To Rebrand or not to Rebrand?

Like all branding, a rebrand is much more than just a new logo… More often than not, the logo doesn’t change at all. But when is it necessary to rebrand and what’s it all about..?

Well – either by being poorly made from the get go, shifts in what the brand needs to achieve, or bringing the brand up to speed with changes in the business – the initial problem to solve is always; “what will the new and improved brand do differently?” For something which is generally so concrete and unwavering in everything it does – iconic brands are constantly morphing, shifting, re-positioning and adapting. For example – this can be due to any number of factors; It’s getting a bit old and boring, a competitor is getting too close for comfort, a new CEO wants his/her stamp on it, the market is shifting, a change for change sake… the list goes on and on. Basically – its’ bad for a good brand to sit still.

What stays, what goes, and why?

There’s no hard and fast rule for when you should rebrand. We’ve overhauled brands which have only been active for a couple of years – just at that first hurdle of needing more or a change in pace for the business. In that instance it was rebranding as a freshen up. Like-wise we’ve designed and strategised major updates for brands which have been active for 10 or more years. In that instance it was re-branding as a complete direction overhaul. These projects both have the same challenge in common… “What stays, what goes, and why?” This is because – regardless of brand, industry, location, product, consumer target, scale; it is reckless and irresponsible to chuck out the equity of a brand. For example – the Pepsi brand will never relinquish their red and blue circle, but it will always continue to evolve.

Some rebrands can be such a big shift they are newsworthy, others can be so subtle they are barely noticeable at all.

Pepsi-Cola Logo Evolution 1898 – 2018

A shift in what the brand needs to achieve

Take Dropbox for example – their recent rebrand came about from a need to shift in what the brand could achieve. The major challenge was to shows that Dropbox isn’t just a place to store your files – it’s a living workspace that brings teams and ideas together. Development of their new strategic and visual solution positioned them inline with this shift. It’s a perfect example of when a rebrand is much more than just the logo – by celebrating what’s possible when unexpected combinations of ideas, colour, typography, art, illustration and photography are brought together, they can now tell a new brand story.

Dropbox Brand Studio
Dropbox Brand Studio

Newsworthy rebranding

Remember when Uber’s rebrand nearly broke the internet? The reaction was huge, and not all good… But, it certainly was newsworthy. Suddenly Uber was almost unrecognisable – the change was monumental. Everyone’s private driver was shaking things up. This change also came about due to the changes in their business – UberX, UberCommute, UberPool, and UberEats. After a very successful 6 years – the visual identity no longer represented the company they had become. The shift was very intentional, they knew “It will take time for people to come around to something so new”. It was all about Uber’s attempt to transform its purpose and cementing its new reputation. Each of 65 countries received a toolbox of new brand assets that include tailored colours, patterns, new midcentury/modern illustrations, and guidelines for photography. All of which is a huge undertaking considering that Uber is both a global and a local brand. It took them 18 months to agree on the five (core) pillars which they thought best described the company Uber aspired to be: grounded, populist, inspiring, highly evolved, and elevated. As far as rebranding goes – Uber turned it up to 11.

Uber’s 2016 redesign
5 global + 65 country-specific colour and pattern palettes

Is it time for a rebrand?

Like that good ‘ol saying goes… ‘You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink’ – Only you will really know when its time. Rebranding is a little bit like a new years resolution – it’s a strong determination to make a change in something. Whilst we can guide you through the design process, only you be ready to make the first step and be committed to change. So, if you think it might be time… here’s a few things to ask your self or discuss with your team;

  • Is your brand the best it can be?
  • Does your brand still have a strong point of difference?
  • Has your brand run out of things to say?
  • Are your brand values and mission statement being communicated?
  • Is your brand still appealing to your target demographic?

If the answer to any of these questions is… ‘Hmmm no, not really’ or ‘Gosh, I sure hope so…’ – Reach out and let’s have a chat about it. We’re more than happy to give you our honest opinion and make some recommendations.

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