Corporate branding makes use of innovative strategies to develop quality marketing, advertising and storytelling directed at a target audience. A rebrand takes the existing elements of your business and realigns them to your updated goals to create brand awareness and loyalty.

Sometimes this means redesigning your logo on all your brand communication such as websites and letterheads. Other times, it is all-encompassing; including uniforms, packaging, marketing materials and franchise decor.

With so many factors to think of, where do you start? media update’s Maryna Steyn has all you need to know.

To rebrand or not to rebrand

It’s important to resist the urge to rebrand just because everybody else is. You risk ruining a good thing. Be careful of trying to reinvent your image when you are going through the following:
  • Change in management. Same business, new owner? Avoiding a rebrand will ensure the customers don’t lose trust in the brand they love.
  • Craving change. Don’t rebrand ‘because you feel like it’. Have a valid reason with clear deliverables and purpose statements.
  • Internal issues. If you have noticed issues with converting sales, for instance, don’t rush to revamp. Investigate the situation; you might find that internal issues are to blame.
  • Tight budgets. Even if you are in desperate need of a rebrand, it is as simple as this: No money, no rebrand.
Rebranding is only a good idea when your business will reap the benefits.

The reasons to rebrand are:

To stand out from the crowd
Perhaps you have noticed that everyone in your industry is looking the same. In order to stand out, you might do something different to the rest like changing your brand colour or introducing an upgraded typeface.

For example, if you’re a retail outlet, and all the other clothing stores are using a frilly cursive font, why not try a bold serif? Work with a team of experts to identify what needs to be done and how.

The teens from 30 years ago aren’t the same teens of today. But that is still your age demographic, right?

The fact of the matter is, your business needs to move with the times to ensure it is still reaching the target demographic. Retargeting through branding means you can ensure you reach the exact audience you are aiming for.

Growing and expanding
Whether it is expanding your product line or acquiring new affiliated brands, your corporate identity needs to represent the newcomers, too. Therefore, as a brand, you need to update your image to include your expanded line or merged.

Joining this decade
Retro and vintage are cool, but be sure not to become an antique! You can stay current by knowing what is hip and happening and using that information to give your outdated brand a facelift. The aim is to ensure your branding remains relevant.

Once again, this might need you to look at using a more modern typeface, colour palette or even needing to give your logo a fresh look.

Turning a new leaf
Wanting to shake off a negative reputation, rebranding shows that you are starting afresh. This includes correcting offensive or derogatory images or comments connected to your brand.

For example, Myntra, the online shopping portal, changed its logo after a complaint about it being offensive to women. Debate erupted on social media as only a handful of people saw it that way. The company complied — saving face and correcting an honest mistake.

But having good intentions during a rebrand can still have an undesired result. In an attempt to move with the times, General Motor’s logo was recently updated to reflect a future with electric cars and zero-emission skies. The outcome was deemed an epic failure by consumers.

Benefits of ‘out with the old, in with the new’

Aside from benefiting from your motivation to rebrand, brands can also gain in other areas. These are as follows:

  • Create awareness. Through a rebrand, you grab consumers’ attention and establish brand recognition under the new image and updated goals.
  • Increased business value. Investors see this updated brand as an investment opportunity because the business is growing.
  • Increase leverage in the industry. Gaining attention and growing your customer base means that you grow within your industry and become an important part of it.
  • Improved employee pride and satisfaction. It’s not about the fresh look, it is about being able to stand behind the brand you work for. This leads to increased job satisfaction and improved productivity.
  • Boost bottom line. It can make your business more profitable as it showcases your expertise to new customers when you reach a new audience.

Burger King case study

In its first rebrand in 20 years, Burger King went back to basics with its new retro look. It received rave reviews from customers and branding experts alike.

The rebrand uses a flat design in the illustrations and updated logo, as well as sports a new appetising colour palette with names such as 'Firey Red’ and ‘BBQ Brown'. Aiming for fun and bold, a new typeface called ‘Flame’ was developed too. Watch the video below to see the extent of the entire rebrand.

McDonald’s is also following in the footsteps of other fast-food chains by introducing new packaging designs that reflect its playfulness. South Africa will soon start to see the boxes with simple food graphics.

Have you spotted any recent rebrands? Was it a flying success, or did they strike out? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Branding is so much more than just your logo. Learn more by reading Brand versus branding: What’s the difference?
*Image courtesy of Canva