We all know that branding is important for the success of a company. Rebranding allows brands to get a much-needed refresh as the brand evolves and adapts to change. After a rebranding is complete, investors, fans, and customers are presented with a brand-new look for the company.
How To Successfully Rebrand A Company
The reasons a company may need to undergo a rebranding vary. Some of the more common reasons are:
- Changes to the company’s mission or philosophy,
- The company is going to a merger,
- There is an unveiling of new logos and brand visuals within a company,
- Or a company is navigating growth and expansion.
While all companies would love for their rebranding to revive their brand and be successful, unfortunately, that is not always the case…and sometimes rebranding can do some damage to the company’s brand.
What sets apart a successful rebranding strategy from a damaging one, is the research a company conducts on:
- How to rebrand a small business,
- Various rebranding strategy examples,
- Rebranding products that they can implement,
- And past research on companies rebranding in 2020 (and what successful rebranding strategies those companies utilized).
If you aren’t sure how to rebrand a company, don’t fret – you came to the right place. We’ve compiled a list of companies that had successful rebranding strategies, as well as companies that weren’t as successful, so you can create your own company rebrand checklist.
By looking at these different types of rebranding scenarios, and the benefits of rebranding these companies experienced, you’ll leave this article with a few key takeaways about how these businesses were able to propel their brand in a positive direction. Once you’re done with this article, you’ll feel confident that you now know how to rebrand a small business!
Successful Rebranding Stories
There is no shortage of successful rebranding strategy examples when you look at companies for rebranding inspiration. If you look online, you’ll find this out for yourself, but for this article, we’ve compiled a shorter list of four companies to take a closer look at.
The Huffington Post
Now known as HuffPost, the rebranding of the Huffington Post began with the exit of the founder, Arianna Huffington. Marking the new era of the publication, the brand’s new logo was an abstract letter “H”. Retaining the green color from the old era, HuffPost went forward with a modern design as well as reiterating its initial goal of “bringing people together with divisive stories.”
Uber’s rebranding is apparent from the company’s new logo. With a simple shift of font and capitalization, Uber’s logo has moved from harsh, bold all-caps to a softer, approachable design. Unlike many stylized logos, Uber’s logo is now simply the company’s name. The new color scheme (an emphasis on black and white) and a redesign that makes it easier for global users to recognize the brand is putting functionality first.
How did J.Crew come back from plummeting sales to being endorsed by former First Lady, Michelle Obama? Under the guidance of its new CEO, the retail chain started its rebranding campaign by offering high-quality basics (such as tank tops and capris) to its customers. Since then, the company’s profits and stock have risen.
Taco Bell’s iconic “Yo Quiero” campaign was a major marketing success. With competition from fast-casual chains like Chipotle, Taco Bell’s rebranding campaign made significant changes to level up its brand. It extends beyond the new logo. The opening of their sit-down service Las Vegas Cantina restaurant reflects the brand’s desire for a modern look for their brand while standing apart from the competition. The result? Taco Bell has started to shift public perception regarding the quality of its restaurants. The company has made it on various lists which call Taco Bell one of the healthiest fast-food chains in the nation.
A Swing and a Miss (Less Successful Rebranding Stories)
As we touched upon at the start of this article, not every rebranding story is one of success. For some companies like WWE, or McAfee, a name change helped save their company as highlighted in USA Today, but other companies are not always as lucky. Below, we shed light on three companies that suffered some rebranding fails that you can learn from.
In April 2019, Sears launched a new logo (meant to represent heart and home) and a new slogan (“making moments matter”). The logo drew mixed reactions online. The problem? It was confusing for those who weren’t familiar with what the logo represented. Many also said it looked very similar to Airbnb’s logo.
Gap’s 2010 attempt to redesign its classic logo was met with protests by many fans. After a Facebook account with 5,000 followers criticizing the change sprung up, the original logo made a reappearance.
With the arrival of a new creative director, Hedi Slimane, French luxury brand Celine made a controversial change during its rebranding. The decision to drop the accent in their name (a nod to 1960s collections of the brand, a period during which the company did not have an accented name) angered many fans and has drawn divided opinions ever since.
Final Thoughts: The Takeaways
Putting your company rebrand checklist into action is sometimes easier said than done, but now that you know what to strive for, and what to avoid, you are ready to get started. Each of these stories will hopefully help inform you about your own rebranding strategies. To help you get started, follow these tips below:
Keep your messaging authentic
Just like many of the successful rebranding strategy examples we listed above, your rebranding efforts should always align with your principles and your brand personality. The worst thing you can do to your business is stray away from your core mission through rebranding.
Retain the best qualities of your brand
Just because you have chosen to rebrand your company doesn’t mean that every aspect of your brand needs to be updated. If there are elements of your brand that works, keep them! Whether it is the color, slogan, or design, that is working for your brand and audience, keep them around. On the contrary, discard whatever elements no longer perform to your standards or have developed negative connotations.
Your customers are used to your former branding so a new rebranding will likely be met with some questions and concerns. To maintain your existing customer relationships, communicate with them about the rebranding and let them know the benefits of rebranding your company, and why the change is happening. This will show your customers that you care about them and value their business.
Your brand is unique and special so highlight those qualities through your branding. It’s important to make your brand stand out from the competition. By putting attention into keeping your brand unique, you’ll set yourself apart from your competition and it will attract loyal customers.
Plan before you begin
As noted in Business News Daily, businesses are often surprised by the complexities that arise and are involved with rebranding. The process is cumbersome, so to make sure you don’t lose any customers while you roll out a rebranding, have a strategy planned before you begin.
In addition to following these tips, you’ll want to also avoid some critical “don’ts” when you think about how to rebrand a company. Keep these below pointers in mind.
Don’t alienate your audience
Rebranding can be dangerous if not done carefully or correctly. Rebrands should help align you with target customers instead of turning them off.
Don’t have a lack of consistency
As you roll out your new rebranding, it’s important to focus on consistency. No matter what marketing channel your customers are visiting, they should be able to know it belongs to your brand. Doing this will help keep your loyal customers loyal.
Don’t be afraid to modernize
To stay competitive, brands must remain current. Just as was shown by Taco Bell, who made the move toward modern designs and business operations, rebranding is a great time to introduce fresh concepts.
Knowing how to rebrand your company can seem intimidating at first, but with the proper preparation and research, you can have a successful rebranding story just like these companies. All you have to do is get started.