Complete Guide to Successful Rebrand Strategies [With Examples]

Feb 16, 2021

If you're struggling to connect with your audience, sales are slow, and your brand image needs a facelift, you may be due for a rebrand.

When you're building a business or launching a new product, it's essential to focus on creating a strong brand. It takes time to develop a new name, logo design, website, and brand guidelines for your business. While you may be happy with your initial style guide, plans change, and sometimes companies have to learn to pivot in a new direction.

Here's what you'll find in this article:

What Does Rebranding Mean?
Bad Reasons For Rebranding
Boredom
PR crisis
Internal debates
When Is a Good Time For a Rebrand?
You look like everybody else
New audiences or markets
Your brand has expanded
Your brand is outdated
Your brand doesn't reflect your values
You've merged or acquired
5 Examples of Rebranding Done Right
Get Started On Your Rebranding Strategy

What Does Rebranding Mean?

Out with the old and in with the new. Rebranding is often more than just creating a new logo and updating your website. Before you start to switch things up, focus on what you want to change while keeping your ideal clients in mind.

Is your mission statement outdated? Have your brand values changed? Are you struggling with sales? If you answered yes, start saving ideas for what you want to accomplish with your rebrand and the things you would like to change.  Let's look at some bad reasons for opting for a rebrand.

Bad Reasons For Rebranding

Boredom

If you're tired of your look and feeling unmotivated to create content or marketing collateral, that's probably not a good reason to start over. If you rebrand when you don't need to, you could confuse customers and alienate them even more. Nobody wants that!

PR crisis

You’ve had a few high-profile press blunders and feel like the whole world is mad at you. Influencers are calling you cancelled and tell everyone to avoid your products and services. It can feel enticing to rebrand your whole show to start with a clean slate. No more past mistakes, nice new name and look… But it’s not a good idea.

People will find out and lose their remaining respect for your brand. The best way to deal with a crisis is to listen to feedback, make changes internally to avoid making the same mistakes in the future and apologizing for what you did wrong.

Internal debates

New management, shareholders or high-level leaders come in and they want to make their mark on the company. Preferably something concrete and visible to show everyone the company is shifting gears. How about modernizing the look of the brand?

Maybe, maybe not. If the new investment or personnel change is part of a wider organizational change where the strategy adapts, mission evolves, or overall direction of the brand changes, fair enough. The brand style needs to reflect that. But if the changes are more like tweaks, don’t change the branding. It will confuse your audience and risk losing brand recognition and awareness.

When Is a Good Time For a Rebrand?

As your business evolves, you may decide to make changes. It's not uncommon for companies to create a new identity to elevate a struggling or out-of-date brand. A thoughtful strategy can provide stellar results and boost sales for your business. At the same time, a rebranding strategy that's rushed or under-budgeted can feel sloppy, lack meaning and fail to resonate with customers.

You look like everybody else

You notice that over time all your competition has developed the same look and feel, a similar font, the same house style, and almost the exact same brand colors as well. Perhaps rebranding would be a nice way to differentiate yourself from the competition? Whether this is a good idea depends on your position in the market. Are you a market leader, a long-standing, recognizable brand? Or are you an undertaker with a fresh new take on the market?

Rebranding will always impact your existing audience. A different look or name will be met with some resistance and your brand recognition will drop momentarily. But if you are a challenger-brand and want your new branding to represent the innovative approach you bring to the table, rebranding might do more good than sticking to a stuffy look.

New audiences or markets

You are trying to engage millennials with your dog biscuit company and you’re conquering the UK market. Your branding, however, is not performing well among your new target people. There’s a reason why the same toothpaste is called Pepsodent in the Nordics and Prodent in Benelux. Different branding styles work for different markets and audiences. If you are serious about the potential that your new audience has and you're confident that changing your branding will make a positive impact, go for it.

Same same but different

                                           Screenshot 2021-02-16 at 11.36.28Screenshot 2021-02-16 at 11.35.39

Your brand has expanded

You’ve introduced some prominent new products or services to your portfolio which are performing great. You are getting new customers, new interest, and are considering changing your branding to reflect your new offering. For example, if in the past your main business was legal advice to mid-sized companies and now half of your business comes from offering financing and strategic consulting to start-ups, maybe your logo should no longer be this:

legal company logo

It might be misleading to your new customer segment.

Your brand is outdated

If you’ve had the same branding for 20 years, it screams early 2000s like glittery blue eyeshadow and Blink-182, maybe it’s time for a refresh.

