Long ago the word branding was used as a way to tell one person’s cattle from another’s. Today, the notion of branding has evolved and the word is used to explain the strategies used to make a product easily identifiable from the rest of the competing products on the market. Branding is the concept behind creating a unique identity for your business associated with the name, symbol, and design logo or even core values and mission statements of a company. Logically,re-branding is the process of change and is associated with the alterations and transformation of an already existing brand. The intention of rebranding is to create a new, more desirable brand in the eyes of customers.
Rebranding can often be a part of the startup process as companies learn more about the way their customers respond to their products. Many startups launch and soon they realize two things. First, the market demand is not what they originally anticipated and second, their service is not perceived by the customers in the way they originally desired. For many companies, re-branding is a chance to update their strategy and to take advantage of what they have learned about their customers. This iterative strategy is perfect for businesses that are in the initial stages of their development.
Also, re-branding is common for large companies that have had to change over time and the following can provide good examples of the re-branding process in action. Kentucky Fried Chicken decided to re-brand by changing their name to KFC and the look of their logo to reflect their change towards a healthier menu. Starbucks changed their logo on three different occasions in the recent years and has added some simple food items to their product line of coffee drinks in order to better serve their customer base.
There is a long list of companies that have deviated from their original brand ideas and have successfully rebranded their products and services. On the other side, there are companies that have unsuccessfully tried to re-brand. The clothing giant Gap recently made an attempt to change their brand logo with the hope to revive the popularity of the old brand and the change was received in a very negative way by customers. After a short lived and very expensive re-branding campaign, Gap was forced to return back to their old logo. This re-branding attempt will stand in marketing history as a good example of how a strong market research and a solid grasp on consumer image are essential when it comes down to marketing efforts. No matter how big or small your business is, it is important to pay close attention to how your customers respond to you and carefully consider the possiblePros and Cons of re-branding for your business.
PROS to Rebranding
- Rebranding can communicate that your business is open to change in order to fit your customers needs better.
- Change is refreshing. Re-branding can create excitement and anticipation about your improved product or business.
- Your new brand might help your business appeal to a new audience. Also, a new brand will help you re-target your audience more efficiently the second time around if you are a startup and your initial targeting attempt has not yet met your goals.
CONS to Rebranding
- Re-branding can get complicated, time consuming and expensive depending on the degree you are determined to change.
- Loyal customers might perceive the changes in your business as a step backwards if they identified with the brand that you had previously.
If your business has come to the point to consider rebranding, it is important to reflect on both the pros and the cons of your choices. Make sure that when you are re-branding you have a clear objective for the new feel of the brand that you are trying to undertake. If you are committed to the business success, evaluating the effectiveness of your brand and making the choice to re-brand might give you a great pay off.