The Success of Rebranding


Times change, people change, and brands need to stay on their toes to keep up with these changes. Like people, brands need a makeover too; to breathe new life and energy into their businesses. Rebranding is a great opportunity to strengthen the perception of your brand and compete in the ever-changing marketplace.

When a company is ready to reach new heights or has grown past its previous identity, they look for a rebrand. Yet, they often wonder if the changes will take or tank. There may be many reasons a company looks to rebrand, and many insecurities about the success of new strategies:

  1. There is a change in the target demographic

When a company wants to shift its consumer base to appeal to a wider audience, they often look for changes they can make.

Old Spice for Young Men

In 2010, Old Spice had one simple mission – to sell to a younger audience. Anyone familiar with Old Spice would call it the ‘brand your grandfather smelled like’. This simple phrase made it hard for them to reach younger men. The association made their demographic seem as only men over 50. With the rise of newer body-wash brands for men and Old Spice sales declining, they needed a change.

Old Spice released a new ad campaign ‘The Man Your Man Could Smell Like’ with Isaiah Mustafa, a fresh famous face and a new slogan “Smell like a man, man.” It addresses the viewers in a fast, confident monologue about the benefits of using Old Spice products in an amusing and eccentric manner. By releasing the ad campaign during the Super Bowl event that year, they were able to triumph the competition by creating buzz to increase market shares. The ad appealed to the younger audience with the clever messaging, making it a brand for confident young men. The campaign was so successful that sales shot through the roof and were double from the previous year.

  1. To distance from negative press

The world works in unexpected ways and things don’t always go as planned. A small mistake or poor decision can easily shine negative light on a company. A rebrand with a new image can provide a fresh start.

A questionable reputation

British brand Burberry was not always the high-fashion brand it is today. In early 2000, they became associated with street gang wear. This made for lower priced products and counterfeit goods adopting their trademark patterns. With the trouble they were falling into, Burberry needed to push their story forward, staying true to best parts of their existence.

The new content stuck close to their key brand principles. By using contemporary marketing techniques with their past values, they were adventurers and gained respect in the fashion world for their innovation. They embraced their British background and cast young English celebrities in their ad campaigns for a new fresh look. Their creative vision as a brand took the best of both worlds – Burberry’s history with a modern innovative revamp.

  1. The business has grown or changed

When a company expands into newer product lines or has entered the international scene, they try to revive the brand to accommodate those changes, whilst staying true to their original vision and values. A rebrand gives them an opportunity to branch out and reflect their new goals and missions for growth.

When popular fast food chain McDonald’s began to move into the European food market, they needed to rebrand their campaign. With a bad public image in the 1990s and 2000s for being synonymous to unhealthy food and obesity, McDonald’s decided to actively change their image for international growth. They updated their menu with newer healthier options like salads and wraps and renovated store interiors for a sleek, chic look.

  1. A need to stand out, and constantly revive

In an ever-changing and competitive market, new companies are constantly releasing similar products. The need to stand out is crucial to stay ahead of the game, and not fall into the ‘pit of sameness’.

No one did it better than Apple with the release of the iMac. They did not stand out as much and suffered from low sales, competition and low consumer interest. By 1997 with Steve Jobs back in command, they began to focus on ideas and experiences instead of just products. With a streak of minimalism and modernity and innovative products, Apple rebranded with a new image. They now attracted a larger diverse consumer base to become the tech giant it is today. Apple focused on doing things uniquely from their competitors – they were, and still are, leading innovators.

The power of a changing image

It is important to stay current in today’s age with changing consumer trends. Rebranding reflects the new goals and values of the brand as it grows. It allows a company to stand apart from competitors and become successful pioneers in a new movement. Whether it is small change, or complete face-lift, rebranding helps to mold the perception of a brand. It is a great opportunity to reaffirm the identity and brand values. Rebranding a company’s image is not a step back, but a move forward in the right direction; to grow and sustain.

Are you wanting to explore the success of rebranding? 
Or are you looking for a brand refresh to be compariable to your peers? 

Contact me personally and I’ll share some time with you to explore the options. If you’d like to see what we’re about and how we approach our projects this is the link for you.

Thank you for reading.

Adam Ridgway
Chief Creative Director