Complete Guide to Successfully Rebranding & What to Avoid

Reworking or updating your brand helps to retain a clean, modern appearance and brand identity. It might be difficult to […]

Mark Jackson

President at SwagDrop

Reworking or updating your brand helps to retain a clean, modern appearance and brand identity.

It might be difficult to identify what to revise and maintain a consistent design over time.

Hence, we are here to help you with this detailed guide so you can understand everything you should know. 

We have included the following in our post:

  • Partial vs. total rebrand
  • 6 valid reasons to rebrand
  • 5-step process to a successful rebrand
  • 10 common rebranding mistakes to avoid

Let’s get reading!

Table of Contents

What is Rebranding? (with Examples)

Partial vs. Total Rebrand

6 Valid Reasons to Rebrand

5-Step Process to a Successful Rebrand

10 Common Rebranding Mistakes to Avoid

What is Rebranding? (with Examples)

Rebranding is when your business rethinks its marketing strategy with a new name, logo, or design; the goal is to create a unique, distinct identity in the eyes of consumers and other stakeholders.

Before we check out some rebranding examples, let’s review some statistics regarding the powerful effects of some companies’ rebranding according to a Visual Objects survey:

  • When Weight Watchers relaunched to WW, 27% of individuals spotted the logo first, and 27% noted the new motto, “Wellness that Works”
  • In 2019, Dunkin’ Donuts reduced its name to Dunkin’

One-third of those polled (34%) noted the name change first, followed by 32% who observed the logo change.

Image Source: Visual Objects
  • 38% of people noticed the new business logo when luxury label Burberry rebranded; meanwhile, 30% of consumers were aware of the company’s new colors.
Image Source: Visual Objects
  • The temporary rebranding of IHOP as IHOb also created an impact

More than a quarter of consumers (28%) were drawn to the new logo initially, and 27% were drawn to the company’s latest offers.

  • Almost one-third (29%) of consumers saw the new typeface from Microsoft’s 2012 rebranding strategy; 27% spotted the revised Microsoft logo first
Image Source: Visual Objects

1. Promotion Resource Group rebrand to SwagDrop

First things first: us. We rebranded to SwagDrop in order to feel more comfortable in our skin, as SwagDrop is all about sending out well-picked swag on a one-to-one basis.

We’ve redesigned our logo, which now consists of two primary elements:

A present box with a map dot marker:

  • The map dot depicts the whole world
  • The gift box in the middle symbolizes our core: our love of high-quality corporate gifts and promotional goods

Our new name better represents what we do in Canada, the United States, and worldwide.

We provide swag straight to the end-user, making swag distribution easy and direct.

In addition, we continue to provide high-quality corporate gifts and swag packs, but we have introduced additional tools to speed up the process.

2. Facebook rebrand to Meta

The name (Meta) was picked to reflect the significant product that Zuckerberg believes in symbolizing.

According to what Zuckerberg has mentioned in the company’s annual Connect conference, “Facebook as a brand cannot possibly capture all that we’re doing now, much alone in the future”. 

Photo by Dima Solomon on Unsplash

He went on to say that he sees the former social media giant perceived as a metaverse business with the goal of anchoring work, and their new identity – Meta – what they’re currently working on.

The rebranding will aim to further distance Zuckerberg’s futuristic work from the heavy criticism Facebook is under for how its social network functions now.

3. Dunkin’ Donuts to Dunkin’

The key to Dunkin’s success in the coffee sector (at least in the United States market) has been the company’s most recent rebranding drive, which aimed to attract new generations of consumers.

In September 2018, they released a tongue-in-cheek marketing campaign announcing their rebranding, which resulted in removing the word “Donuts” from their name.

Dunkin’ Donuts said they adjusted because they wanted to be in a “first-name relationship” with their consumers.

Image Source: Dunkin’

In addition, this new design reflects the company’s commitment to providing outstanding coffee quickly while honoring Dunkin’s past by preserving the company’s recognized pink and orange colors and classic typeface, which was launched in 1973.

