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Reasons To Rebrand A Company

Published August 8th, 2014

A brand is everything your customers think about your business. It’s why someone will choose your product or service over another selling the same thing. Your brand is how you present yourself and how you are seen.

So why rebrand?

A rebrand can take on many forms. It could be in a new name, a redesign of visual identity, or simply be iteration and refinement on a current identity. Take the following examples:

Norwich Union rebrand to Aviva

In 2008 Aviva changed their name from Norwich Union, while maintaining their visual identity.

Rebrand of ITV

Introduced in January 2013, ITV re-branded themselves to something very visually different.

tumblr rebrand

While the blogging platform tumblr made some subtle changes, in stark contrast to the above rebrands.

These companies have all been through the rebranding process, producing varying results for different reasons. Here are several reasons why a company will rebrand.

Company Ownership / Structure

If a new party comes on board, whether through a merger or acquisition, it will often be the catalyst for a rebrand. New partners may want to have an influence in the brand identity, or simply bring a fresh perspective.

In the event of a demerger, leaving parties will need to establish their own brand and make it clear they are separate companies.

Reasons to Rebrand - Company Ownership / Restructuring


If your company is introducing a new product or service, or re-launching an existing one, it may be this coincides with a new vision, in a new marketplace, with a new audience. The company has changed and grown and it can be the opportune moment to rebrand or launch a new campaign that appeals to your new market.

Reasons to Rebrand - Repositioning

Further reading:
Business Insider: There was nothing special about Old Spice; now it’s a viral sensation

National to International

If your company is entering a more national or international market, a rebrand is sometimes needed for your company, products or services. A company may already be trading in the area you want to enter, that also has a similar brand to yours and to avoid confusion or legal complications, a rebrand is necessary.

Some elements of a brand identity may mean very different and negative things in different countries around the world. For example a yellow rose in Western culture means a sign of friendship, while in Japan it is a symbol of jealousy.

Reasons to Rebrand - National or International Markets

Further reading:
The Drum: What’s in a name?

Simplifying the Message

If people are not quite sure what your company does, it may be that your message is not being translated to your customers effectively. This may be down to your brand identity being overly complicated, or combined with many different visuals and marketing messages. A new brand with a simple message can give consistency to your company voice and create the right engagement with customers.

Reasons to Rebrand - Simplifying the Message

Further reading:
Corporate Eye: History of the Apple Logo and Lessons Learned

Evolved Architecture

Growing businesses will either continue to offer the same products and services, or choose to evolve with new technologies or grow into emerging markets. Offering a number of new products and services can often see their brand identity and message become confused.

Rebranding with focus on its brand architecture will bring everything together again, creating a stronger more aligned brand experience.

Reasons to Rebrand - Architecture

Further reading:
ITV – “Unifying brand Identity”
ITV Announcement
ITV Press Release


If you’re not getting many return customers, it may be that they don’t remember you – even if they loved your product. This could be down to your brand identity being overly complicated, difficult for customers to remember any one thing, or too generic that it isn’t recognisable in the array of logos we see every day.

Rebranding with focus on delivering a memorable experience can increase the recognition of your company, building familiarity and trust with your products and services.

Reasons to Rebrand - Simple and Memorable

Further reading:
Brand New: Sans Triumphs Over Flared

Bad Reputation

Reasons to Rebrand - Reputation

If a company gains a bad reputation, its brand becomes synonymous with that negativity and future performance can be affected, even after the problem has been rectified.

An update in brand can show that the vision of the company has changed, that not only have they addressed the issue(s), but that they’re learning from their mistakes and are moving forward.

Further reading:
BBC News: Consignia – Nine letters that spelled fiasco (2002)
MSN Money: Rebranding successes and failures

Remaining Relevant

Reasons to Rebrand - Remaining Relevant

The world moves quickly (approximately 67,108mph around the sun) and what was once cool and on trend is now old news and just mediocre. You are constantly in competition, with new companies offering the same products or services but that are better presented, branded just yesterday by a team of top designers, while your brand may be lagging behind.

A redesign of your brand can be subtle or extreme but keeping up with the times can deliver greater results.

Further reading:
Brand New: Google Logo Update

Whether you completely transform your brand or make some minor alterations, rebranding will create change. Make sure it is for the right reasons.