How to make an effective re branding?

Do you think your brand needs a change? Do you want to know how to get there without losing the customers you already have? Find out what re branding is, what it’s for, in which cases you should re-branding and the steps to achieve its greatest effectiveness here.

Sometimes, our brand is not having the desired impact. We may not be getting to the target market that we had in mind, or we may be perceived negatively by the target market. How can this be fixed? With a good re branding strategy. Of course, this is not for everyone and we must be careful with the adjustments we make to the brand so as not to lose the positive points we had before. It is therefore important to analyze whether this is the right solution for our problems and to plan step by step to achieve a successful re branding. Here we tell you how.

Definition of re branding

Street in New York with a lot of publicity

First of all, let us see what the concept «re branding» refers to. Our brand, our brand, is not just the name of our company, it has to do with all the identity around it. Being clear about who we are as a company will help to control how our brand is perceived, as we will be defining the details that make it a unique and good presentation for customers.

Our brand is our reputation, it is the perception that the market has of us. Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, said it in these words: «Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room». A well-defined brand will cause good impressions in the market through consistent communication and positive experiences. If your brand isn’t seen right, you won’t get the sales you want, your target market won’t trust you, or may not consider you the best option available.

This can happen because of a bad approach to the identity of the company since its formation. It is not unusual for start-ups, created by young entrepreneurs, not to have the best marketing team available and therefore to make some mistakes when creating their brand. They may overlook the choice of a consistent color palette, or they may never have wondered about the company’s mission, vision, and values.

In that case, as the company moves forward it will be obvious that it will need re branding. If not, it will be confusing for customers who find their products or services, what their approach is, and if it is a company that is well valued and perceptions of that market sector. Only by adjusting the brand and creating new postures for it will have a positive impact.

Although not unique to young people, giant multinationals must re branding to remain relevant to the market, as it changes with each generation. Such is the case of these 10 most successful re branding campaigns ever, which are very interesting to review.

So re branding is the process of changing the corporate image of an organization. It refers to the marketing strategy of giving it a name, symbol, slogan, logo… to a brand already established to create a different identity for the brand. Re branding does not mean that you will throw the brand away and create a new one, sometimes it is about giving a new design, or making small adjustments to better define the goals of the company. But under what circumstances is this done?

When is it convenient to re-brand?

Re-branding strategies can be very risky. The more established your brand is, the more you can lose from re branding. Your market may not like your new image and may lose more than you earn. That is why it is crucial, before you even think about a campaign of this kind, to consider very well what are the reasons why we want to re branding.

Good reasons to re brand

Neon sign that says: yes, to  represent when is it a good time for re branding

Expansion: If your company is reaching new horizons, you might want to give it a new look, especially if you’re entering international markets. Probably the market you are going to enter has another system of values or other cultural perceptions, in that case, you will have to study the new market very well to identify what needs to be adjusted. In any case, if your company is going to be international, it will be good for you to reflect that on the brand, so a small adaptation in that direction will be a good move.

Market repositioning: Well-established brands need to make sure they remain attractive to the market, so it’s important to know if they are being successful with the market they projected. It may be that your customers are buying from the competition and you need to analyze the reasons. Also maybe it is being attractive for a market for which they did not initially project, in that case, it is important to discover why the brand is well received by that market and start selling to them.

New Philosophy: Times are always changing and brands need to keep up. Moving towards more sustainable practices (in terms of ecology and human resource management) has become a necessity. These mechanisms must be present at the heart of the brand, which is why changes must be made to the mission, vision, and values of the company. In this case, you will need to make a re branding.

Acquisitions and mergers: If you are acquiring one company or merging with another, it will be crucial to design an identity that includes both companies. You can’t just take over a company or take over and leave everything the same. Check that the brand has an image you want to be associated with, that goes well with you. In turn, when merging, you don’t want to disappear everything from one company to the other, it will be important to consider what aspects are crucial for both and how they complement each other.

