What is Rebranding? Examples & Strategies

Life comes in cycles. Cycles that begin, get established, end, and then start afresh. This happens all the time in the world of marketing and design. Brands are usually revamped from time to time, to show that they are taking a different direction, to promote new ideals, or even to attract new followers. This is called rebranding.

Before we talk about some iconic examples, we will find out what one of the most important processes in the world of marketing is all about and what it entails.

What is rebranding?

Rebranding is the process of changing a brand’s corporate image. It is done as part of a marketing strategy, during which the iconography, logos, colors, and every current aspect of that brand are assessed. The aim is to create a different identity and present it in a brand-new way compared to its competitors and the market.

There are many reasons for carrying out this process but bear in mind that it is quite risky. The main reason is to connect with customers. Although it may create new ties, there is also a chance that some of our most loyal customers will not like the new design that we are introducing.

Types of rebranding

There are two different kinds of rebranding, each based on very different reasons.

  • Proactive: This is possibly the most positive of the two types. Basically, it starts with recognizing an opportunity in the market, to innovate and to find new niches.
  • Reactive: Unlike the above case, reactive branding starts with a problem. We may be hit by a crisis and we cannot find a solution. It may also happen when we merge our company with another, for legal reasons, etc.

Although the theory is important, lets be honest…it is much more interesting to take a look at some examples, right?

Rebranding examples

Burger King. Back to the Beginning

Rebranding Burger King

It is virtually impossible not to have heard of Burger King. For many people, it is one of the biggest fast-food brands around. So, you are sure to have seen the rebranding that they carried out very recently.

Although many of us thought that its new image was paying homage to its original design, Lisa Smith (Creative Director of JKR, the firm that carried out the new work), suggests that, while it has elements of that old logo: “…the new elements from the world of papercraft bring a completely different focus…

Rebranding Burger King

The main reason behind this redesign was to leave any trace of artificiality behind. If we analyze the previous design, we will find colors that are impossible to find in natural food. In fact, you will note a certain futuristic feel to the logo. This new identity is based around more “natural” colors, highlighting the brown of the flame-grilled meat, the slightly orange color of the bread, and the yellow of the eggs.

Another point worth highlighting is the choice of solid colors. This is mainly because they work so well in digital environments.

Peugeot. Kingly Stature

Not many people know that, in its early days, the French brand Peugeot used to produce pepper mills. Then, as the years went by, it managed to reinvent itself, leaving that product behind and becoming one of the best-known car manufacturers in the world.

Peugeots new logo was designed by Mathieu Rio Chapman, Director of the Peugeot Global Brand Design. According to him “…in Peugeot, we decided to become more timeless and find more intangible values that better represent the brand. In the search for the final logo […] we injected all of our history into this logo and, at the same time, something that will allow it to endure over time

Rebranding Peugeot

Something very striking about the new design is the way it shifts away from 3D trends (e.g., the beveling and volume of the lion) towards a flat design (need some inspiration for this style? take a look at these designs). However, this logo brings back the somewhat figurative aspect of older designs.

In Mathieu’s words, this is because “…the brands have seen that there is now more interest in keeping the logo simple, something pure. And now we are turning things back-to-front, all of the brands are tending to become minimalistic and even minimal […] we did not want to vanish, while many of these brands seem to be vanishing. We wanted simplicity, but we also wanted to keep our character, our strength…

On this point, the interesting thing about this new badge is the way the image manages to seamlessly combine traditional aspects with futuristic touches. Although these concepts may possibly be seen as opposites, this design team managed to strike a very interesting balance.

Dunkin’, The Name of Donuts

Rebranding Dunkin'

If we have learned one thing from Homer Simpson, someone who has very little to teach us, it is that a good donut is the highlight of any day.  In fact, if he really existed, he would probably be Dunkin’ Donuts’ most loyal customer.

For over 70 years, this brand has brought us the most popular donuts in the world. This is a company with a history, a big name. So, when it carried out its rebranding work, it seemed like the most logical move for everyone.

What did they do? They simply removed the word Donuts from their name. However, there was something far more important behind this idea than simply shortening its name. This decision was aimed at modernizing the brand, while also showing that it was about more than just donuts. This was the first step towards embedding Dunkin’ in the “coffee-to-go” culture so that it could compete with the likes of Starbucks.

Old Spice, Galloping Away From Your Grandpa

One of the trends that we have seen in recent years among traditional brands is their attempt to go back to their origins and show a connection with their customers. The message is basically “we grew up with you”. But what about the ones that have become outdated and are associated with times gone by?

This was the problem faced by Old Spice. Its flagship product is basically the same one our grandpas used. This problem was reflected in its sales and it was the catalyst behind the order it placed with the Wieden+Kennedy advertising agency.

The creatives at this advertising giant came up with a campaign that was completely different to anything previously devised by Old Spice. With a series of ads and a brilliant social media strategy, they managed to change its customers’ perception, making them think of it as something fresh and youthful.

The interesting thing was that, without changing the original logo in the slightest, they managed to change the experience of its users.

Disneyland Paris: 30 Years, One Opportunity

Rebranding Disney

Some opportunities come but once in a lifetime. Opportunities which, if we manage to take advantage of them, will help us to make an impact and generate a buzz around our brand or product. Sometimes they can catch us by surprise, but at other times we may anticipate them, plan the best way to capitalize on them and make the most of them. And this is what happened to Disneyland Paris last year.

What was the opportunity? The park was turning 30. What did its communications team do? It created a special logo to accompany all of its communications. A logo that would combine one of the most iconic elements of the brand’s history with the number 30, in a way that was both subtle and minimalistic. The result is there for everyone to see: masterly design and rebranding.

Pringles: Emojis And Potato Chips

Rebranding Pringles

After being built up over decades, the world’s most famous brand of potato chips decided it was time for a revamp. So, it opted to follow one of the most widely used trends in recent years: the flat design. As with Burger King, there was a goal behind the new approach.

As well as revamping the logo with new colors and a fresh style, they tried to give it a more modern feel, associated with emojis and social media. This explains why the brand’s mascot has a far more minimalistic face.

In the world of marketing, running a rebranding campaign is a bold move, but when it is done correctly, the results can be excellent. All that you need to tackle this process is creativity, hard work, and, naturally, inspiration.

The inspiration that you are sure to find on this website.

Do you know of any other successful examples? Tell us about them in the comments!