Rebranding Essentials - Part 4: Rebranding Mistakes

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Posted Aug 22, 2011
Susan Gunelius

Don’t move forward with your rebranding initiative without familiarizing yourself with the rebranding mistakes you need to avoid. First, go back and read Part 1,  Part 2, and Part 3 of the Rebranding Essentials series. Those posts will help put the mistakes listed below into better perspective so your rebranding is destined for success not failure.

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Are you ready to rebrand? Well, don’t rush forward until you read the rebranding mistakes to avoid listed below.


1. Refusing to let go of the past.

Your brand history is important, but don’t cling so tightly to the past that you can’t embrace the future. If your consumers, competitors, and market are moving forward, you need to move forward too or you might find your brand falling into irrelevancy.

2. Moving forward without researching first.

Don’t assume you know what’s right for your rebranding. The Gap made that mistake when it rolled out a new logo and brand identity which received such widespread backlash from consumers and the media that the company reverted back to its original logo within a week of rolling out the rebranded identity.

gap logo

3. Going it alone.

Getting external input in the form of research, branding expertise, and fresh perspectives is an important part of rebranding. Don’t rely on your thoughts and eyes only.

4. Forgetting about existing brand equity.

tropicana rebranding

Consumers can get very attached to a brand, and your brand might have built-in equity that you’d be better off not losing. Tropicana learned this lesson the hard way when the company rolled out new brand packaging for its popular orange juice that brought a great deal of criticism with it. Consumers viewed the new packaging as too similar to generic brands and resented that the company would tamper with the branded packaging they had come attached to. Tropicana responded by reverting to its original brand packaging within four months of rolling out the rebranded packaging.

5. Allowing decision by committee.

There is a saying, “Too many cooks spoil the broth,” and it applies to rebranding just as much as it applies to cooking. Too often, rebranding is put through the decision by committee process where dozens of people need to approve every step of the rebranding process. The end result is usually a watered-down, ineffective rebranding.

6. Creating a new logo and that’s it.

A new logo is just a part of a rebranding. That new logo must represent something different or why would you bother creating it? Make sure your rebranding effort is more than just a new logo.

7. Forgetting that rebranding costs money.

When you rebrand, you need to factor in research costs, creative costs, training costs, roll-out costs, marketing costs, and more. Remember, even your business cards need to change. Factor in all of those costs to ensure you can afford to do an adequate rebranding before you make any decisions.

8. Launching and walking away.

Creating and launching your rebrand is just the first part of the rebranding process. You need to monitor your brand reputation, brand buzz, brand publicity, and so on to ensure the new brand is appropriately received. You should also conduct follow up research to better understand what works and what might need to be tweaked or better communicated.

Don’t make the rebranding mistakes listed above. They could destroy your efforts. The last thing you want is to have to revert back to your original brand like The Gap and Tropicana had to do. Take the time to do the work up front so your rebranding has the greatest chance for success.

Next up in the Rebranding Essentials series you’ll learn about creating the new brand identity and launching it internally and externally. In the meantime, be sure to read the previous parts of the Rebranding Essentials series by following the links below:

Image: stock.xchng

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