Don’t Be Fooled — Rebranding is NOT Easy | Titan Web Marketing Solutions

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Don’t Be Fooled — Rebranding is NOT Easy

By now, I hope you’ve heard about Microsoft’s new logo for Edge — the new and improved replacement for Internet Explorer. If you haven’t, see below. You’re welcome. Moving on…

Microsoft Edge's new logo looks familiar

It looks a bit familiar, no? That’s because it’s a refreshed Internet Explorer logo.

Upon discovering the Microsoft Edge logo, the technology and design world began to speak out regarding the pros and cons of the new logo.

Some comments about the new Edge logo include the endless negative space iterations, such as a faucet, upside down ladle, and a buffet-heating lamp. Ah, the power of the mind.

Many believe that the new logo is a stroke of genius due to the familiarity for the target market. Internet Explorer’s audience is ridiculously wide spread. From elementary students forced to use the browser by their school, to elderly individuals still trying to grasp the concept of the Internet, everyone has been subjected to — I mean, used — Internet Explorer at least once in their life.

To be fair, this situation isn’t technically rebranding. It’s an entirely new product, with a new logo. However, due to the history of the company and the product, it’s as if they rebranded anyway.

After seeing the new logo, it sparked a conversation around our office about rebranding. After all, we just rebranded too. (For the fourth time, if you want to get technical.)

What’s the Point of Rebranding?

Every company will have a different reason to rebrand. For Titan Web Marketing Solutions, our old logo did not have a concrete idea behind it, or accurately portray who we are as a company. You live and you learn.

If we wanted to demonstrate our creativity and years of experience in branding, our logo and brand must be up to par as well. Our previous brand was not, so it was time to rebrand — again.

We know about rebranding firsthand

Our logos, both past and present, tell a story. It represents just how much our company has grown over the past 4 years. What started as a career opportunity in SEO for our founder (who had no graphic design experience whatsoever), grew into the ever-growing digital marketing agency we are today.

As you can see by the first logo, the business was incredibly young and the brand had no clear goal or purpose. Each brand iteration represented the business at its current stage of growth. This past spring, we saw the need and opportunity to rebrand once again. The final result will be in place for several years to come.

The overall purpose of rebranding is to accomplish a goal within your company.

Common reasons to rebrand include:

  • To revitalize an outdated brand
  • To reflect a drastic company-wide change, such as a name change or merger
  • When the company reputation (not sales!) is failing significantly in comparison to its competition
  • To ensure the brand reflects your company’s new goals, values, and mission

No matter your reasoning for rebranding, keep the following statement from our Creative Director in mind:

[blockquote]Rebranding is such a time-consuming, costly, and sometimes risky move. All signage, merchandising, advertising, etc. must be adapted to reflect the new look. The audience must also be prepared in some way to understand the change. Rebranding is not something to be taken lightly.[/blockquote]

Rebranding Success, Failure and Everything In Between

Was Microsoft’s rebranding worth it? Only time will tell.

However, for another notable brand, the rebranding process was an utter failure.

In 2009, Tropicana drastically changed their logo and package design. Tropicana originally called the rebranding campaign a “historic integrated-marketing and advertising campaign”. The intent behind the campaign was to reinforce attributes of the brand and product, primarily the health benefits associated with the beverage. Overall, the brand expected great excitement and success from new brand design.

Tropicana's rebranding didn't go so well

However, the customer reaction said otherwise. Their target audience was unable to recognize the new logo, packaging or overall brand. As a result, the company’s overall sales plummeted 20% — all thanks to a new brand.

Shocking, but true. A brand redesign can have a magnificent effect on your sales, especially if your audience is not considered.

McDonald’s knows this concept first hand.

The iconic documentary Super Size Me shed an unfortunate light on the fast food chain, and thereby tarnished their brand. Of course, this powerful brand could not let this happen. Over the next several years, they slowly but surely revamped their brand — including store appearances and menu items — to appeal to the healthier crowd. While the golden arches did not disappear, many of their branding tactics did. Now, you may notice a different angle to McDonald’s commercials.

McDonald’s continues to run wholesome, heart-warming campaigns designed to connect with their audience, such as the Pay With Love campaign that aired during the Super Bowl:

Is it working? Is all of the rebranding and recalculating going to really work?

For that answer, we’ll have to wait and see. This past February, the fast-food chain reported a 4% decrease in sales. Not quite as extensive as Tropicana’s hit, but still a decrease nonetheless.

I’ve been harping about rebranding failures. Surely there must be a good instance of rebranding! Of course there are — they just aren’t as widely reported on as a brand gone sour.

One of the best examples of a successful rebranding case was Apple. Originally known as Apple Computers, Inc., Steve Job quickly realized that the company name and brand restricted them. As such, Apple, Inc. was created and the brand refreshed to represent their innovative goals.

Clearly it worked. I’m using a MacBook Pro, my iPhone is charging, and my iPad is open with my project management app. Touché, Apple.

Rebrand With Caution

Before you invest half of your life savings to rebrand your business, remember to keep the following in mind:

  • Rebranding is a loooong and costly process. Make sure you’re able to take a hit if your investment does not pay off.
  • Keep your customers involved in the rebranding process. After all, they are the ones buying from you, not your board of directors or internal leadership team. Don’t pull a Tropicana.
  • Always remember the core values of your business. Make sure your new brand represents that properly.
  • With the previous point in mind, never lose sight of your future goals. You are rebranding for a purpose, stick to it.

If you caught one of my previous brand rants, Think Before You Brand, you understand that branding your business is a serious and diligent process. Guess what? So is rebranding.

Mind blowing, right?

When your business decides to rebrand, don’t trot on over to an online generator or Fiver. Trust an experienced and reputable graphic designer who understands the power of a brand and the necessary components. Your new brand should not be a cheap and quick decision. Instead, it should be well thought out and appealing to your audience. While your wallet may appreciate the initial, the price tag is quite affordable in comparison to an “Oh crap, we messed up entirely” re-rebrand. Cough, cough, Tropicana.

Moral of the story: Rebranding can be worth it, if used in the right situation with the right strategy.