The Dos and Don'ts of Rebranding

Michelle Lawrence Picture

by Michelle Lawrence | Last Updated: Oct 7, 2021

Each year on January 1st, we all get a chance to hit the “refresh” button on ourselves. We seize on the opportunity to make new goals, challenge ourselves, and be a better version of ourselves.  For brands, there is no January 1st. No New Year’s resolutions. There is only something called a rebrand.  Rebrands come around less often than New Year’s Day. So when an organization decides to go through the blood, sweat, and tears of a rebrand, they need to make it count. Because unlike you and me, brands don’t get the opportunity to reinvent themselves each year.  According to The Brand Leader, organizations should undergo a major brand rehaul every 7-10 years. But like everything else in life, how often you should rebrand depends. For some organizations like Burger King, it’s been 20 years since their last rebrand, while other brands like Pepsi like to work on themselves...a lot.  No matter what your views on rebranding are, there’s a lot that can be learned from people who’ve been through the trenches. We were lucky enough to have two brand marketing experts on the Real Marketers Podcast this season. We’re recapping everything Connie Glover from Trava and Mary Catharine Grau from Resultant shared on everything related to rebrands!  Ready, Set...Wait Ready to embark on your rebranding journey? Let’s pump the brakes real fast. Before you start tweaking your logo or touching your brand’s colors, you need to ask yourself (and other stakeholders) the tough questions Lucky for you, our two guests outlined the types of questions you need to be asking your customers before going through a rebrand. But perhaps the most important question of all is “Why”. Why are you wanting to rebrand? Have you grown tired of your brand’s color palette? Are you using outdated fonts? Or do you think updating your organization’s brand will help you truly accomplish your business goals? If you’re struggling to answer this question, you may not want to fire up Adobe Creative Suite quite yet.  PIVOT! Am I quoting one of the funniest scenes in cinematic history or am I giving advice on a rebrand? Well, it’s both. Like anything in life, you can plan all you want (like trying to get a couch up a narrow New York City apartment stairway) but something is inevitable going astray...and the only thing you can do is pivot (2020, we’re looking at you 😠 ).  During Mary Catharine’s episode, she explained her team at Resultant had planned to work from the dates backward for the project to ensure everything was done by the deadline. They realized this initial plan wasn’t going to work out; they needed to make sure their clients felt supported during the entire process which meant they needed to rethink their game plan. So Mary Catharine and her team chose brand champions to include clients and employees every step of the way. And when the day of the launch came, no one was unpleasantly surprised and everything went off without a hitch.  Our Favorite Rebrands Now put everything we just said into action and you have a best in class rebrand. Let’s take a look at some organizations whose rebrand gets a major thumbs up from us. 👍 City of Los Angeles If any city was going to be at the top of our list for best rebrands, it would be Los Angeles. During Connie’s episode, she explains her love for the city’s new logo which encompasses everything you would expect from a town on the West Coast. In this case, the old logo was no longer embodying the people of the city. It was a much-needed change that now embodies the rich culture of L.A.  Burger King We don’t try to hide our mobile brand crush on Burger King. They consistently impress us with their comical ways of enticing consumers to engage with their brand which goes beyond just their infamous Twitter account. This is an example of a brand that truly understands its audience.  As evident in its mobile marketing campaigns, Burger King has a keen eye for understanding the future of digital. Its brand identity was no exception. Burger King rebranded for the first time in 20 years earlier this year to align their brand with a more authentic version of themselves. And wouldn’t you know it, Burger King’s archnemesis was called out for following suit very shortly after. Imitation is the greatest form of flattery.   Velo by Wix Sometimes marketers want to go through a brand rehaul because they’re sick of the colors or logo. Other times, a pandemic forces an organization to change its name. That’s exactly what happened to Velo by Wix, formally named Corvid. Yeah, you can see why they needed to switch things up. But instead of dwelling on the loss of name recognition, Velo put out a rather comical video explaining the change.  Hotjar Don’t underestimate explaining the “Why” behind your story. So many companies change their logo or update their brand without explaining the reasoning behind those decisions. Hotjar did an excellent job of going through each of the updates and explaining the thought process behind them.  As a marketer, it was neat for a brand to pull back the curtain on its rebrand; and as a user of Hotjar, it was reassuring to have a detailed article on how each of the changes would impact me.  Curious about the rebrands that missed the mark? How do you tell someone higher up in the company you don’t think a rebrand is necessary? You’ll have to go listen to the full episode to hear Connie and Stephanie spill more hot takes. 🔥  We couldn’t spoil all of the fun for the episode! 

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