Reasons that do NOT justify re branding

Stop sign to represent when it is not a good time for re branding

Boredom: If you feel bored with the image or slogan of your company, it is normal. You probably read your slogan everywhere and see the same colors of your brand every day… But as the saying goes: if it’s not broken, don’t fix it. It’s about the buyers’ perception, not yours.

Draw attention: If you just want to make a re branding as a strategy to create controversy, stop. Remember that you can lose a lot in a re branding and doing it just for people to talk about you and being relevant won’t leave you enough benefits to make it worth your while.

Covering up a crisis: Brands sometimes make mistakes and must turn to their public relations teams to repair the damage. Sometimes a re branding is done, but this is usually perceived as a way of deceiving the market and is not well received. An example is the make-up brand KVD Beauty, before Kat von D Makeup that after multiple scandals from its owner and founder chose to disassociate from it and make a re branding, which was heavily criticized.

If you’ve discovered you have good reason to re branding. Then you want to be sure to implement the best type of re branding for your purposes. Only then will you achieve your goals and achieve the success you desire.

Types of re branding

The types of re branding can be classified for the reasons that generate them:

Proactive re branding: A proactive re branding strategy is given when a company takes the initiative internally to re-design its brand. The reason is usually that the company recognizes an opportunity to grow. This is when they see a possibility to innovate, for a new business or customer market or a window to reconnect with their buyers.

Reactive re branding: This type of strategy occurs when something happens that forces the company to need a new image. Perhaps the company has not adapted well to the new times and should be discontinued or changed. Some of the reasons are mergers or acquisitions, legal problems, or bad publicity. The latter are not intended to cover a crisis, but to reflect brand growth after dealing with the problems.

They can also be classified depending on how much you decide to change the brand:

Partial re branding: In this case, the strategy would only adjust a few things. Perhaps it is a change of logo to fit a new aesthetic current, an improvement in the visual image of the company, or simple adjustments to the vision of the company to add new goals.

Total re branding: In this case, re branding would be much more radical, it would involve changing the values, the mission, the vision, the whole philosophy that supports the purposes of the company, and its way of doing things. In turn, you have to change the exterior to reflect the new interior, so changes are also applied in color palettes, logos, and symbols.

Successful re branding strategy

Successful business man looking at the skyscrapers happy with his re branding strategy

Now that you know the definition and the types of re branding, as well as the reasons why a company may need one, let’s talk about the steps to do it properly. Once you have your motives well defined and you know what kind of re branding you are doing, here’s what you need to do to achieve it successfully:

#1 Identify market

The first thing to do once you’ve decided to re branding is to know who you’re selling to and who you want to sell to. Maybe you’re selling to a market you didn’t see and don’t know why. You may also have lost customers who are choosing the competition, and that’s why this first step is important.

You’ll need to do a detailed market analysis, review the hard data of your sales, and all possible details about who your customers are. Who are you selling to? Why are they choosing your brand? Define this as well as you can. So you will define what you are doing that does attract customers, no matter how few, at this point you need to know only who they are and what you have done to sell them.

Now you must ask yourself, who do I want to sell to? And where are they and why? What attracts them from your competition or any other option on the market? Studying your competition will let you know what strategies have worked for them. You’ll have to answer: What do they have that you don’t?

You should also consider whether your target market looks like who you’re selling to. If you planned to sell to a sector of young people between the ages of 18 and 25 but you are selling to adults between the ages of 40 and 50, you have to think about what is happening, whether you want to change markets or continue trying to attract young people.

In either case, you’ll need to adjust your brand for the market you want to sell to.

#2 Adjust your mission, vision, and values

Once you know the market you want to sell to, you’ll need to adjust your company’s identity to suit what they want from you. It’s about redefining your mission, your vision, and your values. These are the ones that will govern all the decisions of your company.

