Businesses of all sizes can spend many years building up their brand as they try to establish a foothold in their respective industries and develop a strong reputation. However, there occasionally comes a time when even the most well-established and successful ventures need to overhaul their image and change how they are viewed.
For instance, it could be a step taken by a company in order to reassert itself in its marketplace before it loses ground to rapidly emerging rivals.
Often, rebranding campaigns will be fairly subtle, with changes such as slight alterations to a company’s logo helping it move forwards but without alienating its customer base; in fact some will even offer out promotional items like these to highlight the change and give something back.
The emergence of new media channels in recent years has helped to encourage this trend, with many organisations keen to ensure their logos render well on digital devices such as mobile phones and tablets, as well as promotional merchandise ranging from pens to iPod covers.
New logos and brands still tend to bear a strong resemblance to those they have replaced, perhaps by using the same colour scheme, similar imagery or the same font on the writing.
As a result, brands as diverse as Starbucks, Adidas, Apple, Shell and Burger King have been able to move with the times yet remain instantly recognisable to the masses.
Others have made changes to their image by dispensing with popular taglines. For instance, cake manufacturer Mr Kipling is believed to be on the verge of dispensing with its “Exceedingly good cakes” slogan, which it has used since 1967.
This could be a reflection of the times, as baking at home is now extremely popular, which means the company’s efforts to position its products as upmarket treats no longer fit the popular perception.
No customer-facing brand wants to be seen as boring, old-hat and out of touch, so making slight changes to how it appears can be vital for an organisation if it wishes to differentiate itself from its competitors.
However, a company can’t simply launch a rebranding initiative blindly and hope for the best. It needs to know exactly what it is looking to change and whether or not the amendments it has in mind are likely to go down well with its customers.
Carrying out market research could help determine how a company is viewed by its target audience. The results could be used to maximise its chances of engaging with the people it wants to attract and retain.
Garnering opinion through social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook could also be a good idea, as social media can offer valuable insights into how customers think and what they think of an organisation.
If a company get its rebranding right, it should hopefully reinvigorate how it is perceived by its target audience and give itself a new lease of life.
A successful rebranding exercise can also demonstrate to consumers that a firm is not willing to stand still and rest on its laurels, which in this highly competitive and rapidly evolving marketplace, is a great attribute.