The Art of Reinvention: Examining 5 Remarkable Rebranding Success Stories

In the dynamic world of business, the ability to adapt and evolve is often a key determinant of long-term success. Rebranding is a strategic move that allows companies to breathe new life into their identity, connecting with audiences in fresh and compelling ways. Let’s delve into five exceptional rebranding endeavors that not only revitalized the respective brands but also set new standards in the realm of corporate reinvention.

1. Apple Inc.: A Bite of Innovation

Background: Apple’s journey from a niche computer company to a global tech giant is marked by a series of calculated rebranding efforts.

Transformation: In 1997, when Apple was on the brink of bankruptcy, the iconic “Think Different” campaign emerged. This campaign not only rejuvenated the brand but also laid the foundation for Apple’s focus on innovation, design, and user experience. The sleek, minimalist aesthetic we associate with Apple today is a testament to their successful rebranding journey.

2. McDonald’s: Beyond the Golden Arches

Background: McDonald’s, a fast-food behemoth, faced challenges with changing consumer preferences and health concerns.

Transformation: The “I’m lovin’ it” campaign in 2003 marked a significant shift for McDonald’s. The brand moved from a purely product-focused approach to an emphasis on the overall experience. This rebranding not only modernized their image but also communicated a commitment to quality and customer satisfaction beyond just fast food.

3. Nike: Swooshing to Success

Background: Nike, already a prominent sportswear brand, sought to expand its appeal beyond athletes.

Transformation: The “Just Do It” campaign in 1988 transformed Nike into a lifestyle brand. By associating the brand with the idea of determination and empowerment, Nike successfully broadened its customer base. The iconic swoosh became a symbol not just for athletic performance but for a mindset of pushing boundaries.

4. Starbucks: Brewing a New Narrative

Background: Starbucks, initially a small coffee retailer, faced challenges in maintaining a unique identity amid rapid expansion.

Transformation: In 2011, Starbucks rebranded by dropping the word “Coffee” from its logo. This move signified a shift from being solely a coffeehouse to a broader, global brand. The simplified logo retained the iconic mermaid, emphasizing Starbucks as a destination for various beverages and experiences.

5. Old Spice: From Grandpa to Swagger

Background: Old Spice, a classic men’s grooming brand, needed to shed its traditional image and appeal to a younger audience.

Transformation: The “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” campaign in 2010 not only revamped Old Spice’s image but also went viral, creating a cultural phenomenon. The humorous and irreverent approach not only attracted younger consumers but also redefined Old Spice as a brand synonymous with confidence and modern masculinity.

Conclusion: Mastering the Art of Rebranding

These examples underscore the transformative power of strategic rebranding. Whether it’s aligning with core values, embracing cultural shifts, or crafting a compelling narrative, successful rebranding goes beyond a change in logo; it’s about reinventing the essence of a brand.

Rebranding isn’t merely a cosmetic makeover; it’s a strategic endeavor that requires a deep understanding of market dynamics and consumer behavior. As these success stories illustrate, the best rebranding initiatives are those that not only respond to challenges but also set the stage for a brand’s continued relevance and resonance in the ever-changing business landscape.

Gap To Review Its Brand Strategy

Gap, the company that helped make khaki beige a fashion statement, is to review its Gap and Old Navy brands after the retailer revealed disappointing sales in December and expected increased pressure in January.Total sales for December were down by 10% on results posted two years ago, at $2.34bn. The company has been in the middle of a two-year rebranding operation but has admitted it has failed and will review its strategy at the two divisions.

Gap has suffered in recent years and each new set of financial results have brought new problems as the San Francisco retailer finds competitors have emulated its essential casual style of T-shirts and khakis and at a cheaper price.

Alternative strategic decision, helped by ongoing speculation in the market, is that Gap Inc. is ever closer to a takeover is being stoked by a news report that the struggling retailer has hired the investment firm Goldman Sachs to consider such offers or other dramatic changes.

A story to follow…

Branding News Roundup – 02/13/06

Maslow and Branding: Esteem

So yes, this really is all about ego. We don’t like to admit that we need our ego stroked, that we want to be recognized and feel important. But hey, it’s a fact AND it’s a huge motivator for purchase (like L’Oreal’s tag line: “It’s more expensive, but I’m worth it.”) Obviously all fashion, cosmetics, car companies, etc. are playing on Esteem, but as you can see from the above examples, any company can meet this need.


When re-branding ourselves – our organizations – we are making a declaration to be free of attachment to the comfort of the known. Free of the comfort of the predictable. We as organisms – be we individuals or organizations – seek stasis; predictability; comfort. The great trap of the human condition is a striving for comfort. As managers we organize work processes to gain as much predictability as possible. We become slaves to our forecasts and plans.

Coloring Your Brand Perception

Brands are defined by the perceptions and experiences that someone has with a company product or service, what it looks like, what it sounds like and how it acts. One element in shaping an image is the use of color. Although color alone does not establish your brand it is one element that effects consumers emotions, behaviors and perceptions in relation to your company, product or service. In designing it is important to pick the right colors for the right effect to help reinforce the brand. A good place to start is to recognize the product or service being advertised, the target market, and the desired reaction and response of the consumer.

Olympic strategy key to branding gold

How companies try to get the most from the Games is a sport all in itself. While some companies pay hundreds of millions of dollars for rights to the rings, marketers say there’s more than one way to play the sponsorship game around the Olympics.

Visa Re-Branding – Life Takes Visa

Visa today unveiled its first new branding direction in 20 years, according to Suzanne Lyons, its executive vice president and chief marketing officer.

The tagline, ending the decades-long reign of “It’s everywhere you want to be,” is “Life takes Visa,” Lyons said. Although the tagline was used in the last couple of years in English-language communications in Latin American countries (actually Visa is using 5 different taglines for 6 different regions of the world – more here), TBWA\Chiat\Day decided to go with it and start promoting it next week during the Winter Olympics Openning ceremony.

The new brand campaign is the latest in a series of milestones marking Visa adapting its brand to its corporate evolution, with recently introduced new governance structure; new brand architecture, including a new logo and a new card design. More about the new branding campaign here: