By Fran Johnson
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When should I think about a rebrand?

The old apple logo of 1976 - an example of a very good rebrand decision
The current apple logo - one of the most recognised brands in the world.

In an ideal world, rebrand wouldn’t be a word! Brands would reposition themselves or extend their branding for different markets. We would witness small tweaks and visual changes rather than huge brand unveilings and do away with the enormous costs that come with reprinting!

The days of word art, which has been utilised on lots of posters.

However, I am not sure how successful Apple would have been with their original logo, and there are far too many logos that exist that are inspired by Word Art!

In the early- to mid-1990s, Apple was suffering from low sales, low consumer interest, and tons of competition driving customers away from them. The brand didn’t stand for much, and certainly didn’t stand out, until Steve Jobs took over the company in 1997 and started flipping consumer expectations on their heads. With an image of minimalism and modernity, a host of innovative new products, and a series of marketing and advertising campaigns that focused on ideas and experience more than products or purchases, Apple was able to attract a new, diversified customer base, and cement itself as a thought leader in the tech industry. It’s still riding the momentum of that dramatic shift today.

Jayson DeMers - Forbes

Why should you rebrand?

My advice is to proceed with caution. Work out the ‘why’ of a rebrand rather than focusing on the ‘what’. Could you retain some of your current brand and clarify your message? Be led by the opportunity of how a new brand can serve you, rather than reacting against the current. You don’t want to be in a position where you swing too far the other way. For example, in my post about why rebrands fail, I focussed on Kraft as a case study. My guess is that one of their changes was led by wanting to feel more approachable / friendly, which has been successful but now doesn’t reflect the company ethos as a whole.

If you are considering a rebrand – most likely you need one! But, before you dive in, try to answer the following questions:

Photograph by Julian O’hayon

Successful rebrands

Why do successful rebrands work? Fran looks into some rebrands that have worked including gumtree and airbnb.

Fran Johnson - 06/04/2016
Rebrands gone wrong

Fran looks into some failed rebrands including Kraft food and Mastercard.

Fran Johnson - 12/08/2016
University rebrands

Plenty can go wrong with a University rebrand - with lots of stakeholders, and different audiences needing different things - Fran looks at some that have been less successful!

Fran Johnson - 27/04/2015
Branding to span sectors

Looking at Easyjet and Virgin, companies that span into a number of different sectors, to identify what strategies worked.

Fran Johnson - 21/10/2014