The Most Essential Factors for Successful Rebranding

Short Summary: A rebrand can make or break a company. It can be the answer to sluggish sales and slow growth or could spell the writing on the wall. Before you go and rebrand, you should always consider brand marketing and the different strategies that fall under it. The article below may be able to provide you with essential branding tips that can help you with your goals. Consider it your rebranding guide!

Essential Factors for Successful Rebranding

When you’re starting a business one of the most important things to have is a brand. People don’t take this seriously or they assume it’s a quick and easy process. They assume that just as long as they get the work done and sell as many of their products or services, it’ll all be good. Sometimes, the company itself goes through a sort of identity crisis and doesn’t try to change what “has always worked for them”.

Whatever the reason is, it’s 2023, and all of a sudden you need a brand or you need to rebrand. Your other rebrands are just not working anymore, you need something fresh to remind people you exist. Or it’s your first redesign and the old one was a huge success in the past.

You’re not clicking with the current generation – or you’re not passing their vibe checks. If this is your first time to sit down and consider your design, or if this is your fifth take, let’s go down and figure out what your company needs!

Anyone can just rebrand at any time, right?

People who hold on to one look for their brands understand how important it is to them and their consumers. There’s a reason why old stores in your local downtown area don’t always take the chance to change. They always use the same font, same colors, and even the same images that they used when they started. Rebranding is hard and usually carries so many risks with it.

uber rebranding

A famous example of rebranding gone wrong is Uber. When they changed their logo from the iconic minimalist U to a reverse C-like symbol, it just didn’t make sense to a lot of people.

Even if you check it out yourself, you’re not sure if you’re hailing a car to help you go to the airport or you’re talking to a tech company. In fact, in a survey created by PollFish, 44% of the respondents didn’t know what the logo was supposed to represent. Some even assumed it was the logo of a different ride-share app or that of a bank.

Here are some of the reasons why and when it’s good for you to rebrand:

  • Change in philosophy: The brand wants to move away from its roots and do something new and bold. The service does not reflect the old ways and you want your brand to reflect the changes in your core values and direction.
  • Partnership and mergers: You are now part of a conglomerate or you have teamed up with another business that perfectly syncs with your own. What better way to celebrate the acquisition than to rebrand to show the strength of your new bond.
  • You have moved: Even something simple as just moving to a new location is a good enough reason to rebrand. Not only will it be to the benefit of your new customers, but it can also attract employees to want to work for your company. You may be the new kid in town but you need to show you understand the area you migrated to.

If there are good reasons to rebrand, there are also bad reasons to do them. Some terrible reasons to rebrand are when the company is going through a crisis and tries to cover it up by rebranding. If the crisis is public, most people will have heard of it by then and will already know what the rebranding was for. They’ll automatically deem it as insincere and they lose whatever respect or loyalty they have for the company.

Total or partial rebrand?

Before you pull out your products from the shelves, you need to check if you need to rebrand from the ground up or if you need to keep some things the same. A total rebrand isn’t the best for companies that have operated for a very long time, that’s why some would choose to gradually change their image instead of drastically changing it overnight.

Tropicanna Rebranding

Aside from Uber, a brand that failed at rebranding was the beverage magnate, Tropicanna. In 2009, they wanted to go minimalist with their packaging. They replaced the iconic orange fruit with a glass of orange and removed some of the basic shapes that were part of the original. This resulted in a boring and generic-looking juice box. In their attempt to go minimalist, they lost sight of what made their products unique and instead created something that was devoid of personality.

Total or partial rebrand?

That’s not to say all total rebrandings are a failure, one of the most successful rebrandings has been done by Old Spice. The brand threw out its dated designs and completely revamped how people were supposed to see them. They surprised people with their campaign to redefine manliness. Their ads with Isaiah Mustafa and Terry Crews are not only viral-worthy but are funny and relatable to both men, women, and everyone in between.

So, if your business has shifted to a wholly different philosophy, a total rebranding might be in order. But if you’re still worried about changing too much, go for something small so you can warm up to your consumers.

How to Ensure a Successful Rebrand

Even if every rebranding is different, there are still steps that apply to all. Here is a list, you can call it your rebranding guide:

1. Conceptualization

This part of rebranding might not be as easy as one thinks. With the example we already gave, it’s just not enough that you “change everything”. The changes need to make sense and have to resonate with your customers. It’s important to look into understanding the concept of brand marketing.

What is brand marketing, you ask? 

It’s the study of marketing your business as a whole. It’s figuring out how to make your philosophy and values known with just the mention of a name, a color, or even just the general idea of a product.

Before its failure to adapt to the digital age, people automatically thought of Kodak whenever photography was mentioned.

How do you get to that level? 

You conduct research on your consumers and the consumers of your competition. This can be as easy as online surveys that can be filled in within five minutes. By getting to know your customers, you can already understand where and what your goals are.

