Rebranding? What does that tell your customers?

Rebranding has become a bit of a buzzword recently. It’s a old marketing term that’s used to signify a sea change in the brand values and image of an established business. And it’s making a comeback.
But have modern marketers grasped the term too glibly?
Are businesses being encouraged to ‘rebrand’ when all they need is a new logo and a trip to the printers.
Refreshing a logo and having new stationery are all part of ongoing image maintenance, but that’s not rebranding. Canary Dwarf got a new logo last year, but our brand values have never changed. We consistently provide an all-round service to support people who want to build a better business online. We don’t want to change that, or our customers’ perception of what we stand for.

From joke to desireable brand

Skoda is a great example of rebranding. A cheap car that was the butt of many jokes, totally turned around to become a desirable brand associated with award-winning engineering. And they didn’t even change their logo!
It could be that marketers have identified a trending term which they know businesses respond to, just like ‘web’, ‘mobile’ and ‘social media’ have in the past.
Rebranding is a serious business and is often the result of a decision that ‘everything must change’ within an organisation to address negative or unwanted associations.
It’s a reinvention of core values, sometimes targeted to a new demographic. But as the saying goes “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

Last resort?

Why would you reinvent a winning brand? You wouldn’t. Time and trends will almost certainly dictate the need to refresh logos, colour schemes, design concepts, but rebranding is a gut-wrenching, deep-scraping process that, quite frankly, is often a last resort when there’s an insurmountable problem with the existing brand.
Wikipedia says of rebranding:

“Firms rebrand intentionally to shed negative images of the past. In a corporate sense, rebranding can be used as an effective marketing strategy to hide malpractices and avoid or shed negative connotations, and decreased profitability”

Businesses are often at the mercy of marketers who wield such buzzwords. A recommendation to rebrand may come with promises of new attention and a boost in sales. But whether it’s to make a fast buck or complete ignorance, pushing a successful business towards a rebrand is a costly bandwagon that’s going nowhere. What do you think? Do you think that rebranding has become a marketing ploy in itself or do you agree with us that it’s true purpose is misunderstood?
Let us know in the comments.