When you leave a piece of bread or an open bag of potato chips out on your counter for a day our two, what happens? They go stale–that piece of bread and those potato chips lose their flavor. Then what do you do? You toss them in the garbage.
The same phenomenon happens to businesses. If a business has the same look for a number of years, they become stale–they lose their presence within the public and people begin to look past them.
When a business goes stale, re-branding can breathe new life into it. It can help restore image and reputation, revitalize interest of existing customers, and also spark interest from potential new customers.
Some companies that have benefited from re-branding are:
Chevron: UPS: Discovery Channel:
If you look at these three examples, it’s easy to see that they all have something in common–modernization. Each of the three logos were re-branded not to create an entirely new identity, but rather to update what was already there. The simple changes went a long way, and re-energized each of the brands. These three examples show that having an image that is current with the time plays a big role in customers’ perception of the company. A company does not want to look out-dated.
While these three companies benefited from re-branding, it is important to remember that re-branding doesn’t always work in a company’s favor. Here are some examples of companies that were unsuccessful in their re-branding:
Gap: Tropicana: Kraft:
These three examples of re-branding also have something in common–significant change. Each of these three logos has changed dramatically from what was previously there.
GAP’s logo experienced the least amount of change, but the fact that it’s previous logo was so widely recognized made the change seem more significant. With the re-branding, GAP had basically ruined the timeless brand they had created, bringing their identity back to square one.
Tropicana’s re-branding consisted of a large change being made to its logo. The new logo, for whatever reason, excludes the iconic orange with the straw coming out from it. That symbol was unique and recognizable, and made Tropicana stand out. With its new logo, Tropicana took a step back and camouflaged itself into the competition–not a smart move.
Kraft’s re-branding of its logo also went to the extreme, completely changing its identity–an identity that was well-recognized by the public and its customers. The new logo looks like a company with a completely different product line.
The line between successful re-branding and unsuccessful re-branding is thin. Unless under extreme circumstances, re-branding is not meant to give a company a completely new identity. If that is done, existing customers are often lost. Re-branding, however, is most effective when a company simply updates its existing brand to freshen-up its image to re-energize itself in the public eye.
In the end, if a company knows its audience and is aware of their customer’s wants and needs, the tool of re-branding can be used to breathe life into a company going stale.
While stale bread and chips are bad, a stale company is even worse.