Rebranding a small business is a vital marketing strategy that causes a company to rebrand for many reasons. 

Your rebranding strategy is a vital part of presenting your company in a new light.

It establishes a company’s desire to move forward and introduce a rebranding design and campaign and change the company on multiple levels.

A change in the mission statement, focusing on a new demographic, or just refreshing your business to meet modern market demands are few reasons for such a strategy to be implemented.

Businesses have used rebranding to freshen their image and create hype for their companies. Often, a result of a downfall in market share, unsatisfied customers, or a PR crisis, it showcases the desire of a brand “to do better.”

Rebranding is a promise to consumers that something new is happening, and a company is ready to react to a change desired by their audience.

If you are branding in marketing, you will want to pay special attention to your sales response to your marketing messages and campaigns.

Let review first.

What is rebranding?

Rebranding definition is changing the corporate image of a company or organization. It is a market strategy of giving a new name, symbol, or change in branding style.

What is the purpose of rebranding?

Rebranding is the process of changing the corporate image of an organization. It is a market strategy of giving a new name, symbol, or change in design for an already-established brand. The idea behind rebranding is to create a different identity for a brand, from its competitors, in the market.

What is a rebranding strategy?

When a company wants to rebrand, it’s not about just changing the logo. If your brand needs a new image. By definition, a rebranding strategy is a long-term plan for the development of a new brand in order to achieve specific goals. A well-defined and executed rebranding strategy affects all aspects of a business and is directly connected to consumer needs, emotions, and competitive environments.


When should businesses rebrand?

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1. Change in demographic focus

Businesses lose market share with time. Their target audience grows older and decides that brands don’t fulfill their needs anymore. With time, the new generation and its demands change, and brands have to evolve with this rapid development. This is important for their performance in the market. 

The male grooming products brand “Old Spice” had to deal with something very similar. Seen as a product for older men, Old Spice’s revenues were going down. This is because the younger generation didn’t see it as a brand for their consumption.

So what did “Old Spice” do? They rebranded themselves using a television ad in 2010, casting Isaiah Mustafa, the NFL star, to attract a younger audience.

Because of this, their sales increased by 125% and their web traffic increased by a whopping 300%. This was achieved because Old Spice realized that they had to focus on a different demographic, a more young and energetic audience.

Thus, rebranding and finding immediate success both in sales, traffic, and becoming the #1 sponsored YouTube Channel by most views.

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2. Post PR disaster

PR disasters are not new and often require businesses to go through a rebranding process. Rebranding a company after a reputation crisis is used to distance enterprises from the root cause of the problem. This validates the values a company holds and is an effort to reach out to customers with sincerity.

Take, for example, Subway. Once their spokesperson and weight-loss idle, Jared Fogle, lost 200 pounds eating only Subway sandwiches. Seen in advertisements and their website, he became a face for the brand. Fifteen years down the line, in 2015, he was sentenced to about 16 years in prison for illicit sexual conduct with a minor and the distribution of child pornography.

While it’s hard to distance your brand from 15 years of collaboration, yet Subway did so with its rebranding strategies.

By reminding their audience of their vast history, starting way before their collaboration with Jared Fogle. Their advertisements centralized their founders, showcasing how far back Subway’s relationship with its clients goes. Subway could hold on to consumer confidence. In 2017, Subway launched its new logo — a sign of a fresh start and signaling a move forward. 

This acceptance is key to implementing a successful branding strategy. An honest apology and a dedication to being better is the best way to move towards rebranding.

They invested in sports marketing and increased focus on their “healthy sandwich” image.  Subway is an excellent example of a successful branding strategy.

3. Mergers and Acquisition

When a company mergers with another or is gained by another, rebranding is always a good idea. Rebranding strategies related to mergers often lead to a combined name for the company or a new name.

Both have their benefits. Whereas a combined name sends a message of “stronger together,” appeasing the clientele of both the companies, a new name signals a transformation. 

When Price Waterhouse and Coopers & Lybrand merged, they became Price Waterhouse Coopers. This was later changed to PwC, much more straightforward and designed for the younger generation. The merger between Bell Atlantic and GTE produced what we know today as Verizon.  

With acquisitions, this depends on the acquiring party. When Facebook acquired Instagram in 2012, Instagram’s logo changed, suggesting a change from analog to digital, one of Facebook’s prominent company messages.