Company values are the ideals under which all company shares are governed. If one of your values is honesty, it means that you will always deliver transparent budgets to your customers, for example. In turn, they define some guidelines for your company. Your company should stick to that value of honesty to never commit fraud, even if it means big profits.

Given these values you would write your mission, is the reason for being the company, the reasons it has to exist, and how are their daily practices. For its part, the vision addresses what the company wants to be in the future and the concrete actions it implements to achieve them.

If you still have doubts about how to define your company’s identity, read this post: How to define your company’s mission, vision, and values?

Only after you have defined your company’s mission, vision, and values so that they are relevant to your target market can you continue with everything else.

#3 Rename the company (if necessary)

It is not always convenient to change the name of a company, especially if you already have many years in the market. But maybe if your target market demands a new name you should think about some strategies to keep some of the original character of the brand or the popularity that you had before.

An example of a name change is from the feathered Bic. Originally the brand was called Bich, the name of the founder. However, when they started selling feathers in the United States, they decided to change the name so that the English pronunciation of the name did not look like a rude one. It was enough to change a letter to sound the same as in French and maintain the brand’s popularity.

If you must change your brand name, try playing with spelling rather than inventing a new name. Similarly, try to keep the new name related to the previous name, maybe you can use some synonym or related idea. Another strategy would be to add another word, use prefixes or suffixes to change the meaning.

This step needs a lot of creativity and care. Before doing so you have to make sure it is necessary and try to earn more than you lose with the name change.

#4 Think again about your slogan

Having changed your mission, vision, and values, your slogan may no longer be related to your company’s philosophy. This is very normal. So you should consider changing it. Although this can be as delicate as changing your company name.

If your slogan in the first place never worked, was never sticky or pleasant to customers, you won’t be losing much. So you can start from scratch and that will give you fewer problems than having to rethink how to reconcile the past of the company with the present.

Here we have to take into account the same basis as for the name: is there any way to relate the previous slogan with the new one? Change the meaning in the desired direction by adding or removing words? What minimum adjustments can be made to keep the slogan recognizable by customers?

On the other hand, maybe your previous slogan worked worse no longer fits your company at all. In such chaos, one has to face a difficult task: to create a better slogan. When there is a good background the bets are doubled and the new must surpass the above. It is not impossible but it involves a lot of work.

In any of the three cases, you should be well advised with marketing experts as well as creative professionals to offer a good balance of ideas.

#5 Rebuild your visual identity

In the end, once you have your company name, slogan, mission, vision, and values, all aimed at your target market you can focus on your visual image. It should also take into account the rest of your company’s identity. If you are an entertainment company it is not a good idea to invest in a minimalist design that makes you look too serious no matter how beautiful it looks.

Here you can make a partial or total re branding, everything will depend on what still serves your previous image. Maybe before in your color palette, you had more than two shades of pink and it turns out that your target market is not attracted to those colors but the design of the logo and typography is. Then we’d just have to change the colors.

Check your visual image step by step without rushing. Make notes of what you’re going to need to change, apply the changes, get feedback, and adjust what you need. This type of process should be done in a team, so you can attend to a plurality of opinions and come up with more refined ideas about how your company should look. Have a good marketing, creative team and ask for opinions from other partners.

This should be a fun part of the re branding process. You have already gone through very rough stages of rethinking the whole philosophy of the company and analyzing market data, just look good, let creativity take charge of this part, and try to enjoy how your new brand is looking.

For more ideas, read this blog: How to Choose Your Brand Colors plus 10 Examples to Learn From.


New York City with a lot of publicity

A re branding is a marketing strategy that involves partially or totally changing a brand. there are many reasons to do so, from expansion in the market to an upgrade to current values. In any case, it can be risky to do so, so think very carefully about our motives, what kind of re branding we want to do, and follow a thorough strategy. If we are careful with re branding we can gain a lot and make a better impact on the market.

What cases of re branding do you know? Tell us in the comments.

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