Rebranding, why, how and when to do it

Introduction

"Change does not always equal improvement, but to improve you must change." 

Sir Winston Churchill

I start from here because there are some situations in which changing is necessary, fundamental for an improvement. 
In marketing, when we talk about a total change of image, even content or way of communicating, we refer to rebranding, a delicate and complex activity that is good to investigate. 
What is it all about? When is it necessary to do it and what are examples of companies that have done rebranding? 

Index

What is rebranding: meaning and definition

Rebranding means “redo the brand“, in other words it means to give a new look to the corporate appearance. A rebranding occurs when a company feels the need or need, for a number of reasons that we will see, to change the logo, the colors that distinguish it, to address a new target or change its tone of voice and even the mission
A simple definition of rebranding is to give a new identity to the brand, while keeping some indissoluble and solid pillars. 
Okay, but why do companies rebrand? Or better yet, when is it necessary to rebrand?
There is no absolute and unique reason why companies have decided to give their appearance a total makeover. However, a rebranding is followed by several benefits that, when analyzed, drive companies to take this gamble.
It’s about giving themselves a second chance to make a good impression, a rare opportunity to gather support from a different, wider audience and so on. 

Why do companies do rebranding?

As anticipated, the reasons are many, each related to a goal or an advantage that the company wants to achieve.

Let’s see them one by one:

Change of management or merger of several companies

If the company is acquired by another, or if two companies merge it can be useful to make a radical change to the image, especially to emphasize this transition. Similarly, rebranding can occur when there is a change in leadership and there are new members at the top. 

Improve brand reputation

Mistakes, scandals, values that are not shared and not approved by the public. How many reasons can there be that a company needs to shake off old clothes and put on new ones that are appreciated and shared?
If the company's reputation has been branded with a negative connotation, it may be necessary to change the brand identity to make the public stop associating negative episodes with the brand. This is an almost necessary change of clothes that gives a new freshness to the company. 

Internationalizing the brand

Another classic example that comes to mind where rebranding is necessary and can offer great benefits is when your company is entering new frontiers. If your business has ambitions to go international and reach out to new countries, then it can be beneficial to give your brand identity a makeover so that it is understood, appreciated and remembered abroad. 

Reaching a new target

This second case is typical of historic companies, used to talking to a certain type of target. In order to expand their audience, and reach new generations, rebranding offers a sea of opportunities. This is the reason why companies adopt a new tone of voice, one that speaks to a wider audience for example. 
Another case where a company feels the need to rebrand to reach a new target audience is when data suggests it. 
A data-driven approach might suggest that the audience you thought might be the right one isn't actually the right one, and in the meantime you're missing an opportunity to speak to your niche. So here's where rebranding comes in to start talking to the right people for your business. 

How do you rebrand?

To do rebranding and not to make mistakes you have to think on levels. First of all, it is necessary to evaluate if the change of identity that you want to give to your brand is absolute or only partial, that is to say that it involves only some small changes. This choice, of course, depends on the objective and the advantage you want to obtain. 
Once you have identified how impactful your rebranding will be, you need to evaluate the parameters of the change:

These are the points to focus on, and in the case of a partial rebranding you can choose one or more of these aspects that are right for you. In the case of a total rebranding, however, are all aspects to study and rethink. 

Examples of famous rebranding

In practice, there are many examples of corporate rebranding, of more or less famous brands, which can best clarify the theory.
The first example is the French brand Renault. The transalpine group has invested in a real transformation, called Renaulution, revolution. The reason for Renault’s rebranding stemmed from the need to show the public new values related to sustainability, in order to aim for a repositioning. 
The change, in this case, is not in the aesthetics but in the communication of the mission. 
A local case of total rebranding is Alitalia. Change of name, logo and mission. A necessary change linked to the change in management. However, Alitalia, now Ita Airways, has kept its colors, in honor of its history. 
And in the digital world, how can we fail to mention the rebranding of Facebook, transformed into Meta. In this change of identity there is a clear need to show a clear reference to the metaverse and to the whole virtual world that will become an integral part of Meta. Change of name, of mission, of logo: a total rebranding. 
And finally, a somewhat dreamy rebranding, that of Airbnb. The company, in fact, wanted to modernize the old logo, born in a hurry, replacing it with one that would involve the public. Airbnb’s new logo is a simple symbol that anyone can reproduce and that gives a sense of union, location and home. 

Conclusion

Rebranding is a complex activity, necessary at times, risky at others. The important thing is to do it when it is clear that there is a need to reach new major goals, and to do it methodically following the steps in a methodical way.

Michel D.

Web Designer & Developer

Writer in his spare time

Geek at full time