Dunkin’ tested this new logo extensively before introducing it to the market – they tested it on everything from packaging to exterior signage at Dunkin’ Donuts outlets on a national and international scale.

Furthermore, the use of a single-word moniker helps Dunkin’ Donuts reach out to new audiences, letting the brand continue its march to dominance in the coffee industry.

That’s not all that’s changed for Dunkin’, as the company decided to augment its $100 million brand update with the development of a new espresso formula that adds more coffee to each cup.

The new shot is deeper, richer, and less bitter than the espresso introduced by the business in 2003.

This fresh espresso provides Dunkin’s drinks a more premium flavor without charging them a premium.

Partial vs. Total Rebrand

The main difference between a partial and a total rebrand is that a partial rebrand is employed when you want to add something new to your existing brand without completely overhauling it.

On the other hand, total rebranding focuses on totally updating your company’s goal, vision, and values when your business goes through a complete change of leadership or a product revamp.

Let’s explore both types in detail.

Partial rebrand

If you’re an established firm that has to generate a new brand image to stay up-to-date with new trends and preserve consumer loyalty, you’re partly rebranding.

This implies that you will most likely relocate services, create a new logo, and rebuild your website with new fonts, layouts, and colors.

In addition, redesigning these pieces is less disruptive and quicker to implement than a full-fledged rebrand.

Consider the Old Spice brand as an excellent example of a partial rebranding or brand refresh.

Until 2010, the firm mainly appealed to older males.

To stay up with the competition, Old Spice opted to redefine its brand identity for a younger audience.

They introduced the “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” campaign, which was aimed at women with spending power – and it became an instant hit.

Another angle of partial rebranding is that some companies – especially small businesses and startups – have to go the route of a partial rebrand, particularly when they were forced to alter gears in 2020, focusing more on their online presence and e-commerce sales to mitigate the pandemic’s impacts on their revenue.

According to Statistics Canada, the pandemic’s impacts had a substantial influence on the wider Canadian economy since small firms account for 98% of all employer enterprises in the nation.

Let’s check how the total rebrand works next.

Total rebrand

A complete rebrand is only needed when an entirely new identity is essential.

It usually includes a new brand name, message, and graphic assets.

A corporation may also rebrand in order to reposition itself in a new market or as part of a merger.

Saleor, an open-source platform that assists in the delivery of tailored purchasing experiences, originated as an e-commerce solution built by developers for developers.

The business wished to broaden its developer client base to include corporate owners and decision-makers.

Moreover, this needed a comprehensive rebranding in order to impact their media and communication.

To begin, Saleor’s brand was defined by cartoon-y pirate images in order to appeal to their primary developer market.

To suit the changing market need, they relaunched with a contemporary, futuristic style to attract the new sector.

6 Valid Reasons to Rebrand

The rebranding process can revitalize your company and avoid it from being dominated by the competition.

Here are some reasons to think about rebranding:

1. Your company’s vision and mission statement have changed

Many companies start as small businesses; they are focused on the product or service that was the founders’ passion endeavor.

As businesses expand, they must embrace more difficulties, define new markets, develop new goods, and satisfy new consumers.

Moreover, during this period, the company’s objective may change, providing a fresh perspective for leadership and workers.

Sometimes brand-building transcends commerce and finds its meaning. The goal is to build loyalty in both employees and customers.

If you’ve discovered your new “Why,” make it a part of the structure of your new brand.

2. Your company’s market positioning has changed

You will discover the core of your brand strategy as you construct your firm’s market positioning and message architecture. Your market positioning is a quick summary of your place in the market.

Are you a forward-thinking leader or a low-cost provider?

In addition, any of your following choices will be influenced by this posture.

You can’t, however, make anything up.

It must strike a balance between who you are as a company and who you aspire to become. Your brand will be lifeless unless you can back up your positioning.

Furthermore, your messaging architecture expresses your messages to each one of your primary audiences.

These statements must be coherent with your entire brand and palatable to your target market and audience.

3. Differentiate from competitors

Once you’ve determined what you want from a branding refresh for your firm, it’s important to assess where your brand sits in the marketplace.

