Definition: Rebranding is a marketing strategy adopted by the companies to infuse freshness in the product or the brand. The purpose behind it is to capture the attention of new customers, retain the old ones and maximize profitability. The company can either transform a part of the brand or the whole of it to attain the desired results.
Most of the companies adopt rebranding when they reach the maturity period in their business lifecycle to eliminate boredom and beat their competitors.
Elements of Rebranding
Rebranding is a transformational strategy adopted by the companies to attract customers and keep itself up to date.
Following are the various elements or key changes that can be made while rebranding:
- Brand Identity: It is all about portraying the brand’s ideology through its vision and mission, in consumers’ hearts.
- Brand Name: A company can overcome the damage from a poor brand image by changing its name.
- Authentic Branding: This element focuses on building and sticking to brand values and perception.
- Storytelling: Sharing a brand story, achievements and journey with the audience, help the company to better connect with them.
- Customer Experience: A unique feature or product specification demanded by the customers let the company redesign its product accordingly.
- Visual Branding: A company’s logo and product packaging make it visually appealing to the audience.
- Internal Branding: Employee cooperation is the foremost need for rebranding, to keep them on board with the updated corporate vision and mission.
- Brand Promise: Every company briefs out the consumer expectations that it promises to fulfil in a straightforward slogan.
- Pricing & Distribution: Being a part of branding, effectively product price or distribution strategy help the companies become competent.
- Experimentation: When a company is highly reputed, it is better to experiment with the new branding strategy and examine the response, before launching it in public.
- Brand Legacy: A brand is known by its product or service quality which it carries on as a legacy for years.
- Promotion: Whether through infomercials, commercials or other forms of advertising campaigns, promotion is an essential element of rebranding.
The brand Dunkin’ Donuts is globally recognized for a variety of doughnuts it provides. However recently it changed the brand name to just Dunkin’ in the U.S. to target the youth as a ‘beverage-led company’. This rebranding approach would soon be applied to its global outlets also.
Need for Rebranding
What is the purpose behind corporate rebranding?
Today, rebranding had become a necessity rather than a choice for the following reasons:
- Global Expansion: When a company focus on cross border business expansion, rebranding becomes a necessity to attract global consumers.
- Market Repositioning: Similarly, when the company thinks of penetrating a new segment with different target consumers, rebranding is essential.
- Mergers and Acquisition: At the time of brand mergers or corporate acquisition, rebranding is adopted to inject creativity and originality.
- Staying Competitive: A company may face a setback when they stick to a stereotype branding for the long term. This brings an urge for rebranding.
- New CEO: Whenever there is a new entry in the senior-most position of any company, a new idea and perspective are induced in the business resulting in a rebranding approach.
- Outdated Branding: With the changing scenario and mindset of the audience, old branding concepts become obsolete, thus raising the need for rebranding.
- Change in Philosophy: Many times, the company goes through a bad phase due to negative publicity. To rectify such a poor brand image, transforming the audience perception becomes significant.
- Crisis Management: Sometimes a brand may face public dislike, resentment, criticism or even boycott, therefore in such a situation rebranding is adopted for image rectification.
Types of Rebranding
To make the rebranding strategy work, it is essential to identify the most suitable form according to your corporate requirement.
These are the three prominent types of rebranding:
- Brand Refresh: This type of rebranding focuses on making the brand visually appealing to attract more target consumers towards it.
- Brand Reboot: Whenever an established company adopts the new branding strategies to upgrade itself, it is called brand rebooting.
- Brand Overhaul: It is more of a brand reset where the whole identity is transformed along with its various elements to enhance the brand equity.
Every company has a different approach to rebranding. This is because its purpose behind such a transformation varies according to its purpose.
Given below are the basic strategies adopted by the brands today:
Rename the Brand: The brand’s name plays a key role in its recognition, thus to make a significant difference, the company can adopt a more impactful name.
Transform Brand Identity: When a company aims at complete transformation, it can resort to a new identity i.e., brand logo or product shape, size, packaging, etc.
Change Brand Slogan: Tag line is a key player in the brand promise. Thus the company can either shorten its slogan to make it easily memorable or go for a whole new tagline.
Formulate Corporate Mission, Vision, Values and Perception: Old companies usually pass through different time span where the consumer behaviour and ideology changes over the period. In such a case, moving ahead with the time and changing vision, mission and perception is highly fruitful.
Respond to Customer Inputs: When the consumers are less satisfied with their purchase and add on their requirements, the brand shouldn’t overlook such inputs. Here comes the need for rebranding to upgrade the products as per the consumer likings.
Think Globally, Act Locally: Whenever a company plans to step out of its native market, rebranding itself as per the global standards by retaining its originality becomes mandatory.
Rebranding success equally depends upon its execution along with the idea and creativity. This systematic approach involves the below-mentioned steps:
- Self-Analysis: The first step is being completely aware of the brand’s journey, purpose, vision, mission and other insights.
- Research: When the market is dynamic, research becomes a crucial part of the rebranding. Thus, the next step is to understand customer demand, preference, target audience, brand reputation, etc.
- Interact with Shareholders: The other crucial step is to get the shareholders’ views on rebranding. This will help you in better understanding the brand’s unique selling proposition (USP) and also stating the key changes.
- Seek Internal Involvement: Employees are a requisite part of the business and they should be convinced and enthusiastic about the rebranding approach.
- Launch New Brand Publicly: The audience is the decision-maker, so they shouldn’t be kept waiting. So make the launch of your rebranding expeditious, impactful, engaging and grand at the same time.
- Gather Feedback: Now it’s the time to measure the success of your rebranding, and this is possible only through the analysis of public response.
- Defend Your Brand: Yes, of course, if anything goes out of the way, this step comes in action. Try to justify the company’s ideology and the reason behind rebranding itself.
Benefits of Rebranding
A company can reach new heights if its rebranding strategy can provide the desired results. Some of the common advantages are discussed below:
- Builds Brand USP: A company’s products are considered superior from those of other brands because of their unique selling proposition as attained through rebranding.
- Profit Maximization: When a company adopts a fresh branding approach, it grabs more attention from the audience, resulting in higher sales and profit.
- Target New Audience: Of course, rebranding is a wonderful strategy to reach out to a fresh target group or penetrate a new market segment.
- Brand Image Rectification: It is for sure an optimal solution to address the negative publicity issues and improve the brand’s image among the audience.
- Discloses Company’s Intentions: Rebranding is the best to present the organization’s values, vision, mission and perception in front of the audience.
- Helps Being Trendy: The brand that aligns itself with the changing scenario through rebranding can never get out of fashion.
Limitations of Rebranding
Although rebranding is a sound idea for the companies to induce freshness in the business, it is exposed to the aforementioned drawbacks:
- Customer Attrition: The brand may experience a loss of existing customers if they disliked the company’s rebranding move.
- Wrong Message: The result of rebranding mostly depends upon how the customers perceive it. If they misunderstood the message delivered, negative publicity can ruin the brand image.
- Create Chaos: Whether the employees, associates, shareholders, investors or customers, if the change isn’t well communicated to all, the company may get into trouble.
- Expensive Affair: Right from the planning, designing, execution and delivery of the fresh branding involves hefty costs.
- Requires Extensive Research: Without proper investigation and market insights, rebranding can prove to be a complete failure.
Rebranding is not always beneficial, since it is mostly about experimentation. However, market research is the foundation of such a transformational approach; and if done sincerely, the company can set milestones in the business.