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Rebranding: Crafting the Fate of an Enterprise

By Ayush Dev Pant

All the pioneering businesses today weren’t always among the elites. Had they not changed with time, there would have been different brands leading the market. One of the major reasons successful companies enjoy their market dominance today is their flexibility towards the dynamic market and their effort towards ‘Rebranding.’

Rebranding becomes a necessity when the day-to-day activity does not align with the vision of the company, which ultimately leads to failed product/service. In 1982, Colgate-Palmolive launched Colgate Kitchen Entrées, looking to capture the market in frozen ready-to-eat meals. The public could not connect the brand with their new product in the market as it did not look right for Colgate to come up with frozen products with the same branding approach in the product’s packaging. Brands like Cosmopolitan and Harley Davidson have faced similar situations in their efforts of diversification, which is seen as the case of inconsistent brand purpose. Brands tend to be sensitive when they stay rigid to their strategies while entering a new market. Coors Beer messed up the translation of the tagline, “Keep It Loose,” into Spanish as “Suffer from Diarrhea.” Kellogg’s invested $65 million introducing its Corn Flakes breakfast cereal to the massive consumer market in India. But people in India generally follow a heavy breakfast routine, and corn flakes do not compliment that culture. Apple failed to impress with Apple Newton in the 1990’s. The product aimed to replace notepads with a handy machine, but the features did not affiliate with the heavy price tag.

There are different factors a company should keep in mind before opting for a strategic rebranding of their company. The brand of a company should tell a story. A story that highlights the value of its offerings and the problem they are trying to solve. If it successfully tells the story, the brand becomes a hero. If a company is not able to do that, rebranding is the way to clarity and progress. Companies today add social components to their product/service in order to maximize their social impact and enhance their storytelling platforms.

The brand is valued according to different metrics that evaluate the brand name and reputation. Rebranding may alter the value, as it tends to develop skepticism among its customers. Therefore, rebranding should include some elements of the previous branding strategy. If a company decides to change the logo it should include easily recognizable color combination, shapes and fonts like the previous one. This was applied by IHOP, an American multinational pancake house restaurant chain. This strategy went on to increase their brand value.

Rebranding is not an easy task. A lot can be at stake if a company decides for a total rebrand without considering an overall analysis. If the actual problem is not identified, rebranding can turn out to be just another branding failure. Sometimes, a simple alteration in the marketing strategy can solve most of the problems. A rebranding should not be undertaken “just because.”

A brand must understand their customer’s needs, wants and behaviors, and their purpose must be on point. The identity of the brand must not be lost in the phase of translation, and it should be flexible enough to evolve with time and stay relevant. It is easier said than done, and achieving all of that is not easy. A life-cycle of an active business will never have a straight curve. Ups and downs are an inherent element of any enterprise, and branding failures are a part of it. That is exactly what helps them grow if they learn from their mistakes. These branding blunders led to enhanced future decisions and precautions and that has helped these companies achieve what they have today. The urge to improve and believe that they are better is what achievers do. Rebranding is not just about changing the logo and tagline; it’s about achieving a proactive strategy with a leading mindset that caters the needs of all the stakeholders.

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