Rebranding and its benefits

Business rebranding is the process of creating a new look and feel for an existing brand or product in order to influence the perception of its customers. This may include changing the name, logo, or packaging. Rebranding can be a very challenging but extremely rewarding process. It requires careful consideration and planning to achieve the desired goal, which is to breathe new life into a brand to attract new customers and increase its popularity. Nigerian Breweries, Oando and Glo are examples of Nigerian companies that are constantly changing brands and enjoying wide acceptance among the Nigerian public.

In 1997, the tech giant Apple came very close to filing for bankruptcy, but just under 17 years later, stock prices have risen from $6 to $350 and the company is still soaring on an upward trajectory. Apple not only changed the company name, mascot and logo, but also began to produce elegantly designed and reliable products, adding art to technology; since changing its name from Apple Computer to Apple allowed the company to produce innovative products such as iMac, iPod, iPad and iPhone. Apple found a way to polish its brand and create a positive experience for its customers.

Until recently, McDonald’s had the image of a chain serving unhealthy food sold at exorbitant prices; in fact, critics touted McDonald’s foods as one of the leading causes of obesity. Since then, McDonald’s has rebranded itself and now serves healthier meals at reduced prices under the “I Love It” banner. This makeover appears to be having a ripple effect, as a 5.3 percent increase in sales has been reported according to Business Insider.

Wal-Mart, in a 2007 rebrand, replaced its “Always Low Price” tagline with “Save Money. Live Better.” This singular act changed the company’s reputation from offering rock-bottom retail to suggesting that buying items at low prices will enhance a customer’s lifestyle. In 2010, Wal-Mart was the world’s largest public corporation by revenue, according to the Forbes Global 2000 for that year.

Rebranding is generally aimed at repositioning a brand or company, usually in an attempt to push the brand up in the market. According to Business Insider, it not only changes the customer’s response to the brand, but also helps the brand achieve its goals. It is a careful strategy; often subtle and methodical, and can involve both re-image and regeneration. Change, as they say, is inevitable; It’s important for companies to adopt new strategies when necessary rather than stick with the same strategy for years, even when it starts to lose interest over time.

Rebranding is considered a smart business decision for the following reasons:

  • Every brand needs an update to stay relevant, as the 21st century market is constantly evolving, rebranding gives companies the opportunity to devise a new strategy to make their brand relevant and more importantly stay relevant.

  • Rebranding influences customer perception, when a product gets a new look or feel or a company updates its marketing materials and strategies with careful consideration of the target customer, customer perception changes and is skewed more positively.

  • Rebranding offers the opportunity to clarify the image, while leaving room for future growth, which naturally improves the bottom line by conveying a company’s core value and brand message.

  • Rebranding can breathe new life into a business when done with strategy, process, thinking, and most importantly, for the right reasons. This will differentiate the product or company from competitors.

As no doubt seen in the examples of companies that have rebranded, rebranding brings its own gift basket for both the company and its customers. It must be emphasized that in rebranding, corporate establishments must take into account the current needs and desires of their customers, but still remain true to themselves as a reputable brand, as seen in the example of McDonald’s. The rebranding must also be significant and powerful enough to improve the relationship between the company and existing customers, as well as potential new ones. Most importantly, companies need to rebrand to stay ahead of the competition in a highly competitive market where you can fall behind if you don’t keep up with ever-increasing customer demands and societal trends that create such demands. This will ensure that brands do not lose their usefulness and help them create a stronger voice for their brands.

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