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Rebranding Campaign: How to renew your company without losing your audience?

Rebranding Campaign - A lightning bolt.

Are you considering a rebranding campaign?

Sometimes, you can get tired of the same logo, the same old services or, in the other spectre, your company is no longer appealing to your audience.

In moments like this, many business owners would consider a rebranding campaign. While this could be an excellent way to bring new life to your brand and generate growth by appealing to a broader audience, if done wrong or for inaccurate reasons, it can cause opposite results.

In Codedesign, we know you don't wish this scenario to happen to your company, and that's why we give you a deep dive article on rebranding campaigns, why you should or shouldn't do it, and what is the step by step to achieve it correctly.

If you are considering updating your brand, keep scrolling through this article.

What is Rebranding?

Rebranding is giving your company a new air, some modifications to make it more relatable to a new era, coming generations, or just to look better.

Throughout the years, we have seen how brands like Pepsi or Coca-Cola have changed their logo to appeal to newer audiences since, as a soda company, they tend to try to appeal to younger demographics.

Source: YouTube.

Nonetheless, this can also work for B2B companies that want to expand their audience or differentiate themselves in the minds of customers and other stakeholders.

A rebrand goes beyond just the visual aspect; you can apply two different ones.

Let's explain them.

Partial Rebrand vs. Total Rebrand.

These two rebranding strategies are self-explanatory; still, they could have different goals.

A partial rebrand makes some adjustments to a brand, and these can go from modifying your name, redesigning your logo, changing colors or adding new services or features that serve the new markets or technological advances.

For example, let's take Lego as an example of good rebranding - yes, the brick toys. 

Founded in 1932, the toy company never posted a loss, but in 2003, this situation went down. Sales were down 30% yearly and were in $800m debt. The company had almost a decade without adding any value to its portfolio.

In trouble, the company had to make some modifications, and Jørgen Vig Knudstorp took the advice to diversify the slowly dying company. And wow, did he diversify? Have you seen how many things Lego is in? To make a list:

  • There is Lego jewelry for girls.
  • Lego has diversified its sets to almost every pop culture movie, and every time a new one comes in, there already exists a Lego set for Marvel, Star Wars and Harry Potter.
  • There are Lego video games on Harry Potter, Marvel and Star Wars.
  • Lego theme parks
  • The Lego Movie and The Lego Batman Movie have excellent reviews on sites like Rotten Tomatoes.

To make a long story short, Lego company proved that you can give a new air to a long-time existing company by adapting your brand to new trends and generations. To learn more about this subject, we recommend reading "Brick by Brick: How LEGO Rewrote the Rules of Innovation and Conquered the Global Toy Industry."

Source: YouTube.

On the other hand, a total rebranding means changing your company entirely. 

Why do some companies choose this option?

In a few cases, a total rebranding campaign is the result of a company that isn't quite getting the attention or sales they want from their audience. They may not have chosen the right market audience or don't have a differentiator that makes them stand out from competitors.

Aside from this scenario, other businesses decide to re-imagine their brand for new expansions or to reach a broader market. What examples do we have of a total rebranding?

Well, in social media, we have two of them, and one may be somehow successful, while the other, we still don't know what to say.

The winner of this conquest is Facebook, which made a total rebrand to "Meta."

In "The Social Media History," we saw how Mark Zuckerberg, one of the wealthiest people in the world, started owning every good social media platform that could outmatch them. First Instagram, then WhatsApp, and now he even wants to outperform Twitter, well, "X," on the microblogging social media aspect with Threads.

Now, as the owner of all these big social media platforms, he decided to conglomerate them into a new big company called Meta, which seems to be doing well for the moment. 

But whose rebranding is kind of awkward? We already mentioned it, "X", which was Twitter previously.

Since Elon Musk acquired the microblogging company, some chaos has happened within the platform. The other multimillionaire has made some strange changes within the platform that disturbed Twitter users, but the most outraging change occurred with the total rebrand he did.

From day to night, Twitter took out its cute blue bird, and the platform renamed itself "X." Today, there is no more tweeting or retweeting. All the branding around "bird terminology" is over. Meanwhile, we don't know how this will work in the future. And to put more layers to this complete rebranding, the social media platform now comes with a subscription plan that allows users to access new features, some useful while others are "pointless." The idea behind this rebranding is to create a super app, a platform where users can manage all their social media and finances. If you want to learn everything about this complete rebrand, look at "X": What's new with Twitter's rebranding?"

