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When to Consider Company or Product Rebranding


When companies look at rebranding, they may be doing so for a number of reasons. Rebranding relates to a marketing strategy or brand positioning strategy in many different ways, according to the unique environment of a particular business. It can be a desperate gambit or simply a routine way to expand a business. Here are some of the scenarios where a company looks at rebranding their products or their entire business.

Fixing a Bad Reputation and Other Kinds of Damage Control

One kind of situation where a business might consider rebranding partially or totally is when bad public relations has caused a negative image of the company in the general consumer market, or in their target audience. Another similar situation is when a product loses its appeal to consumers, where rebranding a product (sometimes as part of launching a new product line) can help. Business management professionals sometimes speculate on the rebranding of some of the traditional "big tobacco" companies, suggesting that this is a possible case where rebranding could help to improve the image of a business. In these damage control situations, rebranding often goes along with other public relations efforts.

Jazzing up the Image of a Company

There are lots of situations where rebranding is done simply to provide a catchier name, and to get more visibility for a company and its products. If a company is still saddled with an image it had as a start up, and limited in potential by its name, slogan or other traditional attributes, rebranding can be a way to deliver a new sharper image to customers. Some marketers think of this process as a kind of trial and error, where companies find their best image through painstaking research and effort.

Forced Rebranding: Bankruptcies and Other Issues

Large companies are sometimes forced to rebrand as a result of bankruptcy, where financial law requires that the party unable to repay debts has to disband. In other rebranding situations, smaller companies may have to rework their name, logo, etc. based on copyright issues.

Reflecting New Management

There are also many cases, particularly with small businesses, where a rebranding such as a name change is simply a way to reflect new management. When there is a changing of the guard, there will often be new staff, new policies, a new way of doing things in general. Rebranding can help accommodate those differences.

The above shows that rebranding is done for both proactive and defensive reasons. There are a lot of different issues each specific kind of rebranding. Defensive rebranding often includes attention to diverting a public audience, where proactive rebranding is something with a frequently positive association, where business leaders are free to expand their definitions of a successful operation.

Those businesses that want to profit from rebranding or a different brand positioning strategy can start with a frank evaluation of their current scenario, then use brainstorming sessions to come up with a series of alternatives that they can use to chart the future  of the enterprise toward a new beginning.

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