When Rebranding Works

Image courtesy of studiorokit.com

Look at the companies you grew up with as a child. Are they similar today? Many of them have probably changed over the past few decades. This is often due to rebranding efforts made by companies to change their brand’s position in consumers’ minds. Many companies have tried to change their image, and failed. However, some companies have successfully rebranded, helping them to be revered by consumers.

Old Spice
Old Spice has historically been viewed as your grandfather’s deodorant, but the brand wanted to appeal to younger audiences. A few years ago, the deodorant brand hired on Isaiah Mustafa as a spokesperson in an attempt to rebrand the company. The upgraded commercials featuring Isaiah were released on TV and on the Internet in 2010. After their release, Old Spice has seen increased success. The hilarious commercials portrayed Isaiah as the epitome of a manly man, traveling through a stereotypical female fantasy. During the commercial, Isaiah says things like “Look at your man, now back at me,” and “I’m on a horse,” which spread virally across Social Media platforms.

Because of the creative commercials and the use of Social Media as a form of marketing, Old Spice was able to successfully rebrand their image. This gave Old Spice a fresh identity and allowed for the brand to be positioned in a more promising demographic, with younger generations.

Apple, Inc.
Apple products have shaped the way we conduct much of our technology related activities. However, what many people may not know is that Apple was nearing bankruptcy in the late 90s. Many of their computers like their old iMac, were not very successful. In fact, PC computers had a hold on over 95% of the world market. Steve Jobs, the iconic CEO of Apple, was hired back in to the tech company, and was widely seen as the driving force behind Apple’s amazing transformation.

With the turn of the century, we started to see new and creative products by Apple. Their product designs became very thin and simple, seeming almost futuristic. When Apple had released their iPod music player along with the iTunes music store, they suddenly became relevant in the eyes of consumers again. Their music playing product became so popular that consumers began to call all MP3 players “iPods” even though most MP3 players at the time had no relation to Apple. Their iMac computers and MacBook laptops became popular throughout the creative community as well.

Apple became even more powerful in 2007 when they introduced the Apple iPhone to the world. Within a few short years, the iPhone became the most used smart phone model, and their mobile operating system became the second most used mobile operating system worldwide.  Apple’s success did not end there. In Spring of 2010, Apple released the iPad, which has also proved to be a massive success.

Apple’s rebranding efforts over the past few decades have been supported by the Apple stores opening like wild fire across the United States. Everything from Apple’s website, to their store, and ultimately to their products, worked in tandem to help rebrand Apple and establish themselves as a leader in innovative technology. To gain a fiscal perspective on Apple’s rebranding success, their stock has grown from less than $10 per share, to over $700 per share in just over a decade.

Pabst Blue Ribbon
Pabst Blue Ribbon is sold at a relatively low price in the United States. Because of its low price, it has become a staple for young adults and college parties. The cheap beer is also not considered to have a high quality taste. Most beer connoisseurs out there won’t even associate with the beer brand because of its positioning in the beer industry. In contrast, the beer is considered to be of high quality in China.

There is more alcohol consumption in China than any other country around the world, which makes the country a high priority for many beer brands. Pabst has labeled their beer in China “Blue Ribbon 1844,” to separate the beer’s image from the American version. They have also created a fancy bottle with unique labels to make the beer appear as a higher quality product. Their beer now sells for over $40 in China. The Milwaukee based company may be positioned as a cheaper drink in the United States, but in China, their rebranding efforts have clearly paid off.

Rebranding can be a daunting task, especially considering that audiences already have brands positioned in their mind. However, a proper rebranding strategy can benefit a brand significantly.


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