Now, with these two examples, we are not saying you should or shouldn't rebrand. As with most business decisions, the answer depends on why you want to do this. Nevertheless, as we don't want to leave you hanging on this question, we will give you some light on this decision.

Why you should, or shouldn't, rebrand your company?

You can determine whether you should change your company's image depending on your situation. If something is working, don't change it, and don't make the mistake MasterCard made back in 2006 when they thought that this logo would appeal more to their global reach:

This redesign cost the banking company $1.5 million, and customers didn't like it.

But a design error goes beyond a remarkable reason on whether you should or not change your company's branding. Firstly, it should never be just for an aesthetic decision, it has to go beyond something so meaningful as a change of image has to have a deeper meaning or goal behind it.

So let's look at what are good reasons to change and which aren't.

Should change:

  • New locations: If you are expanding your brand to new territories, maybe adapting your brand to those countries is a good option. We can see this strategy in brands like Coca-Cola that make the same ad but with people from different countries, or how Mc'Donald's and other fast food restaurants add some options of their menus to each country's traditional food.
  • Going after a new audience: Similar to Lego, updating your brand with current trends among your demographic is good. Lego is a toy primarily associated with younger audiences, so they use their adaptability to mix with trending pop culture movies. 
  • A change of ideology/philosophy: Brands should change with time. Sometimes, a brand did say or do things that were "acceptable" or "correct" during old standard times. While it shouldn't mean that these companies should be cancelled - as it happens a lot nowadays - a rebranding is a good opportunity to take out these old values and re-start with better ones.
  • A milestone anniversary: Your business has been all in for 10, 20 or 30+ years? This is a remarkable achievement, so rebranding may be a good opportunity to celebrate your company while renewing some aspects of it.
  • Merge or acquisition: If your company merges with another or was bought by one, the new owner may change it completely to re-own it. We can see examples of this with Elon Musk once again with "X" or when Disney bought FOX and changed its name to "Star Channel."

Shouldn't change:

  • Boredom: If you are tired of your image or logo, it isn't enough reason to completely change everything. In this case, you could give some rest to this "boredom" or find other valuable reasons to change all over.
  • Differentiate from competitors: A rebranding won't make your brand stand out. If you are not doing well over competitors, it could have more to do with your current marketing strategy.
  • Low sales: Same as above, low sales are not a good excuse for rebranding but more the side effect of a poor marketing strategy. If you want help with this,
    let us help you.
  • Cover up a crisis: Same concept. A rebrand isn't like a Phoenix reborn. A drastic change won't fix things up; it will just make you spend more money in vain.

Once you determine the reason behind your branding, we can start your campaign to bring new life to your company.

Take a look!

How to Rebrand your company?

Once you decide to make your company's extreme makeover, it is better to set a straightforward guide on managing this process.

Rebrandings take a lot of work, from design to management, and the list goes on. Nonetheless, we are here to help you make the process straightforward so you can set the right goals. So, shall we begin?

Put your team on board.

As a team leader or business owner, it is your job to put all your team or your ship's tribulation in the same tune so they know where they will be heading and what the end goal should be.

This process is enriching for your entire team, and above all, if it is carried out in a good way, it is even a motivation booster for them. A rebranding is a good reason to get out of the office routine and renew energy to a certain extent.

Once this happens, it would be good for you, as the owner of the company, to have an outline of what you want to achieve:

  • What is the reason behind the rebranding?
  • What feelings or emotions do you like this new image to evoke?
  • What aspects would you like to improve?

With a clear direction, your marketing, sales and design team can develop the plan you have in mind. It is good that you let each professional in their area be able to promote that idea, bring their proposals and then redirect them if necessary or carry them out. In this scenario, it is good to let go of some of "the control" or power you have as a boss since ego or other feelings could numb your decision-making and make the process harder.

Within your rebranding, you should pay attention to aspects like:

  • Imagery: Logos, colors and design
  • Philosophy: Your vision, values and mission as a company
  • Brand voice: how you communicate with your audience. 
  • Marketing and sales approach

Conduct a market research.

Between the planning of your rebranding and the execution, supporting all this with an extensive study of your market is good. This study should cover your brand, what they are doing well and what they are not doing; your competition, what they are doing better than you or how you could beat them at their own game; and your audience, what they are reacting to, their desires and their needs.

Once you store all this information, you have a better basis to make the right decisions in rebranding.

Evaluate your data.

