4 things we’ve learned to avoid when rebranding

A corporate rebrand is a great opportunity for a fresh start. Many companies utilise said opportunities to redesign their logo, overhaul their product line, or perhaps in more drastic cases, change the company name.

What could these changes mean for your company? And more importantly, if you are considering a rebrand, what 4 things should you look out for?

Here are the four things to avoid when undergoing a rebrand:


Whatever the reason is behind rebranding you should at least have a reason. Falling sales, focus groups, shareholder dissatisfaction – there should be something. Rebranding isn’t like eating popcorn at the cinema; it’s not just the done thing and therefore shouldn’t be embarked upon as such.

Although it might seem like a lot of companies are constantly rebranding, that simply isn’t the case for many of the world’s biggest companies. When PepsiCo rebranded their popular Tropicana orange juice, sales fell by 20%. The message from customers was clear:

…if it ain’t broke, don’t fix i


Suddenly changing your logo, releasing a new line of products and altering your pricing structure is going to provoke a few reactions. IfNike suddenly ditched their iconic swoosh you would want to know why.

If it was your decision to shake things up, have a response at the ready.

Gretel, the company behind Netflix’s most recent rebrand describes the process as thus:

Our collective challenge was to create something broad enough for a global brand but still unique and identifiable. It had to marry the brand with the content. It had to be variable yet systematic and bulletproof. It had to be visually striking, adapt to any format, and hold up to interpretation by agencies and vendors around the globe.

Our solution: The Stack, a visual metaphor and an identity system in one. It implies both the infinite, ever-changing catalogue and the custom-curated selections that make up the core of the Netflix service.”

There is reasoning behind what the company is saying about its work. Netflix wanted a new way to communicate their brand and Gretel provided it, along with a way to explain it to any customers that might have questioned the motives behind the change. Without any explanation, it could come across as rather random or ill-conceived, and who wants that from brands they trust?


Let’s get this straight; a new logo is not a rebrand. It’s a new logo, nothing more, unless you’re willing to turn it into a rebrand, which means a great deal more. Your rebrand means everything from the sign on the door to the stationery on everybody’s desk needs to fall in line with the new brand image.

If you go further than just aesthetics, changing the direction and aim of the brand, then this too should be reflected in anything the company produces, be it the LinkedIn description or the company website.

Consistency is key.

If one piece of the jigsaw is missing, people will notice. That’s why rebranding isn’t something to be taken lightly; changing the logo won’t be enough.


When you’re a kid and somebody tells you not to do something, you do it. It’s instinctive, the need to satiate one’s curiosity. But instinct shouldn’t always play a part in rebranding.

Take the case of the SyFy (formerly Sci Fi) Channel. Their new name was supposed to add a new exuberance to the brand. What it actually did was associate the channel with syphilis, as syfy happened to mean something else in the online Urban Dictionary.

GAP faced a similarly tricky task and discovered “there are no shortcuts to rebranding” when they changed their blue logo to update it for a new generation. The feedback they received afterwards from customers was negative. GAP listened to the feedback and responded positively, eventually keeping the classic logo that had become iconic.

Are there really fool-proof ways to rebrand?

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