Examining the competition can help you acquire a sense of particular market branding trends.

It is critical to examine rivals’ branding materials in order to inform decision-making for your own branding adventure.

Also, this does not imply that you must conform your brand to whatever trends are popular at the time.

Therefore, take use of this time to consider how you may differentiate yourself from the competition.

4. Required digitalization

Lately, digitalization has emerged as a major motivator for brand and logo evolution.

Historically, brands were built when ‘digital’ had a limited role in brand implementation, and a corporate identity mostly consisted of a logo, a primary color palette, and typography designed for offline manifestations.

Companies such as Volkswagen, as part of its new mobility strategy, have developed a refreshed logo and visual identity that perfectly represents the present digital era.

5. Your company needs to reach a new demographic

Sometimes, in order to keep your company going ahead and enhance brand recognition, you must seek out and tap into a modern demographic that may be interested in your product.

Consider the congested market of alcohol sales: when you encounter the brand name Pabst Blue Ribbon in America, you immediately think of the cheap beer enjoyed by hipsters and frat boys.

It may come as a surprise, though, that Pabst Blue Ribbon 1844 – China’s version of PBR – is a massively popular premium beer that sells for $44 a bottle. Isn’t it incredible?

Pabst, on the other hand, took a close look at the fast expanding Chinese craft beer sector and decided they could easily profit on a population that was unfamiliar with their brand in the United States.

So, in Chinese PBR advertisements, you’ll see a luxury bottle next to a champagne glass, with stacks of barrels hanging off behind it, as if it were a high-end scotch.

Therefore, investing time in research, locating a new market, and capitalizing on another demographic can be critical for your company’s success.

6. Your business is having difficulty raising its prices

When you’re struggling to increase your rates, it’s a telltale indicator that it’s time to rebrand.

If the market pricing for your goods or services seems to be hopelessly set, despite growing material prices, rebranding might be an efficient method to break free.

Since brands are ultimately defined by consumer perception, the worth of your offerings is deeply embedded in the thoughts of people you serve.

Also, rebranding provides you the ability to reframe the brand value buyers put on your offerings and appropriately boost your asking price.

Branding’s return on investment (ROI) has been shown again and again through study; strong brands are more lucrative and have more equity, among other things.

This is because successful brands are more than simply eye-catching logos and taglines.

Moreover, they have much greater price power than their weaker rivals.

Strong brands have price power, which allows them to dominate their particular markets, rejuvenate failing assets, and shelter themselves from competing threats.

Also, pricing power, like few other market characteristics, generates growth.

Let’s now check out how to construct a successful rebrand in 5 steps.

5-Step Process to a Successful Rebrand

A rebranding project is an exciting opportunity for any firm, but the process can be time-consuming and stressful.

Where do you begin? What do you start with? Who can assist? If you’ve never done it before, it’s easy to get stuck.

Worry not, as we’ve got your back with the below guide.

Step #1: Redefine your mission statement and your company’s vision

Before rebranding, it’s critical to grasp your company’s mission, vision, and values.

Consider and evaluate what makes your organization unique. What is the purpose of your organization, and what values are essential?

What is the tone of your company’s brand? Your brand’s language, tone, and voice must be consistent with your message.

These serve as the basis around which you will create your new brand.

Without this base, no rebranding can be effective.

Step #2: Redefine your market positioning and target audience

To develop and refine a distinct marketing positioning, you must first understand how you compare to other companies in your industry. 

This is accomplished by strategic competitive intelligence, which supports you in grasping things such as:

  • Who are your key rivals?
  • How much sway do your competitors have on one another?
  • What are the primary concepts that each competitor is linked with?
  • Are some competitors seen more favorably than others?
  • What do customers like and hate about them?
  • Where are they succeeding and where are they failing?
  • What is the state of their business model in the industry?
  • What are the opportunities and threats?
  • How does your company compare and contrast with others in your industry?

Your competitive posture will become apparent if you have answers to the above-mentioned questions.

Most people consider rebranding in terms of a brand’s visual identity, concentrating only on how it appears.

