What is Rebranding and How to Implement a Change? Practical Tips Needed for Changing a Company’s Image

  • Icon Holy Studio
    Holy Studio
  • 27 March 2024
  • 16 min reading
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Rebranding is a pivotal moment in the life of any brand, defining the transition from an established identity to a refreshed, often more dynamic image. This process of change is not limited to aesthetics—it involves the brand's strategy, communication, and even the direction of product and service development. Executing a successful rebrand requires a profound understanding of one's own company, its target group, and the market. In this post, we will provide practical tips and discuss the stages that will help conduct a company image change. The goal is not only to refresh the brand but also to strengthen its market position and improve perception by current and potential customers.

Why should you consider rebranding?

The decision to rebrand often stems from the need to adapt to the evolving market expectations and aspirations to stand out amidst the competition. It is a strategic step aimed not only at refreshing the image but also at increasing its appeal to current and potential customers, which can significantly affect the brand's perception.

What is rebranding and what are its goals? Refresh the image or not?

Rebranding is not just a visual change of logo or color scheme, but above all a brand renewal strategy that touches its key aspects: from communication and positioning to the range of products or services. Its main goal is the redefinition of the brand in response to market evolution, changes in consumer preferences, and the need to differentiate from competitors. Unlike a facelift, which focuses on superficial aesthetic improvements, rebranding engages the deeper layers of the brand, offering a fresh look at its values, mission, and strategic goals.

Rebranding versus facelift – key differences

  • Rebranding:
    • The change touches the heart of the brand, its strategy, communication, and how it is perceived by the audience.
    • Aims not only to refresh but to completely transform the brand, which entails significant internal and external actions.
    • Is a process that may take time but will result in a lasting change in brand perception.
  • Facelift:
    • Focuses on updating visual elements such as the logo, without a profound change in strategy or positioning.
    • Serves to refresh the image to better match current trends, without significantly affecting the perception of the brand.
    • Is faster and less complicated than rebranding, often carried out in response to minor needs for updates.

In the rebranding process, the brand transforms to better meet modern challenges and expectations, offering consumers not just a changed image, but above all, renewed value and significance of the company's existence.

For what reasons do companies decide to change the brand image?

Companies decide to change their image for various reasons, which are usually closely related to their strategic goals and the need to adapt to the changing market environment. Rebranding is a long-term process that can bring a refresh to the company's image and open new opportunities for its development. Below we present key motives that drive organizations to make this important decision.

  1. The need to refresh the company's image - As the brand ages, its image can become outdated. Refreshing the company's image allows to re-engage interest in the brand, both among current and potential customers.
  2. Change in business strategy - Introducing a new strategy often requires a change of image to better reflect the changed goals and directions of the company's actions within the brand's rebranding.
  3. Responding to market changes - Changes in consumer preferences, intense competition, or market evolution may require rebranding to keep the brand competitive and current.
  4. Improving brand perception - Rebranding can help in regaining consumer trust after potential image crises or negative associations with the brand.
  5. Expansion into new markets - Entering new geographical markets or product segments may require adjusting the brand's image to better meet the expectations of a new target group.

In conclusion, the decision to undergo rebranding is not taken lightly. It is a strategic choice aimed at refreshing the company's image and adapting it to the new challenges and opportunities that come with the changing world.

How does rebranding affect consumer perceptions of the brand?

Rebranding has a significant impact on how a brand is perceived by consumers. The main objective of rebranding is not only to refresh the brand's visual identity, but also to improve the image of the product or service. It's a strategic process that allows companies to better align with the expectations and needs of their target audience.

  • Changing the visual identity of the brand can result in an immediate change in how the brand is perceived by consumers. A fresh, modern visual presentation can increase interest in the brand and attract new customers.
  • Improving the image of a product or service through rebranding often leads to a positive reception of the changes by consumers. Properly communicated changes may emphasize innovation and adaptation to current trends, which in turn builds positive associations.
  • Highlighting new or changed features of the brand can renew interest and loyalty among existing customers. Rebranding allows for redefining and emphasizing the key values and strengths of the brand in the eyes of the recipients.

When rebranding is well planned and executed with consumer expectations in mind, it can significantly improve the perception of the brand. By refreshing the visual identity, highlighting the value of products or services, and clearly communicating the brand's changed features, companies can build stronger, positive associations in the minds of consumers.

How to conduct a successful rebranding?

Executing successful rebranding requires strategic planning and precise execution. It is a process that should be conducted with the long-term benefits for the brand in mind, taking into account stages from concept to implementation, choosing the appropriate branding studio, and ensuring image consistency.

