Rebranding a business is the process of creating a new look and feel for an already existing brand or product in order to influence its customer’s perception. This may include changing the name, logo or packaging. Rebranding can be a very challenging but extremely rewarding process. It requires careful consideration and planning to achieve the desired goal which is to breathe new life into a brand to attract new customers and increase its popularity. Nigerian Breweries, Oando, and Glo are examples of Nigerian companies that are constantly rebranding and are enjoying wide acceptance among the Nigerian public.
In 1997, tech giant Apple was very close to declaring bankruptcy, but a little less than 17 years later, stock prices have gone up from $6 to $350 and the company keeps shooting in an upward trajectory. Apple did not only rebrand the company’s name, mascot and logo, but also started producing reliable and elegantly designed products, adding artistry to technology; as changing its name from Apple Computer to Apple enabled the company to produce innovative products such as iMac, iPod, iPad, and iPhone. Apple found a way to polish its brand and create a positive experience for its customers.
Until recently, McDonald’s had the image of a chain that served unhealthy meals sold at exorbitant prices; in fact, critics touted McDonald’s meals to be one of the leading causes of obesity. McDonald’s has since rebranded itself, now serving more healthy meals with reduced prices under the slogan “I’m lovin it”. This makeover appears to be having a ripple effect as there has been a reported 5.3 percent rise in sales according to Business Insider.
Wal-Mart, in a 2007 rebranding, replaced its tagline “Always low price” with “Save money. Live better”. This singular act changed the company’s reputation from offering retails at rock bottom prices to suggesting that buying items at low prices will improve the lifestyle of the customer. In 2010, Wal-Mart was the world’s largest public corporation by revenue, according to the Forbes Global 2000 for that year.
Rebranding is generally aimed at repositioning a brand or company, usually in an attempt to move the brand up market. According to Business Insider, it doesn’t only change the customer’s response to the brand but also helps the brand achieve its goals. It’s a careful strategy; often times subtle and methodical, and may involve both re-imaging and regeneration. Change, as it is said, is inevitable; it is pertinent that companies adopt new strategies when needed rather than sticking with the same strategy for years even when it starts to feel uninteresting with time.
Rebranding is considered a smart business decision for the following reasons:
- Every brand needs refreshing to stay relevant as the 21st century market is an ever evolving one, rebranding affords companies the chance to sort out a new strategy to make their brand relevant and more importantly, stay relevant.
- Rebranding influences the customer’s perception, when a product wears a new look, or has a new feel or a company updates its marketing materials and strategies with a careful consideration of the target customer, the customer perception changes and tilts more positively.
- Rebranding offers the opportunity to clarify image, while allowing room for future growth this naturally improves the bottom line by conveying a company’s core value and brand message.
- Rebranding can breathe new life into a business when it is done with a strategy, a process, thought and most importantly for the right reasons. This will set the product or company apart from competitors.
As has been undoubtedly witnessed in the examples of companies that have rebranded, rebranding brings along with it its own basket of gifts both for the company and their customers. It must be stressed that in rebranding, corporate establishments must take the current needs and desires of their customers into consideration but still stay true to themselves as a respectable brand as seen in the example of McDonald’s. Rebranding must also be meaningful and powerful enough that it would improve the relationship between the company and current customers as well as prospective new ones. Most importantly, companies need to rebrand to stay ahead of competition in a very competitive market where you can get left behind if you don’t keep up with the ever-growing demands of customers and the trends in the society that create such demands. This will ensure that brands don’t lose their usefulness and help them create a stronger voice for their brands.