However, your visual elements are merely a reflection and expansion of who and what your brand is and what your brand story stands for, which is why it’s critical to have things nailed down before proceeding with this phase.

Having said that, since your visual identity is the “face” of your company, it should represent you properly at all touchpoints.

To do so efficiently, you must create an identity that is:

  • Comprehensive: It should enable designers to generate a variety of material, such as a motion graphic for your website or a banner for a trade fair; it should be adaptable to several media and be able to expand as your brand grows
  • Intuitive: Each piece should complement one another
  • Accurate: It should properly express your brand’s personality and company values

That implies that some components of your current visual identity may need to be amended, updated, or introduced, such as:

  • New colors
  • Typography / lettering
  • Logo redesign
  • Visualization of data
  • Motion and video

It’s also critical to approach your visual rebranding from the top down, since various aspects (i.e. logo and color) impact one another, affecting your brand messaging.

An example of full rebranding:

PNG Air is a Papua New Guinea-based airline.

Their thorough rebranding includes a name change (from Airlines PNG to PNG Air), new brand positioning, and a new company logo.

Image Source: Pngx

The objective was to transform the firm and its marketing materials from a generic, price-focused airline to a strong brand with distinct character.

This was accomplished by including a graphic theme of major cultural symbols, which paid attention to the company’s heritage, nation, and brand voice: to serve their people.

Step #4: Update your branding elements

The physical aspect of intelligently crafted, high-quality swag assists you in accomplishing two major rebranding related aims:

This acts as a reassuring reminder to all parties concerned, facilitating the adjustment.

  • It will take the place of the old swag you’ve previously distributed to any customer base

This is also necessary if you utilize business t-shirts as uniforms.

In addition, change will be simpler to accept if you provide a makeover or a multi-sensory experience.

New branded items also help with communicating new values. For instance, are you doubling down on a sustainability business strategy? It can be expressed via well-selected sustainable swag products.

Do you want to bring more joy into your culture?

You can choose from a choice of gourmet foods or happy hour items to effortlessly convey your message.

Step #5: Make it official

The ideal approach to announce a rebranding is with a sale, promotion, or contest.

It should be something entertaining that gets your consumers engaged and showcases all of the ways your rebrand will benefit them.

You can also integrate the new brand identity with a fun event, such as a charity run or family fun day.

On the other hand, social media is a valuable marketing tool for announcing your rebranding.

You should use all platforms to get new product offerings out there as it acts like an active press release to existing and new customers.

Here’s how we announced our own rebranding on LinkedIn, below:

This is a great opportunity to get creative and develop fresh social media advertisements to emphasize your rebranding efforts.

In addition, use social media to encourage people to share the news about your relaunch.

You can also schedule any rebranding activities on social media to help them reach a broader audience.

10 Common Rebranding Mistakes to Avoid

Rebranding can be a dangerous venture.

It’s more than simply a new coat of paint for your firm’s brand; it also indicates that your company is adopting a new way of doing business.

Furthermore, your present brand already has awareness and market share, so don’t toss away everything.

Change can be frightening, but it’s essential – particularly in unpredictable markets.

Learning from frequent rebranding blunders might help your firm avoid significant difficulties and make the correct decisions.

Here are the ten errors you must avoid if you want to rebrand properly:

  1. Inconsistency in branding between platforms
  2. Failure to incorporate your new brand
  3. Re-branding just to fit in
  4. Navigating without a clear plan
  5. Adhering to a design trend that has nothing to do with your product
  6. Using a competitor’s style
  7. Not including staff in the process
  8. Not comprehending the significance of your logo
  9. Ignoring customer loyalty to your current brand
  10. Failing to retain existing brand equity

Now Over to You

Although planning a rebrand can be a difficult endeavor, doing it properly can pay off with a seamless, unified process throughout the business.

In addition, it can unlock the potential to advance your brand into the region where you want it to be.

We hope you get to implement our steps and tips into your rebranding journey.

If you have any related questions or further questions, feel free to reach out anytime.

Thank you for reading!

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