Re-branding – Not Always The Answer

Interesting article of Al Ries author of Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind and The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding on website (registration required).

Starting from recently over-buzzed Atlanta re-branding, Ries is making a extremly good and sustained point about the need and the opportunity of rebranding, changing logos and slogans, or becoming “too creative” in terms of branding.

What leads cities, states, countries and companies to concoct meaningless, unmemorable slogans? I believe the culprit is “creativity.”

Every day of the week, advertising agencies are hired to create new, compelling branding strategies and fired when these new, compelling branding strategies don’t work.

The best example of the power of consistency is the Marlboro cowboy, who has been riding the range for 50 years. The advertising doesn’t win any awards, but it has taken the brand from nowhere to become the No. 1 selling cigarette brand in the world.

A powerful brand is not built by creativity, although there needs to be a creative spark to get the brand ignited. A powerful brand is built by consistency, year after year after year.

Basically if you have something that is working, don’t try to fix it. The re-branding decision is a tough one, as long as we do not have (re)branding in our minds a purpose (as some agencies have it), but as a tool for sustaining and growing the business.

Related posts:
Re-branding the Right Way

Tag: Re-branding, Rebranding

Re-branding the Right Way

Rebranding, is the process by which a product or service developed with one brand or company or product line affiliation is marketed or distributed with a different identity. This may involve radical changes to the brand’s logo, brand name, image, marketing strategy, and advertising themes. On the other hand, it might involve merely superficial changes. Rebranding can be applied to either new products, mature products, or even unfinished products as well as to the corporate itself. (source

Some re-branding exercises have been evolutionary, developing over time and in response to feedback and change in business requirements. But also, a lot of re-branding efforts fail, and fail expensively. Why is it that while some re-branding exercises succeed, others are left licking their wounds? The main reason for failure stems from the complexity of the task. Companies often jumps unprepared into an ill-conceived consolidation, leaving customers puzzled and business associates confused.

Continue reading