Which McDonald’s logo is your favourite? The second one's quite cheeky.

mcdonalds rebrand

The person who drew the first logo clearly had too much Pepsi to drink.

pepsi_rebrand

Your brand doesn't reflect your values

Even if you crafted a brand that was as sensitive and forward-looking as possible in the 1990s, there’s a chance it might not pass the standards of 2020 or 2030. Just take a look at these popular food brands that had to re-evaluate their packaging after public outcries for racism and cultural appropriation.

stuffy brands change packaging

You've merged or acquired

This one’s a no-brainer. If two companies join forces, that most likely means some changes to strategy, product/service focus, target markets or segments. And all those changes are solid triggers for rebranding.


5 Examples of Rebranding Done Right

 

Screenshot 2021-02-16 at 09.42.24

1. Old Spice

When it comes to deodorant, customers have so many options. Old Spice worked with NFL Player Isaiah Mustafa and created a series of commercials that showed Old Spice in a new light. Instead of dull and boring, Old Spice sent a message that the brand was fresh and relevant. The commercials were a hit, and people started to take notice of the antiperspirant again. "Anything is possible when your man smells like Old Spice and not a lady."

Takeaway: Create brand consistency to improve brand awareness.  

Before: Screenshot 2021-02-16 at 09.41.03 After: Screenshot 2021-02-16 at 09.41.16

2. Coty

Beauty company Coty got a complete brand overhaul, and the new joyful and colorful identity worked. The visual identity was based on an iconic symbol of change, beauty, and diversity: the butterfly. It gave new life to the brand, which previously had minimal engagement and a lackluster customer experience.  

Takeaway - Sometimes, a new look goes a long way. Go big, or go home!

dunkin-donuts-rebrand-00

3. Dunkin

Say the word Dunkin, and you automatically think about donuts. Although that’s a symbol of strong brand awareness, the brand decided to drop the word "donuts" in a rebrand to modernize customers' experience. They changed the look of their stores, got a new logo, and freshened up their brand messaging.

Takeaway: If you're going to change your name, make sure it still resonates with your audience. Be consistent with your branding in everything you do.

burberry-type-old-and-new-1

4. Burberry

Luxury brand Burberry is a powerhouse in the fashion industry. It's iconic trench coats, and distinct tartan plaid is recognized around the world. But there was a time when it was also a brand associated with gang wear instead of celebrities. Burberry wanted to change that and rebranded to create a new image without abandoning their roots.

Takeaway: Strive to keep your authenticity, even when you want to modernize your look.

energizer_batteries_packaging_before_after

5. Energizer

A new logo and new packaging gave Energizer a lighter look and a chance to stand out against competitors. When you think of most batteries, they're all black with an accent color. Energizer focused on its highly recognizable pink bunny mascot and put a new spin on their rebranding package.

Takeaway: Don't be afraid to make a bold move to switch things up and stand out. If something is working, like a mascot that everyone knows, don’t stray too far from that image.

Get Started On Your Rebranding Strategy

If your content and message feel stale, consider a fresh approach. You don't have to change everything about your brand; you may just need to breathe new life into some aspects of your business. Have a clear vision of what you want to accomplish with your rebrand strategy and keep your dream customers in mind throughout the process.

As part of your rebrand, you may want to consider:  

  • Do you want to implement a few changes, or do you need a complete brand overhaul?
  • Has your target audience changed or evolved?
  • If your brand isn't in alignment, you may want to focus on updating your vision, mission statement, and values.
  • How might a new style guide and identity help you accomplish your brand's goals?
  • Are you ready to make a strong statement?

Focus on a long-term plan, so you're not changing logos every year. That creates confusion for customers. Design a strategy to roll out your fresh look and create new marketing collateral to let people know what's new. It is impossible to build a strong brand in a day. Strive to create a strong brand identity that's recognizable and consistent.

Ready to get the most out of your brand? Book a demo to learn how top tier brands use Lytho to maximize their marketing performance.

Need help creating a Brand Style guide? A Brand Style Guide includes your logo variations, fonts, images, colors, and any other visual elements that repeat in your communications and marketing. Download our free resource to help you create a Style Guide for your organization.

create your own brand book style guide - download ebook

You may also like: Top 5 content marketing challenges and opportunities [2021]

BOOK A DEMO

Want to receive our blogs?

Subscribe to our weekly blog.