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Pros and Cons of Rebranding


By Goran Bogunovic, February 16, 2018

Let’s imagine this. You’ve taken a kid for a walk.  All of a sudden, they start yelling: “Coca-Cola!” You turn around and there it is- a huge Coca-Cola billboard right behind your back.

But, how do children associate a certain brand with their logo, even though they cannot read?

The answer is simple – it’s all about symbolism and brand identity.

Brand identity can be anything, from your logo and name to your product packaging and website design. It is the face and the voice of your brand, everything it stands for. It shows its core values, tradition, authority, and relevance.

Precisely because of this, it needs to be closely aligned with your company’s objectives. And, if these two elements are not a good fit anymore, you need to rebrand yourself.

However, you need to keep in mind that remarketing is not a failure. It happens to a bunch of companies, for a bunch of reasons.

And, the real question is- when is the right time to pivot your ideas? Most importantly, what will you get or lose after doing so?

Let’s find out.

coca cola rebranding

Even a tiny update can give your brand a boost…

Your business has been around for a while and things have been going great. The number of customers is constantly rising, your sales are flourishing, and your website traffic is impeccable.

But, where’s the problem then?

Maybe you’ve noticed that your logo is outdated or found out that your customers are not satisfied with your product packaging.


Bernard Kelvin Clive
In this digital age with its speed of change, any brand that refuses to ‎innovate will die.Bernard Kelvin Clive, personal branding coach

In this case, you don’t have to rebrand your entire business. On the contrary, based on a research you’ve done, you need to make more targeted decisions and focus on those segments of your brand that need improvement.

For example, if your logo is outdated, change it. That’s how some famous companies like Nike or Apple created logos so powerful that they don’t need any additional text or explanations. The same goes for Instagram, Google, Airbnb, MasterCard, Twitter, etc.

Also, when your company pivots or expands to another product line, maybe your name won’t make sense for your brand anymore. In this case, you need to choose a more relevant one. Now, you have a chance to correct the mistakes you made when starting out and choose brandable a name for your business that is:

  • Brief
  • Easily recognizable
  • Authentic
  • Relatable to your brand

That’s exactly how Starbucks Coffee, Tea and Spice, Il Giornale Coffee Company became Starbucks, Tokyo Tsushin Kogyo was turned to Sony, while Computing Tabulating Recording Corporation was renamed to IBM.

rebranding

… but may also mean losing your identity

After years of struggling to attract new customers, RadioShack, a famous electronics retailer, decided to rebrand in 2009.  And, what they did was change their name into The Shack. However, what they didn’t know back then is that this decision would be the final nail in the coffin for them.

Why?

First, they had been using the RadioShack name for 88 years. This name was dear to their target audience’s hearts, defining everything their brand stood for. The new brand name confused their customers and didn’t manage to resonate with them.

Brand identity can be anything, from your logo and name to your product packaging and website design. It is the face and the voice of your brand, everything it stands for.

There are numerous rebranding strategies they could and should have implemented, but changing a name they used for almost 9 decades is definitely not one of them. On the contrary, they could use it to emphasize their long tradition and remind their customers that their parents and even grandparents were also buying from them.

Second, in their attempt to be down with a younger target audience, they didn’t think about the meaning of their new name. The Shack isn’t something you associate with electronics or technology. On the contrary, it sounds like some run-down place no one would like to go in or even pass by.

Finally, even if the name was perfectly fine, it wouldn’t be enough for them to build a strong brand and attract younger customers. To be executed properly, fishing for new audiences means analyzing your performance continuously and building a detailed rebranding strategy, step by step.

radio shack rebranding

You sell not only a product but also the idea of it

In today’s ever-changing marketplace, to build a brand that stands out, you need to focus on solving core problems related to it.

If your sales are dropping, this means that something is wrong. You may have targeted the wrong customers, become less relevant due to the rise of competition, designed a product that doesn’t meet the market demand, or started a marketing campaign that doesn’t emphasize your values and uniqueness.

So, what do you do in a situation like this? You start building your brand image from scratch, of course.

Old Spice is a perfect example of how effective this strategy may be.

