I’ll admit it- I love makeover shows. What Not to Wear. Queer Eye. There’s something enthralling about watching a stranger go through a “drab to fab” metamorphosis in 45 minutes. The best makeovers solidify the person’s sense of style, resulting in a new and improved “after” version that stays true to who they are. A rebrand, ideally, should achieve the same thing.

While often necessary, rebranding can be risky. One misstep and your company’s reputation is on the chopping block (yes, I like Chopped too). Even worse, you could become the next poster child for a rebranding fail, like Radio Shack (we can all agree that “The Shack” sounds more like a slasher horror film than a store, right?).

With the right amount of strategy and creativity, however, you’ll knock your rebrand out of the park. Not sure what that strategy is? Reading this blog is a great place to start.

Start with your Why

To rebrand or not to rebrand, that is the question. If you feel that your aesthetic and overall identity don’t align with your new objective, then the decision is clear. Fierce competition and changing audiences are also a sign it’s time for change. If branding was on the backburner when you first started your business, then it may be time to refresh and solidify that brand as well. 

But be warned, don’t rebrand out of boredom. Let’s look at the Tropicana debacle of 2009 as a cautionary tale. Tropicana decided to go with a different approach for its North American packaging – a modern typeface, a picture of an orange juice glass and an orange shaped lid. This alone was enough to spark public outcry. Why? Too many of the brand’s elements were changed at the same time. Many consumers didn’t recognize the carton on the shelves and began to question if the juice’s quality had changed as well. As a result, Tropicana sales went down by 20%.

As a wise man once said, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. 

So, what’s your story? 

Before setting out on your rebranding journey, you’ll need a roadmap. Your story will be your guide- what’s your company’s raison d’etre? It will determine everything from your logo to your site’s UI. Defining your story will also narrow down how you want to be perceived. 

When the ACLU decided to rebrand, they wanted to step away from the blue and white identity that had defined them for so long. Taking inspiration from David Hammons’ African American flag, they opted for a new multicolored look, along with a “we the people” slogan. Described in their design book as “red, everything and blue,” this color scheme perfectly visualizes their spirit of inclusive patriotism. 

Remember the Two C’s: Creativity and Continuity

Now’s the time to flex your creative muscles. Will you go more modern? Or go retro like Pizza Hut? It’s up to you, but the best rebrands find that sweet spot between old and new. 

Nike You is a shoe personalization feature on Nike’s online shop. Creative agency Gretel needed to “figure out a way to re-orientate the brand around co-creation, delivering something that is recognizably Nike, can stand out within Nike environments and flex across endless, unique applications.” Gretel achieved a blank canvas feel by using Nike’s iconic Futura Extra Bold Condensed typeface and incorporating white space. When featuring customer designs, pops of color are the central focus- creating harmony between tradition and self-expression.  

Get Emotional 

No rebranding discussion is complete without mentioning Apple. It’s impossible to think of a world without the iPhone, but at one point, Apple was on the verge of financial collapse. Thanks to sleeker imagery and humanistic messaging, Apple now guides market trends and is globally synonymous with technological innovation. 

Apple’s success goes beyond a simple name and logo change. The rebrand created an identity that isn’t dependent on their ever-changing array of products. It went a step further and created an emotional bond with consumers. Why do people still line up for hours every time a new Apple product is released? Marketer Marc Gobe, author of Emotional Branding, explains it best: “Apple is about imagination, design and innovation.”

No matter what rebranding route you choose, keep these tips in mind for a successful brand makeover that will stand the test of time. 

Want to rebrand but still don’t know where to start? The Moak Group can help. Drop us a line and let’s make it happen.