Depending on who you ask, rebranding can either be a roaring success or a disastrous setback (ask GAP). Many brands have transitioned successfully to a new avatar; Apple captured the attention of the world with its minimalistic approach, Burberry successfully moved away from its ‘gang-wear’ tag and now finds a place in Emma Watson’s wardrobe!
However, disasters are not unheard of when a company tries to rebrand itself. PepsiCo spent over a billion dollars to rebrand its flagship soft beverage, Pepsi. The results were, for the absence of a better word, lacklustre.
As GAP and PepsiCo learnt it the hard way, it takes more than tweaking the logo to rebrand a company successfully. The line between success and failure is a thin one, as there is no standard rulebook to follow. Rebranding mistakes are always around the corner, and they can prove to be costly.
So, let’s take a brief look at some of the more common mistakes that innumerable companies make while trying to rebrand themselves.
Lack of a clear roadmap
Among other things, it takes a ton of money and an adequate strategy in place to successfully rebrand any business. Doing it just because a competitor did it recently or the new CEO doesn’t like the colour of the logo is never going to cut it.
Of course, there are numerous valid reasons to rebrand a business – you may want to break the stereotype in your industry, you may have expanded, and the original brand does not reflect your values anymore to name a few.
The first thing that a business should do when contemplating a rebranding process is to get to the drawing board. You should be able to chalk out why you’re doing it and how the new strategy defines your brand identity.
It’s more than just the logo
When brands decide to reposition their image, a new logo is usually the big revelation and quite rightly so. Logos are an important part of brand identity, and consumers are attached to it more than anything else.
However, it takes more than changing the colour of your logo to rebrand your image successfully. You have to first decide the new identity of your company and what your company is going to do differently before you even think of changing your logo. A superficial logo change with a compelling reason may alienate your existing customer base.
Lack of adequate homework
Self-evaluation is a key step in the growth of any brand. One of the major rebranding mistakes that companies do is that they do not do enough market research before pulling the plug.
As a brand, the first thing that you have to understand is how you fit into the lives of your customers. While it’s always advisable to lead rather than follow the market trends, understanding the needs of your core market is also necessary.
Pizza Hut, for instance, briefly removed ‘Pizza’ from their names and started referring themselves as just ‘The Hut’. They soon found out the hard way that ‘Pizza’ is a part of their brand identity, and consumers found it difficult to move away from it. They soon dropped the idea and went back to their original name.
It’s understandable if you want to rebrand your company. But, do it right, and it can invigorate a saturated market bringing in new leads. However, rebranding failures are far too many to count, and it takes more than just money to get it right. If you have the right story, a clear roadmap for what lies ahead and an insight into what your customers think, you are on the right track to successfully rebrand your company’s image.