How to Create a Successful Rebranding Strategy in 2024

Building a brand is a complex and often long-term process. From establishing your brand philosophy to designing your brand identity, branding can take months or even years. If you do it well, your brand can stand strong for years to come.

However, no matter how great your branding is, there will come a time when it needs to be refreshed or reimagined. As times change and consumers demand different things, brands must evolve.

Even the biggest and most famous brands in the world aren’t immune to change and must rebrand at some point. If you’re reading this article, you might be at a crossroads where you must consider rebranding.

In this article, we’ll talk about what a rebranding strategy is, and we’ll give you some not-so-obvious tips for a successful rebrand.

What Is a Rebranding Strategy? 

Rebranding, or a rebranding strategy, is the process of changing the corporate image, identity, or perception of a company, product, or service. It involves altering elements such as the brand name, logo, visual identity, messaging, and sometimes even the products or services offered. 

Companies may rebrand for a variety of reasons. Some of the most common are: 

  • Wanting to refresh a tired brand that is no longer relevant and is struggling to attract new customers. 
  • Expanding beyond their current offerings or to new, often international, markets and needing to adjust their brand identity to reflect that expansion. 
  • Shifting their philosophy and positioning and needing to realign their brand image to reflect these changes. 
  • Adapting their brand identity and philosophy to match that of the company they joined or merged with.
  • Mending a damaged reputation or addressing a public scandal by shifting their brand perception and rebuilding trust with consumers.

5 Not-So-Obvious Tips to Create a Successful Rebranding Strategy

The truth is that there’s no one-size-fits-all rebranding strategy. Every brand’s approach to rebranding will be different, depending on their unique situation and what they’re trying to achieve. 

While we could outline how to create a rebranding strategy step-by-step, it would rather be a very generic guide you can already find elsewhere. 

So, instead, here are some not-so-obvious tips to help you create a rebranding strategy that will resonate with your target audience and drive meaningful connections. 

1. Think About the New Generations 

Brands that have existed for a long time may struggle to appeal to the younger generations. While old doesn’t necessarily mean outdated, some brands may be perceived as such simply due to their long-standing reputation. 

A rebrand allows these brands to modernize their philosophy, approach, and brand identity to appeal to the younger generations. 

Regardless of which generation you’re part of, you’ve surely heard of Old Spice. But did you know this internationally recognized men’s grooming brand has existed for over 70 years? 

In fact, in the 2000s, Old Spice had a hard time staying relevant because younger generations would choose modern and fresh brands like Axe Body Stray – likely because they associated the “old” in “Old Spice” with… well, old people. 

So, Old Spice had to rethink its strategy to appeal to a younger demographic. They underwent a bold rebranding effort, introducing edgier advertising campaigns featuring younger, more relatable spokespeople and updating their product line to align with contemporary tastes and preferences. 

This revitalized approach helped Old Spice regain relevance among younger consumers while still maintaining its legacy and heritage.

2. Find Your Differentiating Factor 

No brand wants to fall into the same rut as other brands within the same industry. Even if you offer similar products or services and share a comparable concept with others in your sector, you want to find a way to stand out. 

Many brands have taken the rebranding route to find their differentiating factor and figure out a way to stand out from their competitors. For instance, back in the 90s, Target was practically indistinguishable from other discount retail stores like Walmart and Kmart. 

When Target realized they had to find a way to differentiate themselves, they decided to completely change their strategy and public perception. With the rebrand, Target not only revamped its logo but also initiated exclusive partnerships with renowned designers, introducing simplified versions of designer clothing lines into its stores.

3. Expand Beyond What You’re Known For

Sometimes, brands decide to switch things up for many reasons. It may be because they want to keep up with the market trends or because they want to expand beyond what they’re already known for. 

If you’re planning on expanding your offerings, you might also need to change how people see you. 

You’re surely familiar with Dunkin’ Donuts. Back in 2018, this famous donut brand decided to drop “Donuts” from their name and simply become “Dunkin'” as they aimed to emphasize their beverage offerings and broader menu beyond just donuts. 

This move was part of their strategy to position themselves as a destination for coffee and other drinks, along with various food options. They also introduced a new logo and store design as part of this rebranding initiative. 

4. Adapt to Cultural Shifts to Stay Relevant  

The times are changing, and with them, consumer preferences and societal norms evolve. Brands that struggle to adapt to these cultural shifts and changing consumer expectations can easily fall behind the curve and quickly become irrelevant. 

For instance, Weight Watchers’ philosophy primarily focused on traditional weight loss through a structured program that emphasized calorie counting, portion control, and support group meetings. 

However, such a strict approach to weight loss was no longer well-received with changing societal attitudes towards health and wellness and a growing emphasis on overall well-being beyond just weight loss. Weight Watchers recognized that they had to adapt to these changes to stay relevant. 

So, in 2018, they rebranded to WW to represent a more holistic approach to wellness. 

Now, WW’s philosophy extends beyond simply shedding pounds and encompasses a broader concept of wellness that includes not only physical health but also mental and emotional well-being.

5. Change How People Perceive You 

A rebrand can be an effective strategy to help you change how people perceive your brand. 

If you’ve established yourself as one thing and realized that your reputation is no longer serving you or preventing you from achieving your business goals, you may want to implement a clever strategy to shift public perception.

This recently happened to McDonald’s. Being perceived as an unhealthy fast-food chain, McDonald’s has faced criticism over issues such as the quality of its food, its impact on public health, and its environmental practices. 

To remedy its declining reputation and shift public perception, McDonald’s launched a rebranding campaign focused on transparency, sustainability, and healthier menu options.

As part of this effort, McDonald’s revamped its menu to include healthier choices like salads, grilled chicken, and fruit. They also introduced initiatives to source more sustainable ingredients and reduce their environmental footprint. 

Through these rebranding efforts, McDonald’s aimed to change the perception of being just a fast-food chain to a company that cares about health and sustainability.

Create Your Brand Identity With Dorothy House

Whether you’re looking to update a brand identity that no longer feels aligned or expand beyond what you’re known for, creating a solid rebranding strategy can help you achieve new heights in your business. 

When your brand hits a wall, sometimes the best thing you can do is change. 

If you’re looking to create a rebranding strategy to effectively reposition your brand, our team of creatives at Dorothy House Media can help. Get in touch with us to learn how we can help you realign, restructure, and revitalize your brand.

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