Many times, companies tinker with their logos, their slogans, and other branded materials. They want to “freshen” things up.

Four recent rebrandings (Gap, Starbucks, Vodafone, and AirBnB) are the subject of a recent analysis by Erik Devaney for HubSpot:

” If you’ve ever been part of a company or worked on a product that’s undergone a rebrand, you know how absolutely crazy it can be. From establishing goals, to iterating on designs, to actually implementing your branding changes on your Web site and across all of your marketing channels, it’s a lot of work.”

“I was part of a rebrand at a startup a few years back. The company at the time was shifting direction and targeting a different audience, so a rebrand made sense. We had to come up with a new name, new logo, new  colors  …  new everything! Needless to say, there were a lot of brainstorms, a lot of late nights, and a lot of general craziness right up until we flipped the switch on the new branding.”

Click the image to read about rebranding at Gap, Starbucks, Vodafone, and AirBnB.


17 Replies to “Does Rebranding Always Work?”

  1. I worked for a company that changed its logo, brand, emails.

    EGL a well known in the industry of freight forwarding and trucking business.

    When CEVA acquired EGL it was very confusing to customers and the transition was hard.

    The Sales Executives could not sell a new company without mentioning the previous name CEVA.

    But nowadays after 7 years of the merge CEVA got its reputation in the market place.

  2. For a business that has been around for a while, rebranding must be necessary at some point. To stay relevant, companies must change with their target audience as times change. The same goes for companies who are not performing well; maybe rebranding could save them in the sense that they would appear more appealing or target a different kind of audience. That being said, I think rebranding should take a lot of consideration; this sort of change requires a lot of work, sometimes confuses customers, and the business runs the risk of the new brand not performing as well as the old.

  3. Rebranding is important to companies that may begin falling. Also, consumers like to try new things so, a new logo will freshen up the brand and even bring new audiences in. but, rebranding is not something that should be done overnight. There should be a lot of thought put into what you are doing, its not that easy to change a name and then un-change it think about it what would it look like in the publics eye? So, in some cases rebranding might be necessary or helpful but sometimes it is not necessary.

  4. I work at applebees and I know that they are currently rebranding by changing their audience. They are trying to appeal to more of young adult audience. As stated in the post, rebranding can be very difficult as people are so used to look at a company in a certain light. While rebranding can be difficult it usually for a cause that can hep the company expand and make more money. With rebranding, you will always look customers and gain new ones.

  5. I believe that Rebranding does not always work. I would only recommend Rebranding if your company runs into difficulties. Changing markets can become very risky. The most difficult parts of marketing are environmental factors, cooperation with consumers, and attitude v. behavior. When you change markets this is difficult to adjust to changing environments, it is especially difficult to cooperate this to your consumers that have been shopping for one type of good at your company for years, your relationship marketing might suffer as those customers who are long term might stop buying your companies products or services. attitudes and behaviors about your company can change as well as you might create a less motivated consumer base. In sum, I would only recommend branding if your company has no other solution.

  6. I feel that rebranding can hinder a company, unless if it’s subtle and small. The brand is the way a consumer sees a company, a brand logo can express many things, like the marketing group, goal, or style of a company. Some people do not like change, so to see something they consume, buy, or use to change what they represent in a logo, it just creates confusion for all. Like with the Starbucks logo, it worked because it highlights the woman/ mermaid creature( siren) but the refresh was zooming in more on that creature. They did not go in a different angle and put a totally new image. Starbucks is going for the unique feature, we are different from the rest, which explains the half- woman, half-mermaid, which is unique. If Starbucks used a different image, let’s say a star, then the internet would be exploding from comments such as ” Why the change?” “I hate this new look.” And so on, and so on. Speaking of Starbucks, ever since 1971, every time they rebranded, they just zoomed in on the siren, which I found smart but funny looking back, because it just focuses more and more on it.

  7. Re branding is a very hard concept because companies gain a certain reputation throughout time and once a certain image is seen it becomes hard to change that. Also the idea of re branding is very hard,because the company could lose its normal customers by changing the brand and taking a risk by not acquiring the new customers they set out to get.

  8. I believe that re-branding can be effective, but it isn’t necessary for how often it is done. Every year in the NFL teams recreate their logos thinking that it makes viewers, customers, and fans more happy, but I believe it simply makes the logos less recognizable, which makes defeats the purpose of re-branding.

  9. Obviously, rebranding is not always a good choice for any company. For those famous brand who has a long history and enough loyalty customers in the market, rebranding is a waste of time unless the company is changing the products or services and shifting its direction. Building a brand is not easy, so is rebranding. So, before rebranding, the company should measure the ROI about rebranding, if there is not an emergency or big challenge blocking the company’s development, it’s not worthy to do it.

  10. I work for a company that changed their logo. My experience went well but the font change made reading our phone number difficult and many customers complained. Unlike GAP we didn’t go back to our original font, we kept it and our customers got used to it or found other ways to get our phone number. Building a brand is not easy and changing it years later can make customers unhappy and wary that you may be planning more than just the logo. It’s important to change gradually like Starbucks did. Keeping it simple can allow customers to feel better and keep their reputation.

  11. Rebranding does not always work. I worked for Hollister (Abercrombie store) for over a year and I watched as the store failed to achieve their financial goals. Hollister/Abercrombie used to be the most popular brand a few years ago and now their sales are down. They are known for being expensive and preppy. When I started to work for Hollister, the name was on everything and it was preppy. Now because they are rebranding they made their clothes cheaper and changed their style to a more urban feel to attract the customers back. Rebranding for them isn’t working because people are still stuck on their old image. Since they changed their image, no one knows what their style is anymore and since they got rid of the birds/mooses what is the point of buying their product. Their trademark was being a high-end preppy retail store and now they don’t even have a set image anymore because they are selling trendy clothes that do not match their old pre-set image.

  12. Rebranding can either positively affect a company or negatively affect a company as well. I think as a company starts to reach its peak, rebranding would be very beneficial. It allows for your customer base to feel refreshed and potentially attract new customers as a result of your new logo, design, etc. But when it comes to remembering the past of your company it could have a negative affect because you are virtually looking like an entirely new company. But at the same time, change can always be good, it just depends on the consumer’s reaction, so rebranding is always a toss-up.

  13. For some companies, rebranding is a great idea (if done well). For Starbucks it worked great. They got a new company to provide their food items for them, and redesigned their logo which has sparked an international trend of drawing art over the woman on their logo. For Gap it was a disaster. It required more research on their part and in the end they switched back, which caused an overall loss for their company.

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