Digital Marketing

Learn about rebranding and how to use it

Rebranding is about changing the visual identity of your business and giving it a new look and feel. It’s all about creating a new image for your brand.


11/22/2021 | By Hotmart

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Have you ever heard of rebranding? The term is widely used by brands in all sectors, but before we get into specifics, let’s review the meaning of branding, shall we?

Branding is a series of strategies used in company communication for brand positioning in order to create a connection between the business and the audience. Such connections, in turn, generate perceptions capable of influencing consumers’ decision-making.

Now that you know what branding is all about, it’s time to better understand rebranding and why it’s relevant nowadays. Read the content below and find out what rebranding is and how to use it.

What is rebranding?

Rebranding is the set of processes used to resignify a brand’s image. In other words, the goal is to change the audience’s perception of the brand with strategic planning.

This can involve a change of name, colors, slogans, new logo design, change of vision, and others. Some people think of rebranding as a redesign, but the latter term focuses only on the visual design of a brand. Meanwhile, rebranding is about a business’ communication with its audience.

Nowadays, many brands are using this process because they seek to humanize their messages to reflect their audience’s social values. These values are directly related to the change in consumer behavior over the years, also causing the brand’s positioning to change.

When should I rebrand?

You don’t have to wait until you’ve been on the market for years before rebranding your business. Even with the changing consumer behaviors over time, mentioned earlier, the process is part of a strategy.

In other words, you must plan and put it into practice after you understand the moment experienced by the brand. Below, we mention a few moments when rebranding is appropriate. Maybe you can see yourself in some of these situations.

When the brand positioning doesn’t match the current vision

Rebranding might be necessary when you realize that the current brand vision is not in line with the business positioning. Make no mistake; this can happen to any business.

Skol, a Brazilian beer brand, is an example of this. A few decades ago, the brand ran sexist ads, in which women served beer to men. As the feminist movement became stronger, the brand realized how it was being perceived and decided to rebrand.

The campaign worked, because instead of hiding in the past, the brand owned up to their mistakes and positioned themselves differently. Nowadays, Skol’s ads show people having a great time together and toasting with the beer. 

When there’s a risk of bankruptcy

As the market changes, it’s common to make projections to understand where a business might be in the future. It could become stagnant or even go bankrupt, and this is a nightmare for many entrepreneurs.

In fact, one of the reasons for going bankrupt is a lack of innovation, not following the market’s evolution. With the same approach, the audience can become saturated, and so a rebranding project might be the ideal option to overcome this type of crisis.

During an image crises

The dreaded image crisis is a thorn in the side of any brand. If it evolves, it can turn into a reputational crisis. Such a crisis occurs when the product or service is associated with something bad and unhealthy.

To get out of this situation, rebranding is a good option. That’s exactly what McDonald’s did when it started to be associated with bad food. The large fast-food chain rethought its positioning and decided to change its menu, adding less caloric and healthier options, such as salads and fruits.

Change of niche or target audience

Did you know that you can rebrand when you change your niche or target audience? With this strategy, you can develop an audience that is more qualified and segmented. In other words, people who no longer identify with your brand will not buy from you.

However, don’t think of this impact as something negative because identification with the brand generates more possibilities for building loyalty. Loyal customers will come back and buy again. 

To help you think about your niche, check out the video below on how to create a buyer persona for your business; it can really help you identify your target audience. 

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What are the types of rebranding?

Some brands might have reasons in common for rebranding, but not all processes will be the same. Here are some of the types:

Partial rebranding

In this type of rebranding, a business will not completely change its identifying factors. In other words, only some standard elements will change.

Radical rebranding

Radical rebranding completely modifies the brand’s identification, such as new names, slogans, and logos. A good example is Latam airlines. The result was a radically modified visual identity. 

Evolutionary rebranding

Evolutionary rebranding occurs when there are small changes in the identity of a business over the years, which also requires redesign. This is the case of Shell with its logo change since 1900, in order to align its message with its target audience.

How to rebrand your business

Knowing what rebranding is and in which situations this process can be applied, it’s time to understand how to apply this strategy in your company.

But remember, this content only refers to the first steps because any rebranding decision must require a lot of planning. 

Define your strategy and goals 

First, define this process’ strategy and its goals. This means understanding the brand’s representativeness, as well as your target audience and the desired positioning.

To do so, it’s necessary to conduct market surveys to understand how the audience feels about your brand and your competitors. Based on this, you can think of possible changes, such as:

  • Names
  • Colors
  • Slogans
  • Jingles
  • Mascots
  • Logo
  • Scope for social media
  • Brand manual
  • Organizational Culture guide
  • and others

Work on your visual identity

Visual identity doesn’t refer only to the brand’s logo. In fact, it’s the entire visual component. In other words, the color palette, the logo, design, fonts, including the mascot.

Therefore, when there are radical changes in visual identity, the audience will notice them. If the goal is to allow your audience to adjust gradually, the option may be a concise change. The fact is that any change will reflect the modernization of all of the brand’s visual points.

Therefore, the process must be planned carefully to avoid the opposite effect. To help in decision-making, consider applying neuromarketing as a good guide in consumer perception.

Position your brand in relevant media channels

Media channels are quite relevant today, as many users have accounts on multiple social networks. For this reason, your rebranding can be displayed on the channels that are most relevant to your brand. In other words, go where your audience is.

If you don’t have a targeted strategy for using social media yet, this is a good chance to start.

Monitor the audience’s reaction 

When rebranding, outline quantifiable steps in order to monitor the performance of the actions and the persona’s reactions. 

To do so, create expectations through email marketing, for example, informing that new features are arriving in order to generate interest. Also, invest in posts on blogs and social media.

What else can help in the rebranding process?

Therefore, if you’re facing a lack of alignment between vision and brand positioning, bankruptcy, an image crisis, and a change of niche, rebranding is a good option for your business.

Besides helping you get out of these situations, the process can provide breakthroughs and growth by repositioning the brand to win over new customers, and build loyalty among those who identify with you.

Moreover, having a brand manual, which includes the brand’s vision, values, and mission, can help in the rebranding process. To learn more, read our post about brand style guides and how to create one for your business.