The name game!

Retailers are following the rebranding strategy to revive their stores
Store One

Indiabulls Retail recently embraced rebranding their loss making lifestyle stores, Indiabulls Megastore as Store One. This is the second time the retail house has opted for rebranding activities. The objective is to boost up sales and ignite footfalls. The strategy is old and invites some questions into its working!

Reasons for rebranding
For Indiabulls, the reason for rebranding is to scale up their sales activities and to organise their loss making stores. The company has taken a bunch of fashion designers such as Manoviraj Khosla, Ritu Kumar, Monisha Bajaj to fulfil their rebranding mission, which includes designing the visual merchandise, layouts and logos of the brand and so on. Commenting on the issue, Store One’s Chief Executive, Anil Lepps shares, "We want to give a very strong lifestyle feel to it and sell merchandise of fast fashion at Store One stores. We will aggressively resposition itself as aspirational product.” He further adds, “The rebranding exercise was to reconfigure our brand, it is to align our corporate strategy with brand strategy. We wanted to have a very open ended name, earlier the name was not very right for lifestyle products.”  
Even one can opt for rebranding exercise not merely to scale up the sales volume. For instance, Shoppers Stop, in April 2008 rebranded their logo and changed their catch line from 'Shopping and Beyond' to 'Start Something New'. For them the reason is to reposition the brand as a 'bridge to luxury' as opposed to its earlier image of a premium retailer. Commenting on the change, B.S. Nagesh, Vice Chairman, Shoppers Stop then said, “Change is essential. Our consumers are changing, their preferences are constantly evolving. They are getting younger.”

Expected returns of rebranding
Rebranding creates buzz amongst its consumers to come and explore the new thing infused in their old and known brand. It creates some surprises, brings new excitement and novelty which catches the eyeball of its target group increasing traffic in the store. Lepps expects, “The rebranding strategy will give new look, feel and ambiance to the consumers.”

On the flip side
A coin has two sides and so has a rebranding strategy. However, rebranding should be a positive evolution and not a desperate revolution. Rebranding should give this message that the value of the brand remains same with signalling a change in its direction.

Rebranding is well accepted business strategy in retail if it’s done with correct measures. It may cause loosing out of loyal consumers also. Too many changes in a retail brand may confuse a consumer and he may not get what he used to get from the brand earlier. The familiarity factor may disappear which will eventually bring disaster for the retail brand. 


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