Rebranding phases: from concept to implementation

Rebranding is a complex process that requires careful thought and strategic approach. It is not limited to changing a logo or visual identity – it is a deep transformation of the brand, aimed at refreshing its image and adapting to current and future market needs. Below we present the key stages that must be passed in order to conduct successful rebranding.

  1. Analysis and planning - At this stage, it is crucial to understand why rebranding is needed and what goals it aims to achieve. Analyzing the current image of the brand, its market position, and the expectations of the target group allows to determine the extent of necessary changes.
  2. Rebranding strategy - Developing a strategy involves defining what exactly needs to be changed and how. This is the stage at which the new mission, vision, and core values of the brand are defined. Rebranding is not just about change, but about a thoughtful evolution of the brand.
  3. Designing visual identity - The logo and visual identity are key elements that require refreshing as part of the rebranding. This stage involves creating new visual aspects of the brand that will reflect its updated image and values.
  4. Implementing changes - After developing the strategy and visual elements, the next phase is implementation. It includes updating all marketing materials, the website, and other points of contact with the customer.
  5. Communicating changes - It is vital to communicate the rebranding effectively both within the company and externally. Informing about the changes, their reasons, and the benefits for customers and partners is essential for the success of the process.

Rebranding is a process aimed at refreshing the brand and building a stronger, more current market position. By carefully going through all the stages, from concept to implementation, it is possible to achieve lasting change that will positively impact the brand's perception by current and future customers.

Choosing a Branding Studio and Rebranding Success

When choosing a branding studio to conduct rebranding, it is important to pay attention to experience and portfolio of completed projects. Therefore, in our studio, which has many successful visual identity change projects to its credit, we strive to combine professionalism with a creative approach. If you are curious about the changes we have introduced for other brands, I encourage you to look at our past projects. They are the best testament to our ability to turn concepts into real market successes.

Brand Image Consistency as the Goal of Rebranding

One of the main goals of rebranding is to achieve brand image consistency, which allows for stronger and more harmonized communication of its values and messages. The aim of rebranding is to reach customers with a new, unified vision, which is key in building trust and loyalty. A consistent image makes it easier for consumers to identify the brand in a saturated market, strengthening its position and recognition.

The upcoming rebranding involves not only the introduction of new visual elements, but also ensuring that all customer touchpoints – from the website to marketing materials – are consistent with each other. This strategic approach to rebranding allows brands to effectively communicate with their target group, conveying clear and consistent messages that reflect the current goals and values of the company.

Rebranding of a brand often starts with changing the logo, which is a significant step in refreshing its image and communication.

Why is the logo a key element of a company's image?

A logo is a company's business card, playing a key role in the process of building its image and position in the market. Introducing a new logo as part of future rebranding, a brand has the opportunity to refresh its presence and strengthen recognition among audiences. It is the first element with which customers come into contact, playing a central role in visual communication and the emotional connection with the brand.

The logo signals to customers what they can expect from the company's products or services, while simultaneously reflecting its values and mission. As one of the most recognizable elements of a brand in the market, it has a significant impact on the first impression that a company makes on potential customers. Therefore, its proper design and implementation are essential for the success of rebranding.

A well-designed logo helps in building trust and loyalty among customers, which is crucial in the long-term success of a brand. It acts as the foundation in the process of building a cohesive corporate image, facilitating effective communication with the market and distinguishing oneself from the competition. In the context of upcoming rebranding, by introducing a new logo, companies have the chance to start a new chapter in their history, highlighting their evolution and adaptation to the changing world.

How to design a new logo that reflects the brand's essence?

Designing a new logo that faithfully reflects the brand's essence is an essential part of the rebranding process. It's worth undergoing rebranding with the aim that the new logo carries a deeper meaning, reflecting both the mission, vision, and values of the company. Here are some key steps that will help in achieving this goal:

  • Understanding the brand's essence: Before a company changes its logo, it must thoroughly understand what it wants to communicate through it. The brand's essence is the foundation on which the logo should be based.
  • Market and competition research: Rebranding is not just about internal change, but also about positioning the company in the market. Analyzing how brands in the industry present themselves visually can provide valuable clues.
  • Collaborating with professionalsLogo design is a task for experts. Hiring experienced designers ensures that the final logo will be not only aesthetically pleasing but also functional.

