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Large corporations and small private firms carefully build an appearance and create a unique image in the eyes of consumers and partners. Thanks to ordering an individual corporate style, many companies can create a unique and one-of-a-kind image, which is associated with customers and partners only with this company for years to come.

Well-designed style and branding help to develop a business and attract the target audience by creating a positive image in their eyes. Firms with a unique image and style are trusted, their owners are eager to cooperate and are not afraid to buy goods. Most customers and partners remain with such companies for many years.

Often there are situations when a client gets used to a company’s image, but one day finds out that such a company no longer exists. The company still exists, it just completely changed its corporate style, from the design of the logo to the corporate colors and attributes. Such a process is called rebranding.

What is rebranding?

Rebranding is a set of actions aimed at completely changing the brand or its elements. Such elements may be the name and logo of the company, as well as colors or fonts. In both cases, the company’s ideology, appearance, and internal processes are expected to change.

In order not to shock customers and not to lose loyal customers and partners, this process must be approached with great responsibility. The competent marketing strategy will help the company to expand the geography of cooperation, increase customer loyalty and create a new image.

If it is necessary to change the image of the company, it is important to first identify the needs of the target audience and find what might have repelled them before. It is not necessary to change all elements of corporate identity. It is possible that the company’s logo was appealing to the audience and was fully in line with their preferences. In such cases, the effective element of the corporate identity is left unchanged. Why do businesses change their corporate identity and image? Here are a few of the most common reasons:

  • finding a new audience;
  • matching changes in the market;
  • strengthening the position of the brand;
  • change of products or services;
  • competition between producers in the same niche;
  • changes in the management team of the company.

The main stages of the rebranding process include primary analytics and marketing audit, repositioning, brand style changes, and getting feedback from the audience.

Why do you need to rebrand?

Most businesses face the problem of declining commercial activity and competitiveness. In this case, several measures are taken to eliminate such a serious problem and to bring the enterprise to its previous position. Changing the style and image in such cases is one of the first and main measures that business owners resort to.

There can be quite a lot of reasons to change the company’s image. To understand the meaning and benefit of this process, it is necessary to examine in more detail the goals with which rebranding is most often carried out:

  1. Going International. When a corporation starts operating internationally, it simply needs a rebranding. The new image must be adapted to the needs of new customers and partners.
  2. Changes in the products or services sold. The addition or removal of important items from the product catalog is reflected in the concept of the company, and therefore in its corporate identity.
  3. Change of price categories. In cases where the value of the products greatly increases or decreases, the target audience also changes. The company’s image must match the new consumers.
  4. Business mergers. When large corporations merge, they need a new joint image and corporate identity.
  5. Reputation management. Many companies have to change corporate identity and all corporate attributes when their reputation in the eyes of the audience has been damaged.
  6. Changing the target audience. Changing the target audience or its age group is necessary to change the concept of business.

Goals and objectives

The task of the marketing or PR departments of large companies is to study audience preferences, specifics, interests, and changes on an ongoing basis. It is also important to keep track of the interests of the company’s partners and changes in its competitors. With the help of constant analytics, it is possible to correctly allocate marketing resources and build a successful development model for the company.
To set a competent goal, with which the company’s image will be changed, it is necessary to study carefully its niche, specifics of activity, stage of development, scale, consumers, and partners. Only a thorough analysis of all this data will help to find solutions for an outdated business or a company facing problems.

The main goals of the rebranding are these:

  • updating the company’s image and developing a unique brand concept;
  • increase in income of the enterprise;
  • consolidation of positions in the market;
  • adaptation to future changes in the market;
  • increasing the competitiveness of the company.

If you set your goals correctly, you can identify key targets for a change of image:

  • development of new areas in the market,
  • expansion of the client and partner base,
  • renewal of the company’s image in the eyes of consumers,
  • improvement of brand recognition,
  • bringing the company to a new level of competitiveness,
  • attraction and retention of old clients,
  • creating a competent product concept that meets the criteria of the market and the needs of the audience.

Types of rebranding

When choosing the type of rebranding, it is necessary to rely on the main end goal of the rebranding. There are two types of rebranding: comprehensive and partial.
When an enterprise needs to develop a corporate style with a completely new concept and elements, specialists carry out a complex (full) rebranding. This changes both the overall brand concept and all brand elements of the company. Consumers who missed the news about the changes in the company may think that it no longer exists, as the new brand may be radically different from the previous one.
It is important to understand that the concept of rebranding includes not only changes in the external appearance of the firm but also its internal structure and design. The changes affect corporate ethics, the company’s logo, its pricing, and the market segment in which it has represented or will represent its goods. All these changes are made with one ultimate goal in mind: to increase sales and expand the geographic reach of the company.
The concept of partial rebranding implies the change of individual image elements of the firm. As a rule, in such cases, an irrelevant logo or package of goods is replaced. With the help of a new well-developed design, it is possible to attract the attention of a new audience and arouse the interest of old customers.

