Rebranding Done Right
What does it mean to rebrand your company? Is it a change in logo? Design? Perception?
Many believe that rebranding is just what the doctor ordered for an ill-fated company. Rebranding changes the corporate identity in order to change the consumer’s perception.
Often times changing the logo or tagline can make all the difference. Updating older, out-of-touch brands proves to be successful. However, there are some traditional brands that consumers know and love—and change can result in chaos. Here are some of the best and worst rebranding stories along with their strategic lessons.
Target: From Indistinguishable to Stand-out Store
Target was suffering a major identity crisis in the late 90s and rebranding their image brought them to a level of “grocery store cool.” Before their rebranding, Target was compared to Wal-Mart and K-Mart, seemingly just another discount superstore. After rebrand, Target began using hip commercial advertising and began carrying discounted designer fashions like Issac Mizrahi and Jason Wu. Target’s rebrand was right on target.
What You Can Learn: Distinguish Yourself From Competitors With High-Quality Products At Discounted Prices
Old Spice: Body Odor Never Seemed So Cool
Old Spice deodorants were often associated with older generations and with the younger, hipper brands like Axe as your competitor, this brand needed some revitalization. In 2008, a “Swagger” rebranding campaign brought a 400% increase in sales to a previously suffering deodorant “Glacial Falls.” In addition to ridiculously hilarious television and print ads (who could forget The Man Your Man Could Smell Like TV spot?), came the SwaggerizeMe.com campaign website. Men could upload pictures and links about awesome they are. And it worked. The SwaggerizeMe website and Youtube videos dominated the internet receiving tens of millions of hits.
What You Can Learn: Spicing Up Advertising to Re-Make Yourself a Household Name
Gap: If It Ain’t Broke, Don’t Rebrand It
In 2010, Gap decided to update the brand that had been their defining image for 20 years. The vice president of corporate communications, Bill Chandler, said the new logo was to be more modern but the rebrand of Gap’s logo was resisted. Consumers called it “lazy.” Seemingly anyone with basic computer skills could have created it. Gap went to social media outlets to see consumer response, mostly all of which was negative. Eventually, Gap reverted back to their iconic navy square with white letters, unintentionally creating an emotional tie to its consumers. After all, you don’t know what you have until you lose it.
What You Can Learn: Rebranding is More Than Skin-Deep.
Ron Artest: World Peace Blunders
Last fall, The Los Angeles Lakers’ forward Ron Artest legally changed his name to Metta World Peace. This was strange not only because of World Peace’s reputation as an aggressive player, but because celebrities often do not change their name mid-career. The basketball player says that it was to promote world peace and harmony in the youth today. Changing your name is a big statement for any company (or person) trying to rebrand their image. World Peace has to live up to his new name for the rest of his life, which can be a high standard on the basketball court. After an elbow to the face of Oklahoma City’s James Harden, commentators reverted back to Artest, forgetting all about his new image of World Peace.
What You Can Learn: Don’t Change Your Name Without Changing Your Game
Lesson: If you want to change, focus on the business that really matters. Your consumers will appreciate it more than some surface cosmetic change. If you really want to change the conversation then you have to do more than just evolve your logo.
The Russo Group
- How to Rebrand A Social Network And Live To Tell About It – TechCrunch (techcrunch.com)
- Twitter Rebrands, Modifies Logo (adweek.com)
- How Microsoft Could Rebrand Itself [PICS] (mashable.com)
- JCPenney’s Rebranding. The “New,” New Coke (crttbuzzbin.com)