The major problem this brand faced is that nothing about it was special. It was a men’s deodorant much like any other. As it was considered the head-in-the-sand brand meant for the older male population, it was pretty difficult for them to sell the product to younger customers.

However, their rebranding campaign was miraculous. They started working with NFL player Isaiah Mustafa on a completely new marketing campaign, under the slogan “Smell like a man, man.” They created a series of witty commercials that have given their brand an immense boost.

Mustafa has become the Old Spice Guy, the embodiment of their brand. By placing someone young, handsome, and fun in front of their products, they altered people’s perceptions of them and made them more attractive to a broader target audience.

In other words, they’ve started selling the idea and the feeling behind their products rather than the products themselves. And, that’s how they managed to add a pinch of freshness to their brand, without having to change the main aspects of its identity, such as their name or logo.

old spice rebranding

As the market evolves, your target audience changes

When talking about Old Spice, I didn’t mention one crucial aspect of their campaign and that’s the change of their focus. Back in 2010, they found out that 60% of all male body washes were bought by women and they decided to take advantage of this fact, creating the “The man your man can smell like” campaign.

Studies show that 77% of customers don’t want a relationship with your brand. So, your goal is to constantly do your research and find that 23% who want to buy from you.

And, the idea behind all this was really wise. Namely, they assumed that, if women associated their brand with someone they find attractive, they would start buying their products for boyfriends and husbands, as well. And, they were right. Later that year, their website traffic jumped by 300%, while their Facebook interaction went up went up 800%.

This example actually explains one of the golden rules of rebranding- the market trends and demands are constantly shifting. Parallel with them, your position in the market and target audience will also change.

Namely, studies show that 77% of customers don’t want a relationship with your brand. So, your goal is to constantly do your research and find that 23% who want to buy from you. By focusing on these customers relevant to your brand right now, you have a chance to turn your leads into sales and improve your bottom line.

rebranding finding clients

Moving to a more suitable domain Is critical…

We’ve moved almost all segments of our businesses online. Precisely because of this, it is paramount that you build a solid online brand. And, refurbishing your website seems like an amazing starting point. To rank better and boost your users’ experience, you need to invest in:

  • Improving your page load speed
  • Effective navigation
  • Website responsiveness and cross-device compatibility
  • Internal linking
  • The Schema markup
  • Building quality links
  • Creating content valuable to your readers

However, none of these elements is important if your site lives on a wrong domain. Namely, this is one of those branding steps you don’t think about when registering your domain name for the first time. And, once your business starts growing, you may realize that your domain doesn’t fully match your brand.

So, to harness all the power of your online presence, you need to switch to a domain that is:

  • Relevant to your target audience. Your domain name needs to be short, easy-to-remember, and to be relatable to your brand.
  • Even though Google says that all types of TLDs are equally important, there are certain domain extensions that are believed to be extremely spammy and may compromise your website traffic.
  • Authentic and customizable. For example, the .ME domain name allows you to make the extension of your brand name (Bodi.me, Louder.me Mom.me) or even create a call to action to inspire your customers to take the desired action (Mssg.me, Videofy.me, Relocate.me).

…but it may influence your SEO

When moving your site from one domain to another, you cannot expect your traffic and rankings to stay intact. Namely, even if you do everything impeccably, you should expect some slight drops in your online performance. To avoid any major problems when migrating to your new domain, you need to:

  • Create a new site structure plan.
  • Set the 301 redirect that leads both Google and your customers to your new domain.
  • Crawl your website to check your interlinks and backlinks.
  • Change your address in the webmaster tool account to let Google know that you’ve moved.

Back to you

What the examples mentioned above should teach you is that rebranding is all about flexibility and the willingness to adapt to the ever-changing nature of the marketplace.

Most importantly, it will give your products a purpose, improve your brand’s authority, boost your staff’s morale, help you set clear goals, and alter people’s perceptions of your brand.

Of course, like any important move you need to make, it may be risky and time-consuming, but it’s worth it every time.


Author:

Goran Bogunovic

Now, you're probably wondering how I got here! Running a marketing agency, educating people about branding, and helping you to develop your own presence online. To understand, you’ll need to follow me @Domain.Me

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