Rebranding steps

The process of changing a company’s image can have many stages. But traditionally rebranding for companies in need of change consists of four main stages:

  1. Primary audit. At this stage, specialists analyze the company, its sphere of activity, competitors, and target audience. This is done to identify the strengths and weaknesses. Special attention is paid to the analysis of the effectiveness of the company’s slogans and logo, and consumer reactions to these elements of corporate identity.
  2. Brand repositioning.  The second stage implies the creation of a new concept for the brand. All the work is directed at the development of a new brand and its value for consumers. Obligatory actions at this stage are also testing the new brand for its compliance with the needs and interests of consumers.
  3. Corporate identity development. Once the new concept is successfully applied during testing, it is put into practice. Specialists change both the company’s image and all of its corporate elements. Communication with the audience is also based on a new model.
  4. Interaction with the audience. At an early stage of the introduction of a new brand, it is important to assess and test its effectiveness in interacting with consumers once again. To do this, analytics, surveys and tests are conducted.

Reasons to give up the old logo

Changing this corporate element costs companies a large sum of money. There have been cases where large corporations have paid millions and even billions of dollars for the development of a new logo. Of course, owners of medium and small businesses can not afford such expensive services.

Changing the logo, some firms delayed to the last. However, in several situations changing this important marketing tool is a must-have:

  • Initially, a low-quality logo. If in the early stages of the firm saved money to create a corporate identity, it is possible that a poor-quality logo could have been developed. There are cases when company owners themselves are engaged in elaboration. And they, of course, do not manage to do it in the way that professional marketers and designers could have done it.
  • The incompatibility of the values of the company. This happens when the company is rapidly growing, gaining momentum, new customers, and partners. The old logo is losing its relevance.
  • The lack of relevance to the needs of the audience. Changing the logo is carried out not only because of the growth of companies but also depending on the interests and needs of the target audience. The appearance of the company should correspond to the specifics of the audience for which its goods or services are intended.
  • The need to attract attention. When interest in the company disappears, its owners seek to change the old image. The logo in this case is a key element to attract the attention of consumers.
  • Problems with registration and application. In cases where there are problems with the registration of the logo, it is better to abandon it in favor of a new one. This will help avoid a lot of problems that the company may have.
  • The need to stand out from competitors. With a well-designed and eye-catching logo, it is possible to stand out from competitors and even entice their audience.
  • Need for renovation. The most successful global companies update their logo about once every ten years. This helps them not to lose relevance and interest from the audience.
  • The absence of the possibility of using the logo on new devices. Logos of modern companies should be compact and fit into small icon windows and app squares.
  • The logo triggers the wrong associations. A poorly designed logo can cause people to have the wrong associations. That’s why it’s so important to get feedback from your audience, especially when it comes to company image.

Examples of a failed rebrand

The examples of unsuccessful branding of well-known companies can be used to learn to avoid making big mistakes, which will cost the company a lot of money. The well-known Coca-Cola also went through a similar experience. The corporation also had a difficult time changing its image, which ended unsuccessfully. The new logo was not recognized by the public, and the company began to lose profits. As a result, it was decided to return the old logo and style as a matter of priority.

A more striking example of an unsuccessful image change was the juice company Tropicana. The owners of the company approved a dramatic change in the packaging for the juice produced at their company. As a result, not only did consumers not accept the new packaging, but they went to the company’s direct competitor. When customers could not find the familiar Tropicana packaging on the shelves, they simply took the juice of another producer. As a result, the producer wasted millions on the development of new packaging and lost profits from sales and loyal customers, who went to a competitor. Not surprisingly, the decision was made to return the old packaging.

Examples of successful rebranding

Great examples of competent rebranding could be such large corporations as the fast-food restaurant KFC and the Russian airline Siberia. The former released a new menu with products in individual packages, which increased consumer demand and the company’s image.
People associated the airline “Siberia” only with transportation in the Urals and northern Asia. Therefore a decision was made to change not only the logo but also the name of the airline. Now it is the popular and well-known “S7 Airlines”.

Should I change the logo or not?

If your company has one or more of the reasons listed above for changing your logo, it’s time to think about replacing it. But first, gather analytical data and check the effectiveness of the old logo. It’s possible that the need and interest in an update are only on your part and not on the part of your target audience. In this case, it is better to postpone the change.

If your business is losing relevance and consumer interest, it’s worth rebranding. To protect yourself from losing profits and audience, we advise you to order a rebranding service in our Digital Agency, where experienced professionals will be able to conduct a competent marketing audit. For this purpose, a portrait of the target audience will be made, its needs will be identified and new image elements will be developed that will help to open a “second breath” for your business.