  • Maybe you should also look into the mission and vision of your company.
  • Is it still relevant to today’s culture?
  • How well does it mesh with this generation’s spending habits?
  • Does it meet even their basic needs?

By doing this, you may have to shift the identity of the brand. It may be scary but it may also lead you to great success.

2. Production

You think the hard part is over, well that’s where you’re totally wrong. The production part is where the magic happens. When you’re conceptualizing, you’re still working with ideas, concepts, and what could be. Right now is where you have to consider if your brand marketing research translates well into actual products.

This is where you start to create visual content, research typography, colors, and other factors. If you’re a company that produces different kinds of products and in different countries, you also need to consider how their language would look on your merchandise.

Aside from basic things like, would the instructions translate well. There are cultural specifics that might get you in a lot of heat if you don’t follow them.

J-Hope Rebranding

Not necessarily a rebrand however when BTS was featured on the cover of Variety, each member’s name was printed in bold red letters. This is a huge blunder as a name in red in most Asian countries is associated with those who have passed away. When Variety was told of their faux pas, they automatically removed the original covers and replaced their names in yellow.

Thankfully, the issues were digital however can you imagine how much money Variety would’ve lost if they published physical copies? If only someone on the production floor knew this before they showed off the covers, they wouldn’t have to rectify their mistake – since there wouldn’t be any in the first place.

Also, if you’re a big or small company, don’t forget to tell EVERYONE about the rebrand. Make sure that even those in the production line understand what you’re currently going for. If everyone is on the rebrand, moving forward would be so much easier as you’re all on one page.

3. Promotion

Everyone’s promotion is different, it’s always the company and it’s a marketing team that makes or breaks a promotion. When you already printed the materials, it’s time to strategize how you’re going to present the new changes to your consumers. Some brands have decided to surprise their customers while others give hints. Even something as simple as a tarp that says, “Something new is coming!” and you add a date. This will create intrigue and make them wonder exactly what you’re doing. This will create buzz and make lines form at your business on the first date of re-opening.

BMW promotion and rebranding is a good example. The luxury car brand invested ‘hundreds of millions’ starting this year until 2025 in digital transformation to create a seamless digital experience for customers.

BMW promotion and rebranding

Some companies have tapped into influencers, and sometimes even someone who has 500k followers can do so much for your brand. You can sponsor a post or a video for them and they can give away discount codes for your company. This is a good brand marketing strategy. They may not have heard of your name before but there will be some who will be curious enough to try out what you have to offer. The discount code is nothing but a gateway to becoming a long-time customer.

How Much Does it Cost to Rebrand?

Changing your name is not just a matter of letters and acronyms. Implementation turns out to be the most expensive item by far.

For a name change, the bill can be heavy. For a global company, it can reach $500,000, not counting the implementation. But a brand that targets the European market alone can only pay $20,000.

  1. The low end 

Cost: $ 5,000 – $ 7,000

Rebranding your business reasonably is certainly possible. But bear in mind, this only comprises brand refreshing. The biggest aspect that can influence the cost of your brand will be decided by the size of the task to be accomplished by any branding group depending on the size of your company.

  1. The mid-range

Cost: $ 5,000 – $ 25,000 

The main difference between a low-end development and one considered to be in the mid-range of brand identity development is research and strategic planning. Updating your brand will present you with critical challenges it may face, such as how well you communicate your company’s benefits to your audience.

This includes understanding things from an internal perspective and getting feedback from employees, investors, and customers all at the same time.

  1. The top range

Cost: $ 50,000 – $ 200,000

This kind of rebranding is needed by companies that are in need of great changes in aspects like goals and guidelines. Your trademark guidelines should be created so that a team can meticulously coordinate and create your new branding. In addition, new and old alike may need training on your brand positioning, as well as your vision and mission as a company.

Obviously, these subtleties will be dependent on your business and the investment of money and time will be determined as the branding change process develops. Keep in mind that changing your corporate image is always possible, no matter the size or scale. Changing the face of an established business is a great investment.

Also ReadHow to Start Building Your Brand as a New Business

Your turn…

Rebrands aren’t exactly “a one size fits all” kind of thing. What might work for others might not work for you which is why you need to research and properly understand your brand marketing strategy. By understanding your customer and their needs, you will never go wrong. After all, they are the one that keeps your brand alive.

Aside from that, never lose sight of who you are when you’re trying to appease your consumer. Do the best that you can but never forget what made you their favorite brand. In the process of rebranding try to keep the quality or make it even better.

Jenn Pereira

Jenn Pereira is an expert UX design writer. She loves to share new perspectives and insights about product, web and app design and development, startup digital marketing, and branding. You can read more of her content on Medium and get inspired by her work on Dribbble. She is currently working as full-time Marketing Head of Removal.AI, a photo-editing platform that offers an automatic background remover AI tool for eCommerce and all other web/app purposes.

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