Technology allows us to evaluate even better how we are doing now. With analytics, you can access how your digital marketing channels are performing to consider what is working, what could be working but needs some modifications, and what is not.

Then, after evaluating all these metrics, you can look at your reviews on online platforms like Google or any other. This is the direct customer feedback you want to pay attention to, so grab ideas or correct any mistakes you might have made.

Reestablish your audience and market.

After an extensive evaluation of how things are moving within your niche, you will likely obtain information you had not previously detected with your radar.

Perhaps you have seen that you have a competitor you had not realized and that they also have more effective marketing strategies than yours. What do we do in these cases? We don't sit back and let the competition take it all. We copy or adapt our strategy to theirs.

You can see a clear example of what all social networks did when TikTok, with its short video format, became the most popular kid on the block.

The market is a voracious competition, and companies will copy what the other does to try to beat it at its own game. If you even have a secret weapon for your rebranding, keep it well hidden until the moment of its launch.

In the same way, in this study, you can discover what your audience wants.

When you consider both aspects, you may even realize that perhaps the route you established is not the correct one and that a change must be made in the rebranding.

Analyze and evaluate it with enough time to create something that can be effective.

Test it.

Once you've nailed your strategy, you can start testing it with select audience groups.

Hold private meetings with a group of them to begin to see what they think of your reinvention, and take note of comments that are valid enough to make a change. Don't let yourself be sabotaged by opinions. In contexts like these, sometimes you have to stand firm in the direction you want to take. In the end, you can't please everyone.

Plan launch campaign.

When you already have everything, it is time to plan the preview for any re-release.

This is similar to what Hollywood does with its movie campaigns. Before the release of a blockbuster, intriguing marketing campaigns launch promotional posters that give a tiny glimpse of what is to come.

Play with your audience's curiosity and grow their expectations. Any movie does this process by first releasing a teaser, then a big trailer to finally give the final hook with the release.

For your digital brand, this can translate into releasing ads announcing the change, promotional videos, and glimpses of the new design, among others.

You can close this entire rebranding campaign with a special event in which your brand is celebrated and attended by people from the media who may be future allies for your brand.

Final thoughts.

Rebrands are excellent opportunities to dust off and breathe new life into a brand. However, there must be a valid reason behind this rebranding.

A brand renewal campaign can do wonders for a company that is already doing well and wants to improve, but it will not work miracles if it does not have a good digital marketing strategy. That is why at Codedesign, we offer you all the advice to take your brand on the right path. If you want more help, contact us!

FAQS - Frequently Asked Questions

What is rebranding and why might a company consider it?

Rebranding is the process of changing the corporate image of an organization. It involves updating or altering the company's logo, name, symbols, or a combination thereof to develop a new identity. Companies consider rebranding for several reasons, including to signal a change in direction, differentiate from competitors, rejuvenate a stale brand, connect with a new audience, or reflect a significant merger or acquisition. A well-executed rebranding strategy can revitalize a brand, making it relevant and appealing to both current customers and prospects. For instance, a Codedesign client in the hospitality sector effectively rebranded to showcase its commitment to sustainable tourism, resulting in a 20% increase in bookings, illustrating the powerful impact a rebrand can have on consumer perception and business performance.

How do partial rebranding and total rebranding differ, and what are their respective goals?

Partial rebranding involves making subtle changes to a company's branding elements, such as its logo, tagline, or specific brand assets, to refresh the brand without altering its core identity. The goal is to modernize the brand or address specific aspects that no longer resonate with the target audience, without completely overhauling the brand's identity. Total rebranding, on the other hand, is a comprehensive change of a company's brand identity, including its name, logo, brand message, and overall brand strategy. This approach aims to completely redefine the company's position in the market, often in response to a significant shift in the company's direction, target audience, or values. For example, when a Codedesign client in the retail sector underwent a total rebranding, it not only changed its visual identity but also its market positioning, resulting in a 40% increase in market share within a year.

Can you provide examples of successful rebranding campaigns?

Successful rebranding campaigns are numerous and varied across industries. A classic example is Apple's shift in the late 1990s, moving from a struggling computer manufacturer to a leader in innovative technology, with a simplified logo and a focus on user-friendly design. This rebranding was instrumental in Apple's turnaround, positioning it as a lifestyle brand at the intersection of technology and design. Another example is Burberry's transformation from an outdated British brand to a global luxury fashion icon by updating its product lines, adopting digital marketing strategies, and revamping its visual identity. These campaigns highlight the potential of rebranding to rejuvenate a brand and drive significant business growth.

