If you need further evidence that branding is a key driver of business growth, have a look at the recent headlines being made by some of the world’s largest and well-known brands are making. Burger King unveiled a brand new identity, GM announced a reimagined logo to emphasize their commitment to electric vehicles and KIA is celebrating its best retail sales year with a brand spanking new logo. Even Pfizer got in the game with its most significant brand refresh in 70 years.
If there's something we've learned from the pandemic experience that hasn’t been spent on Zoom calls (or watching NetFlix), it’s that there's a need to adapt to new times, challenges, and the changing demands of society. What customers are looking for in a brand has been shifting in fundamental ways. For instance, consumers are voicing their demand for companies to take a stand on core issues like racial justice and equality. Plus, they want to see more transparency and authenticity.
These circumstances make up a unique context in which a rebranding strategy, if executed well, can bring considerable advantages for a company. Brands have a great opportunity to relate to people by communicating their purpose and values
Deciding to refresh and energize your brand is step one, but the real work starts with determining how to rebrand.
Consider these examples from the ‘what not to do’ file:
In 2009, Tropicana launched a bold, new packaging design for its best-selling orange juice to the North American market. They scrapped the classic orange and with the swizzle straw for something more, well, shall we say ‘modern’. It didn’t go well. The new packaging was unceremoniously and universally slammed, rejected, kicked, and spit on. Everyone hated it, or so it seemed.
Needless to say, Tropicana dropped it and brought back it's original packaging, Rebrand score: Epic Fail with a dollop of extra failure.
But what’s the takeaway?
First, Tropicana undervalued the connection its brand and packaging had with its customers. But that in itself is not "the" fatal error. This is: the new design was just not good, and it was certainly not better than the original. It de-emphasized the most familiar, literal, and comforting connection people had with their orange juice. So fresh it’s like drinking right from the orange!
Here’s one more from the same file.
In 2010, GAP unveiled a new logo, its first redesign in 24 years. But that experience ended quickly enough with the company scrapping the new logo only six days later following a fierce debate for all the wrong reasons. People were legitimately disturbed by the new logo.
You might argue that the company managed this change horribly by poorly communicating the entire thing. But they really missed a key point about their branding. Customers saw it as a classic mark and many had a personal attachment to the brand and its visual identity. And like Tropicana, GAP did a poor job of understanding those connections. The logo was cold, corporate, and uninspired.
Customers are looking for growing relevance in an ever-changing world while also craving the stability of a trusted brand.
To define the degree of evolution we want for our brand, first, we need to ask ourselves the correct questions:
In what ways does our brand connect with consumers?
How do we want to represent the future?
Asking the right questions offer a solid jumping-off point for your research and discovery.
Ultimately, you’re looking for core insights that often lay right beneath the surface. These insights form the basic ingredients for how to pursue your brand or rebrand challenge.
Coty has been present in the competitive fragrance market for over a hundred years. When it acquired Specialty Beauty Business in 2016, it became the largest global beauty company.
To become the leader in the beauty industry, the company had to restructure and reshuffle 20,000 employees under one unified and brand new identity.
The rebranding strategy was based on the homogeneous representation of beauty, their core insight. This drove the direction for the identity, which took on joyful, colorful, and multifaceted tones to celebrate and liberate the diversity of beauty through the symbol of a butterfly.
This breathed new life into the company by rejuvenating the spirit of tradition with a disruptive idea and by combining the strengths from both companies to create an entirely new identity to help rally their employees and their customers.
Rolling out a successful rebranding exercise is a strategic solution to help identify your values and better connect with customers...
We are now entering a new stage where brands lead the way for companies to connect with a more demanding society, where success is mostly measured in connections and commitment. Therefore, we need to ask ourselves if what has brought us here today will serve to be relevant in the future and whether our brand represents the best we can be. If the answer is not resoundingly clear, it may be time for a rebrand.