Rebranding is associated with a bold step forward, and a logo change is its visual expression. A new logo, resulting from a well-thought-out design process, can significantly contribute to the rebuilding and strengthening of the brand's image in the market. When properly designed, it becomes a powerful tool in the hands of a company, helping to reach out with a clear and consistent message to a wide audience.

Marketing strategy and communication of change within rebranding

An effective marketing strategy and precisely planned marketing activities are essential for communicating the changes within rebranding. They decide how the new brand image will be accepted by the audience.

Rebranding communication strategies to the target group

The goal of rebranding is to refresh the brand, and a key element of achieving this goal is effective communication of the changes to the target group. To ensure that the message reaches the audience and is positively received, it is necessary to develop a communication strategy that takes into account both traditional and digital channels. It is important to inform customers not only about visual changes but also about the reasons behind the rebranding and the benefits it will bring to them.

Rebranding is a process of changing the image that requires well-thought-out marketing activities. Communication should be consistent and continuous, starting from the announcement of changes, through their implementation, up to the post-rebranding stage. It is necessary to ensure that all communication is clear and transparent, which will build trust and understanding among the recipients. Utilizing the history of the brand and highlighting its evolution can additionally strengthen the emotional connection with customers, transforming rebranding into an opportunity to deepen the relationship with the brand.

The Importance of Social Media in Communicating Rebranding

In the digital age, social media play a key role in communicating an upcoming rebranding. They are an invaluable marketing tool that allows brands to engage in direct dialogue with their audience, offering a unique opportunity to present image changes in a dynamic and engaging way. By using social media platforms, brands can not only efficiently inform about upcoming changes but also collect feedback and reactions from their community, which is essential for the success of rebranding.

The Role of the Website in Promoting a Company's Image Lift

The website plays a key role in promoting the image lift of a company, being a visual and content reflection of all the changes that occur within the rejuvenation of the brand. It is the center where the graphic expression of the new identity connects with the marketing message, creating a coherent and thoughtful presentation of your brand. Thanks to the website, potential and current clients can immediately notice the image modification and understand the direction in which the brand is aiming for development.

Updating the website in the context of the corporate image lift is not limited to graphic aspects only but also includes optimizing content for marketing purposes, which aims to better communicate the values and beliefs of your brand. Therefore, website modification is not just a matter of aesthetics but, above all, a strategic step that strengthens the brand's market position and helps build long-term relationships with customers.

Challenges and pitfalls in the rebranding process of your company

Rebranding your company is a process full of possibilities but also challenges that can lead to negative market reactions, unexpected complications, and loss of business continuity. Understanding potential pitfalls, careful risk analysis, and planning actions in a way that allows maintaining operational continuity are crucial for ensuring that the image change will bring the expected benefits, instead of unintended consequences.

How to avoid negative market reactions during rebranding?

Avoiding negative market reaction during rebranding requires a carefully considered strategy and cooperation with an experienced agency that knows its job. A key element here is understanding the needs and expectations of the target group, which enables the development of a marketing message that resonates with the values and preferences of clients. Cooperation with a branding studio, or with an agency that has knowledge of the market and experience in conducting rebranding campaigns, can ensure access to the latest trends and marketing tools, significantly increasing the chances of a positive reception of changes by the market. Properly planning and executing a rebranding strategy, taking into account both the creative vision of the brand and market realities, allows minimizing the risk of negative reaction and using the rebranding process to strengthen the company's position.

Risk analysis: What could go wrong during an image change?

During an image change, even a well-planned future rebranding can encounter various risks that can negatively affect the brand's perception and its market position. It is crucial to conduct a thorough risk analysis to identify potential pitfalls and develop strategies to avoid them. Here are a few examples of what can go wrong:

  • Misunderstanding the expectations of the target group: Ignoring the needs and preferences of customers can lead to the development of a rebranding strategy that does not resonate with the audience, weakening rather than strengthening the brand's image.
  • Inconsistency of the messageLack of a consistent marketing message across different communication channels can cause confusion and weaken the perception of the new image as coherent and well-thought-out.
  • Too radical changesAbrupt or unexpected changes in the image, which alienate the brand from its previous values and identity, can lead to resistance and dissatisfaction among loyal customers.
  • Ignoring the brand's historyOverlooking elements that have been key to the brand's identification can result in a loss of unique character and dilute what distinguished the brand in the market.

To minimize these risks, it is crucial to conduct a comprehensive analysis before starting the rebranding process and to develop a marketing strategy that takes into account both the history of the brand and the expectations of future trends. This approach enables balancing innovation with tradition, which is essential for the success of rebranding.

