What Is Rebranding? (Plus a Guide to Different Approaches)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 23 October 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Rebranding is vital for businesses that want to stay relevant with their consumers. There are many different approaches that businesses can take, so it's important to choose the right one. Knowing more about what this process involves can help you decide if it's the right choice for a business and, if so, execute it successfully. In this article, we explain what it means to rebrand, outline five different approaches you can take regarding rebrand strategies and offer you a guide.

What is rebranding?

Rebranding is the process of creating a new name, term, design, symbol or combination thereof for an established brand with the intention of developing a differentiated identity in the market. A brand-new start may be desirable for many reasons. For example, a company may want to realign itself with changing market trends or reposition its offering in a new segment. There are two main types:

  • External: A company changes its name, logo or other external facing elements to change its image with the public. It's usually where the company wants to change its positioning or expand into new markets.

  • Internal: A company changes its internal operations and culture to modify the way it does business. It's usually where the company wants to change its culture or improve its internal operations.

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5 approaches to rebranding

There are many different approaches that you can take, but it's important to consider what the company wants to achieve when changing its branding. Choose an approach that can best help it achieve its goals. Here's a list of the different approaches you can take when deciding on a strategy:

1. Complete rebrand

The first approach is to do a complete rebrand, where you change everything about the company's image, from the logo to the name to the slogan. This is a drastic option that can be costly, but also very effective if you do it correctly.

When taking this approach, it's important to make sure that you have a solid plan in place so that you can prevent losing customers. For example, you want to make sure that your new branding conforms to the company's values, mission and goals. You also want to make sure that the rebranding doesn't alienate long-time customers.

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2. Partial rebrand

The second approach is to do a partial rebrand, where you change some aspects of the company's image but not others. This is a less drastic option that can be less costly, but still very effective. When taking this approach, you want to consider which elements of the brand to change to avoid changing too much or too little. For example, you might decide to change the logo but keep the same name and slogan. Alternatively, you might decide to change the name but keep the same logo.

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3. Rebrand without changing the name

The third approach is to do a rebrand without changing the name, meaning you change everything else. This is a good option if you want to refresh the image of the company but don't want to go through the hassle and expense of changing the name. When taking this approach, you want to focus on other aspects of the brand, such as the logo, slogan and colours that can give the company a new look and energy.

4. Refresh

The fourth approach is to do a refresh where you update the current branding to be more modern without making major changes. This is a good option if you want to keep the same basic image but just want to update it to be more current. When taking this approach, it's important that you make sure the new changes still retain the company's existing customer base.

To make the company more modern via a rebrand, consider updating the logo, slogan, website and social media presence. You can modernise these elements without changing the company's name, making it a less disruptive option.

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5. Evolution

The final approach is to do an evolution rebrand, where you gradually change the branding. This option is good if you want to avoid alienating customers with a drastic change but still want to update the image of the company. When taking this approach, you want to start with minor changes and then gradually make bigger changes. For example, you might start by updating the logo and then eventually change the name and slogan. This approach can take longer to achieve the desired results, but it can be less disruptive and therefore more effective in the long term.

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Guide to rebranding

This is a guide to help you rebrand the company:

Identify the reason

Identify why the company wants to rebrand so you can tailor the strategy to achieve the desired results. These are some reasons why a company may want to rebrand:

  • Acquisition: Perhaps the company wants to rebrand because another company acquires it, meaning it now wants to conform to the new parent company's branding guidelines. In this case, the rebranding may be more extensive.

  • Change in the target market: The company may want to rebrand because it wants to target a different market if the current target market is no longer profitable or because the company wants to branch out into a new market. This may likely involve changing the company's name, logo and other elements of the branding.

  • Change in the business model: The company might also rebrand because it's changing its business model, meaning it wants its branding to reflect this new model. For example, it may move from a product-based business to a service-based business which would require a change in branding.

  • Expansion: A company can also decide to rebrand if they want to expand its product line or business into new markets. This requires a change in branding to reflect the new products or services on offer because the old branding might not be relevant or relatable anymore.

  • Financial: In some cases, a company may want to rebrand to save money on branding costs or to increase its value. For example, a company may use a new name that's less expensive to trademark or it may change its logo to be more easily recognisable.

Conduct research

Before making any decisions, it's important to do research on the company, its competition and the industry. This can give you valuable insights that can help you make the right decisions about the rebrand. Some things you may research include:

  • The company's history: A company's history can give you a better understanding of its values and the way it wants customers to perceive it.

  • The company's current branding: This can help you understand what's working and what's not working with the current branding.

  • The company's customers: It's important to understand the needs, wants and perceptions of the company's customers, as this can help you tailor the rebrand to them.

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Set objectives

The next step is to set objectives because this can help you measure the success of the rebrand. This way, you make sure it's achieving the desired results. Some objectives you can set include:

  • increasing brand awareness

  • generating more leads

  • improving customer loyalty

  • increasing sales

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Develop a strategy

Tailor the strategy to the specific goals and objectives you want to achieve. For example, if you want to generate more leads, then your strategy may involve creating more targeted content and using SEO to make sure it's easier to find by potential customers. If you want to improve customer loyalty, then your strategy may involve creating more engaging and personalised communications.

Build a brand identity

It's important to build a new brand identity that reflects the company's values and what it wants to achieve with the rebrand. This can involve creating a new name, logo, slogan and other elements of the branding.

It's important to make sure these elements work well together and convey the right message to customers. If the company is trying to convey a more modern image, then the branding can reflect this. For example, the logo may be more simplistic and use modern fonts. If the company is trying to convey a more luxurious image, then the branding can reflect this by using more opulent colours and images.

Grow your online presence

It's important for companies to have a strong online presence and a functional website. This means having a website that you optimise for search engines, creating engaging content for and using social media to promote.

Make sure the website is mobile-friendly so that potential customers can easily view it on their mobile devices. Building an online presence is a typical aspect of the process because it can help reach more potential customers, grow the company's visibility and determine its positioning.

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