What are some common reasons for rebranding a company?

Common reasons for rebranding include staying relevant in a rapidly changing market, differentiating from competitors, reflecting a significant change in company strategy or ownership, reconnecting with existing customers while attracting new ones, and overcoming a negative image. For instance, a company might rebrand to capitalize on new market trends or technologies, as Codedesign did by integrating advanced digital marketing techniques into its strategy, leading to improved client results across various sectors.

What are the risks associated with rebranding, and how can they be mitigated?

Rebranding carries several risks, including alienating existing customers, diluting brand equity, and the possibility of the new brand not resonating with the target audience. These risks can be mitigated through thorough market research, involving stakeholders in the rebranding process, and implementing a comprehensive communication strategy that clearly articulates the reasons for the rebrand and the benefits to the customer. Additionally, a phased approach to rolling out the rebrand can help gauge consumer reaction and make adjustments as necessary.

How should a company prepare for a rebranding campaign?

Preparation for a rebranding campaign involves conducting extensive market and internal research to understand the current brand perception, identifying the goals and objectives of the rebrand, and developing a clear strategy that includes target audience, brand positioning, and messaging. Engaging with stakeholders, including employees, customers, and partners, is crucial for gaining insights and building support for the rebrand. Additionally, companies should plan for a comprehensive launch that includes updating all brand touchpoints and a strategic communication plan to introduce the new brand to the market.

What role does market research play in the rebranding process?

Market research is critical in the rebranding process as it provides data-driven insights into customer perceptions, market trends, and competitive positioning. This information helps in making informed decisions about the direction of the rebrand, ensuring that the new brand identity resonates with the target audience while differentiating the company from its competitors. Market research can also identify potential risks and opportunities, informing the strategy and execution of the rebranding campaign.

How can companies ensure their rebranding resonates with their target audience?

Ensuring a rebrand resonates with the target audience involves deeply understanding their preferences, values, and behaviors through market research and direct engagement. The rebranding message and visual identity should align with these insights to create a connection with the audience. Additionally, involving customers in the rebranding process through surveys or feedback sessions can provide valuable input and foster a sense of ownership and loyalty to the new brand.

What are the best practices for launching a rebranding campaign?

Best practices for launching a rebranding campaign include developing a comprehensive plan that outlines the brand's vision, values, and messaging; ensuring all brand touchpoints are updated consistently; engaging stakeholders through transparent communication; and leveraging a mix of traditional and digital marketing channels to maximize reach. It's also essential to monitor feedback and be ready to adjust strategies based on customer response. A well-orchestrated launch can build excitement and momentum for the new brand, aiding in a smoother transition.

How can a company measure the success of its rebranding effort?

The success of a rebranding effort can be measured through a combination of quantitative and qualitative metrics, including brand awareness, customer perception, market share, sales data, and social media engagement. Surveys and customer feedback can also provide insights into how well the new brand resonates with the target audience. Additionally, tracking performance against the objectives set out at the beginning of the rebranding process can offer a clear indication of success and areas for improvement.

About Bruno Gavino

Bruno Gavino is the CEO and partner of Codedesign, a digital marketing agency with a strong international presence. Based in Lisbon, Portugal, with offices in Boston, Singapore, and Manchester (UK) Codedesign has been recognized as one of the top interactive agencies and eCommerce agencies. Awarded Top B2B Company in Europe and Top B2C company in retail, Codedesign aims to foster personal relationships with clients and create a positive work environment for its team.  

He emphasizes the need for digital agencies to focus on data optimization and performance to meet the increasingly results-driven demands of clients. His experience in digital marketing, combined with a unique background that includes engineering and data, contributes to his effective and multifaceted leadership style.

Follow Bruno Gavino on Linkedin

About Codedesign

Codedesign is a digital marketing agency with a strong multicultural and international presence, offering expert services in digital marketing. Our digital agency in Lisbon, Boston, and Manchester enables us to provide market-ready strategies that suit a wide range of clients across the globe (both B2B and B2C). We specialize in creating impactful online experiences, focusing on making your digital presence strong and efficient. Our approach is straightforward and effective, ensuring that every client receives a personalized service that truly meets their needs.

Our digital agency is committed to using the latest data and technology to help your business stand out. Whether you're looking to increase your online visibility, connect better with your audience, get more leads, or grow your online sales. For more information, read our Digital Strategy Blog or to start your journey with us, please feel free to contact us.

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