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Building a business is not an easy accomplishment, and building a successful one is even harder. So why after achieving the desired status, do many businesses opt for a rebrand? After having spent years curating the perfect a brand image, some choose to discard all the decisions and details they began with, in favour for newer, fresher ideas. When a company decides to revamp themselves, they are also committing to the hard work that comes hand in hand with a rebrand. The high levels of work and risk needed to see it through properly can deter businesses from the process, however sometimes it is the only option left – often seen as a last chance attempt to revive the business. Whilst rebrands are not easily executed, the businesses that pursue them with the right ideas and intentions, they will reap the results in the long term.
No two businesses are the same and each operates differently, yet despite this, every business is susceptible to certain brand-damning issues. These dilemmas range from brand damage to declining sales, and when they are not addressed the consequences can be catastrophic. In these situations, it’s common for businesses to opt for a rebrand, as an effective way of resolving the issue and preventing further damage.
One of the most notorious rebrands from this century was with British fashion brand, Burberry. The iconic brand suffered severe brand damage in the 1990s when it became strongly associated with hooliganism and gang culture; the backlash included the brand being banned from pubs and clubs as its ties with trouble strengthened. Burberry were left with no choice than to drastically change its public image, if they wanted to return to their former glory.
Following the addition of a new global design director and CEO, the brand turned to international style icons such as Kate Moss and Emma Watson, to help reinstate their exclusive status. This was only strengthened when they retracted licences that had allowed other businesses to use their iconic check on everything and anything, allowing Burberry to take steps towards being the aspirational brand it once was. Technology and personalisation were key tools of the rebrand, and were used to promote the new and improved Burberry. This rebrand remains one of the most effective to date; renowned for bringing the brand back from the brink of death, and turning it into the company with a value of more than £7 billion.
Since McDonald’s became a franchise in the 1950s, it revolutionised the fast food industry with their famous burgers, chips and milkshakes. Yet, despite McDonald’s undeniable success, even they are not free from brand damage. The fast food chain came under fire regarding the health and nutritional values of their food; this caused a lot of damage to McDonald’s family friendly image, and backlash saw people opting to take their families and money elsewhere.
McDonald’s made a move that has since defined the future of the business, and decided to rebrand with a healthier outlook and menu. The food was given a makeover, with new recipes that increased the nutritional value and appeared more authentic. In order to prove that McDonald’s is more than just a fast food fix, the business itself underwent significant changes and joined important initiatives such as fair trade.
These conscious changes resulted in the brand image of a company who cares about the welfare and health of their customers, the new vision was hugely successful and one that the public welcomed with open arms. Since then McDonald’s public profile has exploded into something much bigger than just a fast food restaurant; having transformed into a place that can be found in all corners of the world, yet still feel like home.
What most people don’t know is that twenty years ago Harley Davidson nearly went bankrupt. The luxury motorcycle brand was suffering as a result of stereotypes of the products being overpriced and unattainable. These stereotypes were putting people off even looking into purchasing a Harley Davidson, because they assumed they wouldn’t be able to afford the high prices.
Turns out the prices aren’t as high as people thought, and through a highly successful rebrand Harley Davidson managed to show their customers the truth. By refocusing on customer relationships, the business was able to engage with their audiences to drive up sales. Strategic marketing was used to show that monthly payment schemes wouldn’t be any different to a customer’s daily coffee purchases, and to highlight the quality of their motorcycles. Without this branding strategy the business wouldn’t have survived, let alone become the international icon it is today.
Everyone across the world witnessed Samsung explode last autumn when their product literally did. The tech company has been a frontrunner in all things tech over the last decade, including everything and anything from smartphones to smart fridges. So when the company’s Galaxy Note 7 was released last year it was expected to become another addition to Samsung’s ever growing success, however it did quite the opposite. The phone and subsequently Samsung became an international joke when the battery starting catching fire, after numerous attempts to fix the problem the company finally issued a total recall in October, only a month after it went on sale. So how does a company recover from a disaster like this? Undoubtedly, Samsung isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, but even a company like them will still see consequences from this. Not only was it ridiculed and criticised, but even managed to land a flight ban – a rap sheet that is quite impressive for just a phone.
If anyone is in need of some rebranding right now it’s Samsung. The company are in the process of bringing out their next product, and it is also the first product since the Note 7, and the whole world is watching to see what happens next. From what we can tell, Samsung are throwing everything they’ve got at the Galaxy S8. The new phone is packed full with new features that Samsung are hoping will remind the world that they are one of the top distributors of smartphones. One of these new features includes Bixby, the new smart voice assistant which is set to rival Apple’s Siri and Google Assistant. Whilst this approach seems to be working, it does prompt the question of whether Samsung simply hoping their consumers to be fickle enough to forget the past events? In sense, they are dangling a shiny new toy (the Galaxy S8) in front of them, in hopes of them forgetting about the broken toy in the corner.
Will this phone blow up? Unlikely. And Samsung aren’t going to go broke anytime soon, but this is another example of how important public perception is for brands wanting to be successful. Rebranding gives businesses the chance to repair damage or problems that are threatening their success.