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4. Lost Relevance or image in the market.

Burberry is an excellent example of a successful rebranding strategy when you’re losing relevance in the market. As Burberry tried to expand its market outreach by lowering prices, their “class-driven,” high-end image was damaged. 

This was caused by a group of young people, often referred to as “chavs” who wore the brand’s clothing and were loud and chaotic. This problem exasperated so much that pubs in the UK banned the signature checkered clothing, which Burberry was famous for. 

Burberry admitted it was failing to shake off its “chav” association as it confessed retail sales in the UK were “subdued

They rebranded something that can be tied down to their flexible supply chain. Burberry’s ability to rebrand it as a digital fashion icon was exemplary.

To reposition itself, the new CEO Angela Ahrendts restricted the use of the logo on their products. This was a response to a massive counterfeit problem faced by Burberry.

This rebranding has been ongoing ever since, with fresh faces such as Emma Watson becoming the face of their ads, repositioning Burberry to its old glory days, seen as a high-end product.


Factors that allow successful rebranding strategy

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1. A clear message

Rebranding isn’t done because executives are bored with the logo or want to feel excited about something. Each rebranding process marks a shift, a momentous change in the history of a brand.

This rebranding decision requires strong reasons and a new message. For consumers, they need to know what prompted the change. This establishment of clear communication lines is essential. In the modern world, brand loyalty is both important and flimsy.

When brands announce a kind of change, consumers always fear that the brand’s focus will shift from their needs to something else. This can often lead to a deterioration of trust, and consumers can start looking towards other competitive brands.

This clear message can be seen in the FedEx logo. When FedEx changed its logo in 1994, it was hard to identify the word. Then consumers realized, there was an arrow hidden within the “Ex” of the logo.

The arrow represented FedEx’s promise of its quicker than before and precise delivery service. It exhibited all that the brand stood for, often with different color combinations for various services. 

This simple design with a subtle message was appreciated, and the creativity made the news. It was a clever hidden message for their audience.  

This kind of creative approach to sending out a message is an integral part of the rebranding process. It helps customers understand the need for rebranding, the message it sends and the focus of the company. FedEx established trust, despite changing its logo and gained consumer confidence.

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2. Market Analysis and Your Rebranding Strategy

For brands, it is essential to understand the market demand. Analyzing why your products stand out, what makes your consumers invest more in your products is the key to rebranding a company. 

Here, let’s take Apple, for example. Apple’s current logo is both minimalistic and stylish. It represents their devices and what their market demand is based on. Their promise is accessible, easy to use and sleek design. This simplicity is represented by its logo, with a touch of class.

It directly connects visibility to purchase levels; it’s a key reason 80% of new retail products fail, according to SwedBrand. The minimalist sensory experience that Apple provides is what their customers are drawn towards. 

There’s less clutter; it looks classy and is eye-catching. Though it’s not fair to say that this is the only reason Apple is so famous but precise market research into the design is why Apple has stuck with this design philosophy.

Less color, and  fewer images, for Apple, “less is everything.” This is what their target audience loves, and their rebranding from a colorful apple logo to the more elegant and direct logo provides that.

3. Acceptance of the change and your rebranding strategy

Change is never easy for businesses. A complete overhaul is a risk that companies don’t feel comfortable with. 

The change your company believes in needs to be part of the company culture. IBM’s logo is all about speed and dynamism. In IBM’s conduct, it’s representative of the work they do, their values, expertise and the people behind its success. They identify its use cases as precise, with IBM’s hallmark accuracy at its core.

This is exemplary of what a rebranding is supposed to feel like. This acceptance of change from their previous logo to their current comes with confidence and direction. 

This attitude is essential when rebranding a company; it defines its purpose and makes them stand out. When entering the rebranding process, companies have to be bold.

Even if this overhaul is based on a primal “gut feeling,” it should drive a new attitude. This is a crucial part of the rebranding process. In the absence of this confidence, rebranding can feel empty to your audience, hurting your company’s performance. But if done correctly, it is a spectacle that can help you increase your market share.

Self-reflection is also essential. Sometimes, rebranding can mean distancing a business from an unfortunate event. In such cases, it is important to accept mistakes and commit to reform. 

