When NOT to Rebrand?

Simply, when nothing is changing. No need to go through the expense and headache for no reason. The best rebrands are much more than a logo change; the need for the new logo is triggered by a shift in the company’s mindset, culture, and/or products/services.

We’ve obviously been a part of multiple company rebrands, some as the design & marketing team and we’ve even rebranded our own company a few times too. (Its hard being the client & team at the same time.) The first thing I ask when a company inquires about us doing a rebrand is, “Why?” After I usually get a generic response, I like to ask, “Why now? Why not last year or five years from now?” This usually gives me the answers that I need and the reason to rebrand: times are changing and our brand is severely dated, the industry has changed and our name doesn’t apply any more (like Modern Fax), or we’ve finally grown up and ready to do it right. The best answer is that our company has evolved and we’ve created a culture that our brand does not reflect.

Look at the brands around that have changed. Recently JC Penney has evolved to JCP, the home of the fair and square. JCP has changed their entire attitude on pricing, presentation, and service – all good reasons for a rebrand. Do you remember the gastly GAP logo that came out a couple of years ago? Did anything actually change at GAP? No and if it had, the new logo would have stayed. Even in the construction industry, rebrands are all around – same are major shifts from traditional construction to design/build models and some are just shining manure.

What rebrands have you seen that are successful because of a cultural and mindset shift?