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  • Writer's pictureIan Morris

The benefits of rebranding your business

Evolution of the Apple logo from 1976 to 2007

In business, nothing ever stays the same. Fresh competition could be hot on your heels, your business may have grown, or you’re identifying new trends in the market. The world’s most successful businesses learn to reposition and evolve their brands to stay relevant to audiences, time and time again. It’s a proven model for continued success.

10 benefits of rebranding

In this article, we’ll show you 10 reasons why rebranding can benefit your business. Rebranding a company doesn’t have to be an epic task. Don’t think of it as a U-turn but an intentional change of direction. A top-to-toe rebrand is rarely needed as even the smallest of changes can make a big difference.

1 – Re-invigorate your business image

Rebranding is not just a vanity exercise but a calculated business decision. It’s a conscious decision to improve your business reputation and image. Dated branding not only damages the perception of your business but does nothing to motivate your team. A fresh new brand identity can add energy to a business, both inside and out.

In 2014, Apple became the first US company to be valued at over $700 billion. That’s more than the total cost of two entire Apollo space missions. It’s a fact that the products are indeed premium, but people are often just buying their brand.

2 – Send the right message to stakeholders

Company rebranding makes a clear statement to stakeholders: “We’re a growing, evolving, ambitious company who can move with the times”. Rebranding not only affects customers but also can have a very positive effect on investor and shareholder opinions and shows employees that the business is responsive to a changing market.

Before and after of the Instagram logo

Instagram recently launched an entirely new logo and identity in response to its ever-evolving user base. They’ve gone from simply sharing filtered photos to become a complete and diverse community platform. According to Citigroup analysts, Instagram, which now has 300 million users, is now valued at $35 billion.

3 – Add value to your business

Branding is proven to add value to a business. Forget the business premises, the stockholding, the good will, a successful brand has an intrinsic value of its own. People are generally more likely to pay more for a well-branded product than they are for something largely unbranded or poorly branded. It may often be hard to quantify but the financials speak for themselves.

“If Coca-Cola were to lose all of its production-related assets in a disaster, the company would survive. By contrast, if all consumers were to have a sudden lapse of memory and forget everything related to Coca-Cola, the company would go out of business.” – Coca-Cola Executive

Evolution of the Coca-Cola iconic bottle

In a 2007 survey of the value of global brands by branding agency Interbrand, Coca-Cola’s brand equity alone was valued at US$65.3bn, just under half the company’s total market value.

4 – Simplify a complicated offer

We’ve all seen it. As a business creates new products and services it creates new logos to match, often without any pre-determined plan. That’s okay for a short time but quickly it gets very messy and confusing to customers. By rebranding not only your company but also any sub-brands or product brands, you can simplify your offer and appear more professional.

5 – Stay ahead of the curve

Ambitious businesses should be leading the way, not trailing behind. People like to back a business which is pushing boundaries, creating something new, exciting or challenging.

Evolution of the Microsoft logo from 1975 to 2012

Technology giant Microsoft has continued to evolve their brand to stay relevant. Despite growing competition from all angles, they still retain a respectable $407 billion market value. (source: Forbes)

6 – Respond to changing market conditions

Markets are always shifting and new market entrants can quickly make an incumbent business seem dated and out of touch. Rebranding can ensure you appear to answer the market need, keeping you at the forefront of consumers’ minds.

COOP branding on a groceries bag

COOP famously rebranded in 2016. Going back to its roots, the rebrand of the ethically notable supermarket coincided with internal changes to provide more reward customer members. The new logo is a modernised version of the 1968 cloverleaf logo. This move is designed to trigger nostalgia, a reminder of the company’s community heritage.

7 – Reflect your business as it changes

Your business offer is likely to change over time as you grow. Whether you are developing new products to meet new demands or you find you have shifted focus to new markets. Commonly, a business’s brand gets left behind. The business is promoting a brand that was right for the business 5 years ago, but not for today. Whether small changes or big steps, by rebranding your business you are able to accurately reflect who you are today. This provides better clarity inside and outside the business, and instills confidence in the minds of your customers.

Before and after of the British Steel logo

8 – Distance yourself from negative press

In business, things don’t always go to plan. A business can easily get bad press for small mistakes, or when an employee makes a poor decision that affects the whole company. It can be very hard to shake this reputation off. A company rebrand, with a new image and messages can provide the fresh start a business needs.

Before and after of the BP logo

Energy giant BP, famously changed its image drastically from one trusted for decades. It’s never been a secret that was largely a reaction to changing public perception of fuel and energy production. By rebranding, BP were able to show a changing face to the public and communicate their commitment to more renewable sources. Unfortunately, following one of the most disastrous marine oil spills in history, BP’s brand suffered greatly, but it’s of no doubt that they were better equipped to survive the PR disaster with their new brand.

9 – Bring clarity to an acquisition

The benefits of rebranding are often most apparent with mergers and acquisitions. Change is never easy. Bringing together two or more businesses can be a huge challenge that needs to be managed carefully. Mixing together established cultures, processes, services and customers can quickly lead to confusion. Rebranding a business sets a new set of rules to follow, correcting any existing preconceptions. Whether one brand steps up to consume the other, or new branding is created, the process is often complex but usually unavoidable. When done right the results can be great.

The Unilever logo and logos of its acquisitions.

Back in 2012, the Unilever rebrand was hailed as a huge success. The intricate logo was crafted to represent the range of household products that people used everyday, products often surprisingly, direct from Unilever’s brand portfolio. This is a supreme example of how one brand can become more than the sum of its parts.

10 – Connecting with people

Creating connections with people is one of the most instinctive of human behaviours. Brand need to connect in order to become trusted and, eventually loved.

Example of how Coca-Cola connects with people: by adding personalised name labels and the campaign "Share with a Coke. with...¨

Coca-Cola made waves in the media when they introduced their drinks label takeover, showing over 1000 names instead of their logo. It wasn’t the first example of personalisation in retail but probably the most memorable. Now many other brands are following suit. (I even got a personalised bar of Dairy Milk this Christmas – Nice!) The campaign became viral and made markable increases in sales and brand recognition.

And when it all goes wrong

Back in 2010, clothing company GAP launched a new brand. It was shot down in the press and shunned by its loyal customer base. A brand that had been all but consistent for over 20 years had suddenly changed overnight. The public weren’t impressed. What was an attempt at modernisation actually seriously damaged the business.

Example of a rebranding gone wrong: the GAP logo evolution from 1986 to 2010,

Within a week, Gap had reverted to their old logo. The whole pointless branding exercise cost them an estimated $100million.

How to rebrand a company the right way

Thinking of rebranding? Well, tread carefully. Be careful not to lose brand equity in favour of a fancy new design – one without research and reason. It should be your top priority to retain all of the most relevant and loved aspects of your brand. Lose those and you risk damaging the brand value that you have built up over the years – it would be close to madness.

With our clients, we talk about evolution, rather than revolution, and a good branding agency can show you how to rebrand a company the right way.

Shelter logo

Pre-rebrand, homeless charity Shelter reached 80,000 service users. Ten years later it was reaching 5 million.

Enjoyed this post? You will also like this from Colour Graphics: Why Is It So Important Businesses Nail Their Branding?

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