Brands that showcase this honesty are more likely to successfully implement a rebranding strategy. In a recent survey of over 10,000 consumers from around the world, 78% of consumers said it is ‘somewhat or imperative for a company to be transparent.

How to achieve successful rebranding

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1. Assign a Project Manager 

Consistency is the key to successfully rebranding a business. A complete oversight ensures a consistent message, task management, and on-time delivery.

When entering the rebranding process, your company should assign a project manager, who ensures that all tasks are completed on time, the message behind the rebranding is consistent, and the necessary hype is created around the process for a successful overhaul.

2. Identify your new mission statement

Each rebranding should come with a new mission statement. It establishes a significant turnaround in the history of your company.

Without a new mission statement to rally your target audience behind, a rebranding strategy might end up failing. This is true if this rebranding is happening after a PR crisis. There is a risk involved in it appearing a hollow marketing strategy.

Your mission statement has to identify the change you are committing to and should exhibit adherence to it through your new logo, choice of colors, and other changes you make to your brand. 

An interesting case study here is Nike by You. Their logo is hollow, a black outline with a white palette.  It’s bare, emphasizing the customization that they provide the users with. It invokes user engagement through intelligent use of a lack of color, telling clients that they can personalize their own Nike products.

This helps in redefining your business identity, keep consumers on your side, and leverage their trust.


3. Redesigning marketing collateral

The next step of the process is to redesign your marketing collateral. The marketing collateral is the bridge between your brand and your audience.

Direct your design team to ensure that the updated design brings out the new brand identity. Often, after a long-standing brand identity, it can be hard for design teams to step out of their comfort zone.

To change their way of thinking can often result in a lot of minor errors that project managers have to account for. The key is to not rush into the job, instead take time to test out each component.

Once confirmed, this marketing collateral can become a standard for your overall rebranding on your website or application, to ensure consistency in your mission statement.

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2. Website and application updates and your rebranding strategy

Once a standard has been set, take advantage of that to redesign or update your website or mobile application. This process is just part and parcel of successful rebranding, ensuring increased visibility of your rebranding efforts.

3. Market your rebranding

Throughout this process, your company has to market this rebranding process. Make public appearances, talk about the thought process behind the rebranding. Connect with your target audience to create value for them.

This can impact both your market share and revenue generation. Just notice how AirBnB’s rebranding strategy worked because they were being talked about in the mainstream after a yearlong legal battle.

Now standing at $30billions in worth with significant growth in the last two years, AirBnB’s rebranding story is a success. It showcases the power of marketing and being noticed and the benefits it could bring.

While brands don’t have to go through court-cases for such attention, self-marketing can play an essential part in how successful your rebranding is.

4. Launch your brand and rebranding strategy

Once you’ve redefined your mission statement, sent out a clear message to your audience about your brand’s way forward, and marketed it, it is time to launch your brand with confidence.

This rebranding is a prominent moment, and the launch has to represent a bigger picture, one that’s future-oriented and self-reflective.

If you have never performed a rebranding strategy and roll-out, get help from a branding agency like this Denver Matrix Marketing Group.

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Ryan Shirzadi is an avid tech enthusiast and Regional Partner at Tekrevol, Houston, a leading app development firm. He’s passionate about helping people through digital solutions, turning uncertainty into reality. His expertise includes data analysis, business strategy development, strategic marketing, asset management, and portfolio management.  When he’s not at work, Ryan enjoys hanging out at Freebirds Burrito, sharing his love for the Houston Rockets with friends and colleagues.

General FAQ’s

What does rebranding mean?

Rebranding is a marketing strategy in which a new name, term, symbol, design, concept, or combination thereof is created for an established brand to develop a new, differentiated identity.


What is the purpose of rebranding?

Rebranding is the process of changing the corporate image of an organization. It is a market strategy of giving a new name, symbol, or change in design for an already-established brand. The idea behind rebranding is to create a different identity for a brand, from its competitors, in the market.


What are the benefits of rebranding?

What Are the Top Benefits of Rebranding?
1. Connect With a New Audience. Perhaps the most significant advantage of refreshing the look and feel of your brand is the ability to reach new potential customers. 
2. Set Yourself Apart From Your Competitors. 
3. Stay Current. 
4. Reflect New Goals, Products, Offers, or Values. 
5. Boost Your Bottom Line.

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