A re-brand is when a company chooses to change a significant element of their perceived persona.
A re-brand could be very obvious like a complete change in company image, eg a new logo, or, it could be more subtle such as a change of language within their corporate message.
Over a period of time a proactive company will often review their brand and associated image, it is important for a business to understand their market and the changes over time that affect their market, it is often part of a companies strategy to review and consider their brand, a proactive company will consider the following:
Future growth and audience:
When a company expands, or plans to expand, they will often consider their brand and image i.e. a question they may ask themselves is ‘does our brand work internationally?’ there are many things that can detract from a brand in an international market, such as things like colour and verbiage. Also something that goes hand in hand with expansion/growth is audience, a very good example of this is Apple, over the last 5 years they have completely changed their image from ‘specialist computer supplier’ to ‘luxury brand’ this change is largely responsible for the massive growth that they are seeing today.
Pigeon-holing and staying relevant:
When a company is born the brand usually represents the market that it is pitching to, for example a company could be called ‘Orion – PC Specialists’ this name immediately pigeon-holes this company to the PC market. Further down the line ‘Orion – PC Specialists’ may wish to expand into other markets, in this case they may reconsider their name. An obvious change would be to drop the ‘PC Specialists’ post fix. This simple alteration removes the specificity of the previous brand name.
Also time is constantly moving forward, trends come and go, often you will see ‘clever’ companies utilising trends to their advantage. It could be trends in design, for example, we are currently going through a ‘flat’ trend, you will have probably noticed that a lot of brands have adopted this new design style in their brand mark. Deeper than this brands will align themselves with other public pressures such as being green, conflict free or fair trade – all of these things add to the definition of a brand.
Sometimes companies ‘have’ to re-brand, they alter their image through necessity:
Merger or acquisition:
When companies merge or acquire other companies (and even when they break apart), re-branding is often required.
There are a number of different legal issues that could cause a company to re-brand. Trademarks are often at the root of these re-branding examples. That’s why it’s so important to conduct an exhaustive trademark search and obtain the trademark rights to your brand name before you launch it.
Sometimes a company’s competitors’ activities can be the catalyst to a re-branding. When a competitor renders your brand useless or dated, a re-branding could help you regain a foothold in your market and give you the facelift you need to effectively strike back.
Here is a few examples of a good re-brand
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