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Is it Time to Rebrand?

time to rebrand

By ULMag Editorial Team

When people talk about a company’s “branding” it has always meant logos, colors, design, visuals, and products. This is the traditional concept in marketing that has been taught for years. Today, that way of thinking is considered “old school”. Today, branding encompasses not only the “look” of a company but ties in its values and core missions. To discount these elements could mean some of your fans or target demographics are falling off. If a company is missing this boat, they may want to ask if it’s time to rebrand.

It is no longer good enough to only have an awesome logo, recognizable trademark, or catchy tagline. It is a company’s values, their story and connection to their consumers that strengthens the relationship and garners loyalty. Mining feedback and gathering real performance information requires focus groups, customer interaction, product analytics. This has become the essence and architecture of modern branding.

Research shows that consistent presentation of a brand can increase a company’s revenue by 33%, and companies invest thousands and millions of dollars on advertising and brand development to stay in sync. In today’s climate, it is also imperative to stay aligned with the consumer’s priorities. If not, there may be a hefty price to pay in reduced sales.

MISSING THE MARK

Pepsi partnered with Kylie Jenner in an ad designed to promote unity and understanding during the unrest and protests of the Black Lives Matter movement. The company was accused of being tone deaf and suffered backlash from consumers for its portrayal of an affluent, white celebrity bringing peace to a racially charged conflict. The ad was pulled as a result of the controversy and Pepsi began a damage control campaign that included public apologies.

In this age of cancel culture, a misalignment of a brand or a misstep in messaging can drop stock prices and revenue within one news cycle. A company cannot simply say they believe or represent something, they must demonstrate it through all that they do and produce. Keeping a brand in consumer’s good graces is a tall order and is easily accomplished when a company stays true to its mission values.

HITTING A HOME RUN

In 2000, Lego was labeled the toymaker of the century. By 2003, the familiar brand was in a downward spiral, losing up to 30% per year and $800 Million in debt. The brand had gotten stale and wasn’t keeping up with the times. With the help of a brand analytics firm, and a significant investment in ethnograhic research, the makers of Lego started “camping with consumers” and spending time with their largest customer base … children. They learned that 90% of their customer base was boys and focused on how to expand the base to girls. Boys prefer Ninja’s and action (superheroes, planes, cars, spaceships) while girls prefer realism, to the point of being adamant that sets of stores, amusement parks, riding camps – all needed to include a bathroom. They also diversified and introduced Lego theme parks, created video games, have made movies and even started an Instagram-type social site, Lego Life, where builders could display their creations. All very strategically placing them in the good graces of their customers, parents and children alike, and all remaining true to Lego’s core values of good quality play and having fun. By 2020 Lego earned the title of the world’s strongest brand, and revenue has increased over 6x since the start of the century.

DRIVING FACTORS FOR A REBRAND

Rebranding allows for a new or modified perception of a brand or product. Often companies embark on a rebrand as a reaction to a reputation matter like responding to negative press, public backlash for a misstep, or change in leadership. In actuality, it needs to be a strategic process creating an opportunity for a fresh presentation blended with consistent messaging.

There are many business reasons that prompt a rebrand.

Expansion. If your company is adding any new locations or trying to reposition itself in the market, this is an excellent time to refresh a campaign. Having something “new” to go along with your “new” location.

Example – Dunkin’ Donuts, the popular donut chain better known for its coffee (and being sold in most grocery outlets), refreshed to “America Runs on Dunkin’”. Everyone still knows its Dunkin’ Donuts, but now the message is not as exclusive to Donuts.

time to rebrand

Lost in the pack. If you’ve noticed your company logo and branding looks just like everyone else’s, engaging in a rebrand is the perfect opportunity to separate you from the others.

Sending the Wrong Message. If your brand doesn’t reflect your attitude, or convey who you are, it might be time to go back to the drawing board.

Example: A multi-platform marketing firm in Boise, UrbanLink Group, recently underwent a rebrand to align more closely with company’s original vision and help them stand out. They realized their logo was very understated and timid, which is the complete opposite of the passion, energy, and grit on which their foundation was built. Believing that professional marketing services are not exclusive to large metro areas – the new logo conveys their job is to link that feel with their clients’ vision. The company’s new branding incorporates a modern chain link, an iconic symbol of urban streets and grittiness to emphasize their mission. Below you will see their logos before and after their rebranding.

time to rebrand

Company Merger. Rebranding after a merger is advisable and proven effective. Research has shown that acquisitions that do not rebranded are 56 percent more likely to suffer serious damage to their brand.

Outdated. If sales are slumping and your brand is associated with decades gone by, the time is ripe for a rebrand refresh. Be careful here – you won’t want to alienate your core base – you want to show them you are growing with them.

Example – Tupperware. Everyone associates Tupperware with women, kitchens, and house parties in the 70s. The brand was in dire need of a refresh. They updated their font, added a little style, and accepted full credit for empowering women to run their own business with their new campaign “confidence becomes you”. Below you can see the logos, before and after.

time to rebrand
time to rebrand

SHOULD YOU REBRAND?

Make sure if you are choosing to rebrand, you are doing it for the right reasons. Keep in mind with a more mature a company brand, more is at risk with a change. Rebranding at the right time combined with adequate research and the proper foundation can energize a brand, as well as its internal and external stakeholders, and provide a profitable refresh.

If your company determines a rebrand is right and the timing is right, then it is time to find a branding company to work with. It is important to approach the project with an open mind and patience if you are to achieve a strong and enduring brand.

Read “cultural shifts bring new brands to bear”

Contact Data

Name: Chris Jones

Organization: UrbanLink Media

Phone: 1-855-730-5465

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