1
SHARE
The principles of a successful rebranding

The brand identity of a business is fundamentally how the company positions its product or service, and how it presents an aspect of itself to distinguish their place in the market. To overhaul this by rebranding is to potentially change the public perception and even the very fabric of the company. It isn’t something that should be taken lightly or without proper preparation and awareness of the potential pitfalls.

Why, and at what cost?

Sensibly, the first steps would be to identify the purpose of the change and the budget available to implement it. It is essential to be clear and consistent from day one, whatever the reason for the rebranding, be it an attempt to freshen up a stale brand or to move away from certain negative associations with the current branding. A simple logo modification is unlikely to affect the desired outcome on its own. Rebranding can be an opportunity to redefine the culture of the company, a chance to reassess the values of the house and should not be treated as a routine marketing exercise.

As ever, communication is key

In this respect, it is smart to consult all the company stakeholders, internal and external. Any proposed changes should be discussed transparently with employees via internal training and other engagement activities. Making sure everyone is on the same page and heading in the same direction is vital to successful rebranding. A company would be wise to keep in mind their current customers and to avoid uncommunicated actions that might concern suppliers or alienate the existing customer-base. This can be accomplished by an enthusiastic promotional campaign that brings these stakeholders along with the changes, and doesn’t just inflict it on them.

In 2012, a Malaysian businessman Vincent Tan completed a takeover of the Welsh football team Cardiff City, nicknamed the Bluebirds. As part of his significant investment in the club, Tan decided that to appeal to the Far East market it was necessary to change the club’s colours from their traditional blue to a red kit, and to replace the bluebird crest of over half a century with a red Welsh dragon, more broadly associated with Wales as a country than Cardiff City itself. The moves prompted a backlash among the club’s supporters who felt they were implemented without consultation by an outsider with little regard to the club’s history. Interestingly, the club reverted to the traditional blue in 2015.

Play to your strengths

As they say, don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. Sometimes an overlooked strength of a company is its history, which can be used as part of rebranding to the future. The long-established British fashion house, Burberry, had found itself with something of an identity crisis in the early part of the 2000s as it became associated with ‘chavs’ and football hooligan culture, a trend attributed to lower priced products and counterfeit versions of their famous pattern. To overcome this unwanted perception, Burberry removed the pattern from all but 10% of its products and enlisted celebrities such as Emma Watson and Kate Moss in its advertising to highlight its luxury fashion pedigree with great success. Staying authentic is an important way to build trust with customers. This includes staying away from overblown taglines and unreasonable claims, such as BP’s outlandish “Beyond Petroleum” tagline that has since been ditched.

And before cutting the ribbon…

Make sure everything is in place for a smooth and impressive relaunch! It might seem self-evident but nothing undermines a rebranding process than a company ill-prepared to deliver the change in its message. Contemporary concerns for implementing are related to online management. Are the preferred URLs available and social media accounts ready? How will SEOs be effected and have all online directory listings been updated accordingly? Having spent time and money on a new marketing strategy, making sure all employees are well-versed (particularly customer-facing ones) will help ensure the successful delivery of the new corporate message.

Advance further into the realm of strategic marketing with the Dual MSc & MA in Strategic Marketing (Integrated Marketing Communications).

Recommended Programmes
Dual MSc & MA in Strategic Marketing

The Dual MSc & MA in Strategic Marketing offers graduates a powerful double qualification, and the practical skills needed for modern global marketing today.

DOWNLOAD COURSE PROSPECTUS
  • Advanced Diploma in Strategic Marketing

    Short Courses

More insight from our blog

  • When artists do advertising

    We take a look at some artists who channelled their talents in the advertising world.

    Read More
  • The absolute power of omni-cha...

    Awareness of consumer habits is vital to a successful marketing strategy. We look at ...

    Read More
  • 4 PR campaigns that made moder...

    How one man, Edward Bernays, radicalised the field of PR and communications. His lega...

    Read More
  • The 5 types of cross-cultural ...

    Marketing mishaps can leave multinational organisations red in the face when they don...

    Read More
  • Are websites still relevant in the age...

    What's the right way to invest in the online presence of a business?

    Read More
  • The principles of a successful rebrand...

    What are the most important things to bear in mind when changing the face and voice o...

    Read More
  • Big data: The beauty of the beast

    With enormous amounts of online data bombarding us every day, it is not surprising th...

    Read More
  • Social Media: The good, the bad and th...

    The slightest mistake on social media can result in catastrophe for businesses. Here,...

    Read More
  • Social media: the good, the bad and th...

    In the first part of this series, we explore the positive aspects of corporate social...

    Read More
  • 6 apps that have transformed marketing

    We look at the indispensable apps that every top marketing executive needs on their d...

    Read More
  • 3 innovative digital marketing campaig...

    These campaigns show it takes more than a funny video or quirky catchphrase for a pro...

    Read More
  • 5 marketing campaigns gone wrong

    Any publicity is good publicity, right? In the case of these campaigns, that maxim ma...

    Read More