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A brand is the set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose on product or service over another. - Seth Godin

Re-branding is basically as it sounds; the process of changing the corporate image of an organisation. It is a market strategy of giving a new name, symbol, or change in design for an already-established brand, in order to create a different identity for a brand, from its competitors, in the market. 

There are several reasons why a company might choose to rebrand; one prominent factor is to connect with customers. Rebranding is a good marketing strategy for any business at some point in its lifecycle, but at the same time it may be risky, eventuating a possibility that consumers do not like the new brand. 

Therefore, there are two types of rebranding; Proactive rebranding (taking action in advance, rather than responding), done when a company recognises that there is an opportunity to grow, innovate, tap into new businesses or customers, and to reconnect with its users; and Reactive rebranding (a reaction to a series of events that have altered the company’s or a product’s image), done in a situation when the existing brand has been discontinued or changed, as a result of mergers & acquisitions, legal issues, negative publicity such as fraud, aiming to beat the competition, or create your own niche.

Rebranding is conducted with an existing brand and usually involves changing the brand name, logo, visuals, packaging, marketing materials and/or any other defining aspect of a brand’s consumer connectivity. 

The decision to rebrand can be a bad one and maybe based on poor reasons including to correct under-performance due to bad business practices, to detract attention from something unsavoury that's happened, to fabricate news, to create a different environment for new management or new investors, or to respond to a crisis of reputation. It should therefore not be seen and implemented as an escape; a reason to avoid the hard work of reputation management or to take the 'easy way out.' Many business owners think of rebranding as a fresh start, further believing it's possible to maintain all the good aspects of the brand whilst throwing away the undesirable stuff. Unfortunately, in reality, an unnecessary rebrand says tonnes of bad things about the brand as a whole. Rebranding should be used as an option for:

  • improvement in brand performance, 

  • to change brand perception, 

  • update a dated logo, 

  • address negative and/or inappropriate cultural connotations, 

  • a change in a product line where products have been added, removed or changed and the brand’s name or look may no longer be representative of that new line of products, 

  • differentiating a brand from its competitors with a purpose of attracting (or re-attracting) a larger portion of a target audience, 

  • social awareness and environmentally consciousness,

  • when the original brand was built without proper target market research, 

  • customers’ needs have changed due to cultural, technological or lifestyle shifts within a focussed group, 

  • a shift in focus,

  • financial restructuring, post-bankruptcy,

  • past transgressions, 

  • when a utilitarian product is deemed more useful to a more luxurious market and needs to appeal to a more discerning audience (with a higher price point) to speak to this new market, and

  • the reverse, when a luxury product is made more accessible (and affordable) to a wider audience.

Rebranding should therefore be conducted with special attention to the audience and the market—with the intention of differentiation from the competition, despite whether it is a logo tweak to a full overhaul. Special attention should be paid to existing clients by way of systematic unveiling. Clients/customers should be prepared for the shift (rebrand) so they don’t feel isolated from the brand, as well as preparations for the influx of new attention and new clients the rebrand will attract. Personal attention will be critical, so the brand can maintain the trust of its clients, whilst reinforcing emotional brand/client bonds.

The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new. - Socrates