To rebrand or not to rebrand


brand so it is something that should be revisited periodically to keep it fresh.

Rebranding can have positive and negative effects so it needs to be considered carefully. If carried out successfully it can strengthen an organisation’s identity and present a business to stakeholders in a new light. Getting it wrong carries a high risk and a badly managed rebrand is like a bottomless money pit.


When ITV decided to change the format of its early morning show, from GMTV to Daybreak, it spent millions in an attempt to boost ratings. But the project was undoubtedly a disaster. The show is less than a year old but viewers are turning off in their droves. Everything that could go wrong has and it is costing the channel more than £10 million a year in lost revenue.

And GAP had to swallow its pride and make a u-turn following its rebranding failure. After binning its instantly recognisable logo, it faced a backlash from its customers. Despite originally claiming it loved the new look, after only six days GAP was forced to return to the original logo with its tail between its legs.

Rebranding doesn’t have to be complicated but any changes need to be understood by the target audience. And before rebranding, organisations need to decide what they want to achieve. Are smaller changes or a complete overhaul required? A company with a strong market position may only need to make small amendments to its brand as bigger changes could alienate its existing customers. However, if a business is losing a competitive advantage a more dramatic change may be needed in order to strengthen its position.

Research is a valuable tool and will help organisations find out what people think of their brand and its position in the market before any project is undertaken. It’s a relatively in-expensive exercise to  provide valuable insight before money is spent creating a new look. And you might be surprised, rebranding may not be required after all.

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