In business, a successful financial outcome is not everything that guarantees the top spot. Clients are most likely to turn to your advice if your company has its own way of making itself hard to forget: first and foremost, a well established brand. If you do a little research, you will find out almost all old successful brands have suffered major changes throughout the years. But what does rebranding actually involve and how can it be used to maintain your economical integrity?
There are different types of rebranding strategies, depending on the reason why you wish to go through this change. We will start with the basics and discuss two of the most important branding strategies:
- Partial rebranding
- Total rebranding
Most companies that choose partial rebranding are often in need to keep things up to date. In this situation, the company wishes to simply refresh or change the way it is visually perceived by customers. Whether the brand is new or has been on the market for quite some time, a new look can prove to be beneficial and also a fresh touch. The brand basically stays the same – it is just “updated” or becomes more aesthetic.
Partial rebranding is also an option if the company wishes to add new items to the range of products and services it offers, or acknowledge the contribution of another partner. A good example would be Aunt Jemima, one of the market leaders in breakfast foods and cooking ingredients.
Total rebranding is usually considered an option in one of the following cases:
- The company fails in establishing the initial brand.
- The company was involved in a scandal or any other type of situation that might affect its image, statute or market reputation. In this type of situation, the brand tends to be automatically compromised.
- Two or more companies merge or collaborate.
A good example would be Sony Ericsson. Sony holds the technology used in manufacturing cameras for Sony Ericsson mobile phones. Ericsson, on the other hand, is a well known Swedish mobile phone manufacturer. The two companies became a joint venture in 2001, although Sony has also released various products (music players, cameras) that were manufactured and branded independently. This means the Sony Ericsson joint venture only manufactures mobile phones, whereas Sony continued to release its own electronic devices.
Is this always the best solution?
Rebranding is an important step your company has to take, as it may decide the future progress of your business. This is why it should be a wise decision. Not all rebranding strategies in history were successful. For example, think about New Coke, which is thought to be one of the world’s top marketing failures. In the middle 1980s, the Coca-Cola Company replaced its popular soft drink Coca-Cola formula with “New Coke”. The change was not well-loved by the public, and therefore the company rebranded the soft drink as “Coca-Cola Classic” only a few months after.
Use it wisely…
Many theories say this failed rebranding attempt was just a marketing ploy, as the sales increased immediately after the Coca-Cola Company “reverted” to the old brand. The explanation is simple. Coca-Cola had already been a popular, well-loved brand. People were used to it and no change was needed. However, as consumers were temporarily deprived from one of their favourite brands (AND drinks), they were stimulated to buy more and more of it once it came back.
This is also one of the present day marketing tools. You would still miss your favourite products if they disappeared or changed, right? So only go for rebranding if your company really needs it OR of you are really willing to take the risk: marketing ploys are double edged!