand your company, you need to consider two main factors: your customers and your bottom line.
Key Variables that go into creating your brand in the first place are marketability, market distinction, brand recognition, branding design, relevance, culture, associations, and equity. When debating whether it's time to rebrand, the most crucial question to ask yourself is whether you can improve any of the qualities above to make your product and company exactly fit your audience.
Different Reasons for Rebranding?
- 1st: you need to rebrand because you want to look more professional and haven't updated the logo design, color palette, overall style in a while.
- 2nd: you need to rebrand because you want to shift your target market and expand your company (going global or in a specific region).
- 3rd: you need to rebrand because you are losing consumers, and the company is financially struggling.
- 4th: You need to rebrand because your company is pivoting and changing its offer.
Remember that rebranding is an inner transformation that involves recreating your company's branding identity and can occur at any time or numerous times throughout its lifespan. Rebranding takes time, creativity, motivation, and most importantly, understanding & listening.
Five helpful Strategies for Rebranding
- Determine Current Identity and Future Goals
Here is where you ask yourself the tough business questions:
What's working well and what's not? What is essential for us to keep without losing our core values, and what are we ok to give a little wiggle room? We highly recommend not fixing something that isn't broken.
Next, make a list of the areas where you perceive it's possible to transform your company. Sort that list based on the easiest things to modify vs. those that might be more challenging.
Keep in mind Rebranding is not a process that needs to go from 0 to 180, and it should be done in a step-by-step fashion, seeing what works and what doesn't work through trial and error.
No worries, a good agency (just like ours) always proceeds by interviewing a significant number of people before deciding whether or not we’re going in the right direction.
- Get things Organized: A Rebranding Needs Discipline
Your action plan outlines what's wrong, how you'll solve it, and when all the adjustments occur. Begin developing a list of all the marketing elements of your company that need to be changed, such as logos, signs, websites, social media, invoicing, and so on.
Researching your competitors is an integral approach to figuring out what needs to be done. By doing this, you learn what the industry is asking from businesses similar to you. Where did they succeed and fail in their rebranding strategies? It's crucial to remember not to reinvent the wheel; the chances of a company having the same problems are enormous.
- Find out who Your Next Customers Truly are or Will be
Since you're already changing things up, take a look at your consumer base and see whether expanding into a new market is part of the plan.
Appealing to a new demographic could bring in a flurry of new clients, radically shift the atmosphere, and help your business grow.
Choosing a few regularly returning customers to give you their feedback on the new rebrand is very important. Getting a positive reaction from them can help boost your confidence and make things less of a guessing game.
- Enlist the help of your Employees to become Brand Ambassadors.
Include your staff in the transition to get them enthused. They play an essential role in your company's culture and, as a result, in your brand's identity. Take advantage of this opportunity to get your team involved in this process by asking them if they feel enthusiastic about the new branding and if it represents their team correctly.
- Make Changes and Let People Know about Your New Identity
Before you launch, make sure all of your employees and supervisors are comfortable with the changes that are being implemented. Set a formal launch date and notify your followers via social media, email, a press release, or even in the newspaper or radio.
Now would be the ideal time to explain why you decided to update your brand and what you plan to accomplish due to the adjustments.
Famous Rebranding Success Stories
Burberry was once considered gang wear, but now Emma Watson and Kate Moss wear it.
Even if you haven't heard of Burberry, you've probably seen its signature black, brown, and red check pattern. The previously small business, which created the waterproof fabric gabardine and trench coats, has been embraced by celebrities, royalty, and preppies alike since its founding in England more than 150 years ago.
Burberry was at risk of being judged unattractive and over-extended not long ago, and people even referred to it as gang wear. Leicester's two bars notably barred anyone wearing the Burberry brand due to allegations that it was popular with hooligans.
According to retail analysts, the brand's transformation into one of the hottest fashion names was due to new leadership and thoughtful product design. Burberry's creative director since 2001, Christopher Bailey, revamped the brand with a blend of current and classic designs, including a sexier trench coat and swimwear, and signed high-profile celebrities including Kate Moss and Harry Potter star Emma Watson.
Lesson: Brands can be successfully relaunched by incorporating new trends while honoring their legacy. In 2009, Bailey stated, "Burberry is about tradition, but it's also about making that heritage relevant for today." "You must ensure that anything you do is appropriate for the time you are living. What makes anything important? It's a sensitivity to the spirit we live by now, without wanting to come across as flaky."
2. J. Crew
Sales were dropping when Millard Drexler, the man who turned the Gap into a multibillion-dollar legend, took over as J. Crew's new CEO in 2003.
Wall Street Journal reported that due to Drexler's help, J. Crew revived considerably, making $3.8 million in 2005, its first profit in five years, and revenues increased 107 percent between 2003 and 2008. Revenues surpassed pre-recession levels in 2009, and same-store sales increased by 11%.
J. Crew was re-energized by Drexler's rebranding as a store that sells well-made basics like tank tops and capris with a tinge of elegance (think cashmere sweaters).
Lesson: Provide high-quality items while constantly seeking innovative methods to meet customer requests. Drexler learned from a sales agent that consumers were buying simple sundresses in various hues to serve as bridesmaid dresses, which led to J.Crew's new bridal line.
Famous Rebranding Failure
In 2019, Weight Watchers chose to shift dramatically to its marketing image, rebranding itself as Wellness and Wellbeing instead of Weight Watchers.
This modification was created in response to the internet body positivity movement, which claimed that the term 'Weight Watchers' had too many negative connotations. They intended to widen their audience remit as a brand, attracting those who want to lose weight and people who want to live a healthy lifestyle!
This brand refresh, however, did not go as planned for Weight Watchers! Despite the company's lackluster brand image, as we'll discuss later, the new brand identity had a significant negative impact on the bottom line, with stock market earnings falling by more than half. Not exactly what you're looking for in a rebranding.
We don't know how much the rebranding process and campaign cost the company regarding memberships and revenue, but we do know how much it cost them in terms of memberships and income. They lost 600,000 members in the second half of 2018, and new membership numbers for 2019 are dismal.
So, what went wrong?
'Weight Watchers' biggest blunder in its relaunch has been its name, despite the lackluster and bland new logo!
Weight Watchers has been the company's name since its inception in 1963, and it has since become a household name in the weight-loss industry! It was a significant risk to change that, and it did not pay off.
The concept of associating the brand with healthy wellbeing, on the other hand, I think is a fine one, but not one that needs to be reflected in the brand name. After all, you must consider your target market, and the vast majority of people who join Weight Watchers do so to lose weight!
Weight Watchers is a fantastic illustration of how the re-bandings that aren't planned adequately can have a negative financial impact on a company's growth. Weight Watchers has recently reinstated its brand name into its identity after learning the hard way.
So, what's next?
Rebranding is an internal process that alters how the public sees your company. You must commit to the changes and keep an eye on the future while ensuring that everyone in your company is involved and comfortable with them.
Be open and honest with yourself, customers, and employees about how the changes need to get done. Having working funds on hand can also make the rebranding process go more smoothly.
Now that we have covered the definitions, tips, and steps to carry out your rebranding and have learned from famous company's rebrand successes and failures, it's time for you to take the lead and make it happen! Please have patience, take it easy on yourself, and believe in yourself!
“Sometimes, you just have to start all over differently.”
-Bernard Kelvin Clive