Re-branding rewards!

They say you never get a second chance! Re-branding exercises have been quite the trend with retailers now. And it is all about the second, third or maybe fourth time the brand has re-positioned itself. Let us take a look...
Re-positioning brands

What is in a name? That which we call a rose, by any other name would smell as sweet. Had things been the way Shakespeare felt, Re-branding would never have existed. Despite the fact that a retailer provides more or less the same services after re-branding, moulding your brand in a new way and re-positioning it, is very essential to keep the brand alive in the consumers’ mind. It is not a result of the previous branding being faulty; instead it is, in a sense, a re-affirmation of the brand in a style most conducive to the consumers’ demands.

Re-branding is... 
In plain lingo, Re-branding means exactly what it says. It is essentially giving a brand, a new identity; positioning it in a way that may involve fundamental changes to the brand's logo, its name, image, marketing strategy and advertising themes. The sustenance of a brand in a market depends largely upon customer perception, expectation and memory. The older a brand, the more complacent it can become about its customer-perception, and that seals its fate. In order to remain afresh in the public memory and retain brand-popularity, a re-branding exercise is often undertaken. There are many ways of re-branding; it can involve product re-design, advertising re-design, branding re-design and positioning re-design, mostly depending on the need of the company that is planning the re-branding.

Reasons for re-branding
As mentioned earlier, there can be several reasons why a brand considers re-positioning itself. For some it is to fight off competition, in order to retain relevance and be contemporary. Brands are perpetually in an environment which is competitive, so to thrive well, a re-worked image is always best. For example, Videocon recently announced its new eco-friendly brand identity, keeping in mind the trend of ‘going green’. The new proposition of ‘Experience change’ positions the company as an ‘environmentally-aware’ company, with its logo also under-going a change with a green coloured ‘V’ made of two life-like characters. Brands strive for such a placement that places them at the top-most position in the customers’ mind. So, it becomes essential to keep the customer’s point of view also in mind when re-branding. Alok Gupta, Director, Café Coffee Day, India shares, “Café Coffee Day’s new brand identity has been entirely developed from its in-depth dialogue with customers, coffee lovers and stakeholders, the new change entails an all new ‘smart’ menu, changes in furniture design and placement, new uniforms, cutlery and total café re-branding.” So, it comes as no surprise that Café Coffee Day’s new logo is a squared dialogue box with Café Coffee Day written in it. National brands such as Godrej, Shoppers Stop and CEAT have also undertaken re-branding initiatives and given their logos a corporate make over. This, at times, affects the loyal customer in engaging with the brand, but brands that employ re-branding conduct large-scale initiatives for its promotion. To promote re-positioning, companies undertake world-wide marketing initiatives and promotional campaigns involving a wide range of media. This is done to change customer-perception, and to turn it in favour of the brand. Ajay Saini, COO, Yo! China adds, “Change, although is never liked by people, but it is the brand’s responsibility to make rebranding so seamless, yet through-and-through that the customer does not feel cheated at having to pay more. This was exactly what we at Yo! China did; right from the entrance, to the ambience, the service and the cuisine, everything was re-worked, but the soul was unchanged, the Yo! warmth was intact.”

Keep in mind
It should not take a catastrophe for a brand to realise that it is time to re-brand. Many a times, brands, in order to distance themselves from a negative connotation, re-vamp their entire marketing strategy, logo, theme colours and philosophy. This may not always be wise, as it may take a long time for the brand to regain its older (lost) popularity. By then, other brands would have moved in and made their place in the customer’s heart. Sometimes loss making outlets have to be re-worked to make them financially viable again; this can be achieved by efficient re-branding. This trend was seen lately when Indiabulls Retail, rebranded its loss-making lifestyle stores, Indiabulls Megastore, as Store One, for the second time in a bid to garner more sales and footfalls.

The competitive framework of market trends never remains the same. Industry players have to be smart enough to gauge these changes and suitably place their brand to earn profits. Retailers must ensure they do not fall into the trap of complacency and be lethargic about re-branding.
 

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