Maintaining business continuity during image changes

Maintaining business continuity during image changes is crucial for keeping the company stable and maintaining customer trust. When introducing new marketing strategies and changing the image, it is important to ensure operational and communication fluidity. Marketing activities must be coordinated in such a way that the customer does not experience any disruption in access to products or services, and the transition to a new image is natural and free of ambiguity for them. Such an approach allows not only for the effective implementation of changes, but also for maintaining and strengthening the brand's market position.

Successes and failures of rebranding examples in the market

Examining the stories of rebranding that ended in success or failure, we can draw important conclusions about how image changes affect the brand. These stories teach us which elements are essential for the success of rebranding and what can go wrong.

Examples of successful image changes among well-known brands

Examples of successful logo changes among well-known brands show how strategically planned rebranding can refresh the company's image, increase its recognition, and improve the brand's perception by consumers.

  • Airbnb revolutionized its logo in 2014 by introducing the 'Bélo' symbol. The new logo, meant to symbolize belonging, love, and trust, aimed to reflect the global nature of the Airbnb community and its openness and hospitality. This change was part of a broader rebranding effort that sought to better reflect the company's mission of connecting people around the world.
  • Transitioning from Facebook - the rebranding of this platform became a widely discussed topic in the social media space. to Meta in 2021 is an example of a company changing its logo and name to better reflect its extended mission and vision. This change signaled a shift from a social media site to building the metaverse - an integrated digital world meant to connect various aspects of online life. The new visual identity aimed to highlight this evolution and the company's aspiration to be a leader in this new digital realm.
  • Burger King underwent rebranding at the beginning of 2021, returning to its roots from the 60s and 70s. The new logo references classic design, emphasizing the freshness and quality of the products offered. This change was part of a larger strategy to refresh the brand, which also included updating packaging, employee uniforms, and restaurant designs. This return to roots was aimed at strengthening the brand's connection with its heritage, while highlighting the commitment to quality and positive customer experience.

These cases show how through thoughtful changes to the logo and visual identity, companies can effectively renew their brand, better communicate their values and mission, and rejuvenate their place in the market.

What can we learn from failed rebrandings?

Unsuccessful rebrandings of well-known brands, such as Pepsi, GAP, and MasterCard, provide valuable lessons about potential pitfalls and errors that companies may encounter in the process of changing their image.

In 2008, Pepsi introduced a new logo that cost millions of dollars to develop and implement. Despite the efforts and substantial financial expenditures, this change met with mixed reactions from consumers and did not bring the expected renewal of the brand's image. The key lesson here is to understand that high costs do not guarantee the success of rebranding, and changes should be carried out with a clearly defined purpose and understanding of the audience's needs.

GAP in 2010 decided to change its iconic logo, which triggered an immediate and negative reaction from the online community. The new logo, intended to symbolize modernity, was quickly withdrawn, and the company reverted to its classic logotype. This story shows how important it is to engage with and listen to your customers before making significant image changes.

MasterCard also went through a rebranding process, updating its logo and visual identity. Although the change did not encounter as negative a reaction as GAP's, it nevertheless highlighted the necessity of maintaining elements recognized and valued by consumers, even while refreshing the brand.

From these examples we can learn that the key to effective rebranding is not only an aesthetic update, but above all a deep understanding of the expectations and preferences of the audience, as well as preserving the elements that are essential and a heritage of the brand. Moreover, openness to feedback and readiness to quickly respond to market needs are extremely important. Such an approach is a key element of the visual identity change process.

TLDR - what rebranding involves in a few points

  • Rebranding is a comprehensive process of changing a brand's image that includes not only changing the logo but also the marketing strategy, communication, and consumer perception.
  • The goal of rebranding is to refresh the brand, adapt it to the changing market expectations and audiences, and also to strengthen its market position.
  • A key element of successful rebranding is understanding the needs and preferences of the target group and ensuring consistency in brand communication.
  • Choosing the right branding studio, which has experience and the ability to implement effective changes, is essential for rebranding success.
  • Social media and the brand's website play a key role in the process of communicating changes and promoting the new image.
  • Risk analysis and potential pitfalls assessment are essential to avoid negative market reaction and ensure business continuity during rebranding.
  • Cases of unsuccessful rebrandings, such as Pepsi, GAP, or MasterCard, provide valuable lessons about the importance of involving the audience and the need to maintain elements that are recognizable for the brand.

Rebranding is a complex process that requires a thought-out strategy and openness to adaptation, aimed at refreshing the brand and increasing its value in the eyes of the audience.