It only takes 10 seconds to form a first impression, so you best make them count. If your brand no longer says how brilliantly special and current you are, maybe it’s time for a branding glow-up? We look to the ten best rebranding examples to date for inspiration and work out exactly what it takes to pull it off.
But first, branding—tell me more
Branding is more than just a sticker or a sign outside your shop. It is a culmination of your mission and vision, promise to your consumers and your reputation as a company, communicated on multiple channels.
Through rebranding, you can create a stronger identity to establish yourself in the market. Little wonder why it’s also implemented by other entities, including influencers, celebrities and places.
5 signs you’re in desperate need of a rebrand
There is no quota on how many times a company can rebrand. But rebranding has many benefits that entice businesses, like increasing brand engagement, sales growth, and higher customer satisfaction.
While anyone can rebrand for multiple reasons, below are the top reasons that compel a business to do so.
Your current identity is not reflective of your business.
You have your product, services, goals, team and operations down to a tee. But defining what you do and your goals within a single identity can be tricky. If your business is at the stage of naming a brand, gloss over our helpful how-to guide.
Most startups will have a placeholder brand name just to get the wheels rolling. But your identity is an integral part of your business that builds trust and loyalty among your audience.
Imagine if Google stood by their old name, BackRub, or if Pepsi is still called Brad’s Drink. Without a cohesive and impactful brand, people will have difficulty recognizing your brand.
You want to set yourself apart from the competition.
With continuous innovation, industries like food and beverage (F&B) can get saturated fast. You might wake up one day and see that what you offer is suddenly available from 20 other brands. This means you have to continually refresh and redevelop to stay the best at what you do.
Differentiate your strengths as a brand and own the industry. Communicate these internally just as much as you do externally to make sure your nearest and dearest are on board. Rebranding is beyond just visuals. You should also overhaul some aspects of your organization to voice one message as needed.
You are tapping a new market.
Every market is different, and this can be difficult as your demographic ages. A fast-food store, for example, will encounter every generation at some point and will need to change tactics.
Millennials dislike ads, but Gen Z’s hate them and celebrities even more. Most of Gen Z’s value authenticity and sustainability, putting a lot of pressure on brands. Thus, tapping a new market requires you to walk the talk in a language your audience will understand. Strengthen your core audience by staying current with your messaging.
You have undergone a merger or an acquisition.
Rebranding following a merger is inevitable. But according to Harvard Business Review, as high as 90% of mergers and acquisitions fail because the companies involved cannot get along. A lot of uncertainty also abounds following a merger or acquisition. Loyal customers worry if they will get better services or not. The teams feel insecure in a new environment.
Unifying brands by strengthening relationships internally and externally should be the goal of your rebranding efforts. To do this, it helps to get a full view of the situation, play on the strengths of each brand and prioritize your key customers at all times.
Successful B2C brand relaunch examples
Nothing is certain in the world of business. A myriad of channels and new concepts opens doors for competition to flood in at any moment. For this reason, businesses—big and small—need to adapt, be consistent with their key messages and stay true to their brand identity.
Read on as we learn the ins and outs of successful B2C brand relaunches.
Tupperware empowers women in their revamp
For almost a century, Tupperware has made a mark in kitchens worldwide through its top-quality kitchen and household products. They are also known for creating employment opportunities for women since the early ’50s when they began hiring homemakers as direct sellers.
In fact, it is because of this initiative that Tupperware became a household name. It’s now one of the top multi-level marketing (MLM) companies, meaning its associates or independent distributors hire their own sellers and earn a percentage of their sales.
But what went wrong for Tupperware that encouraged them to rebrand? Their public image as a retro homemaker’s kitchen essential becoming out-of-date and unappealing to the modern audience. This, along with poor engagement across social channels, widened the gap between brand and consumer.
Modernizing their longstanding company values, Tupperware launched the Confidence Becomes You rebranding campaign with the aim to solidify their mission. This focused around the individual stories of people, particularly women, who’d used Tupperware as an opportunity to become financially independent by selling their kitchenware.
The campaign reinforced the brand trust and confidence among Tupperware’s consumers and sales force. Alongside the campaign, Tupperware shook up its visual identity to appeal to a contemporary audience. This included condensing their color palette to invoke a minimal aesthetic.
Giraffe serves the world on a plate
Giraffe is a family restaurant chain that’s headquartered in the UK and has dozens of branches worldwide, promising to bring local flavors to its tables.
In the fast-paced food industry, Giraffe was experiencing great difficulty maintaining its market share before taking on a rebrand. While its daytime reservations were mostly filled with families, the restaurant brand wanted to add variety to their evening dinners by tapping into millennials hungry for new experiences.
Ragged Edge, their agency partner, drew inspiration from the original vision of the company’s first owners: to be present in different countries and bring the best local flavors to the table. But with a twist. They combined delectable favorites from various parts of the world into one menu. Thus, adding “World Restaurant” to the name made sense along with the new brand promise: for its audience to taste a whole new world.
The new logo shifted to capitalized letters, signifying a big change. All visuals were inspired by everything travel-related. Promotional pamphlets were turned into postcards and the company typeface now mimics hand-painted signages in small independent restaurants to lose connotations of a generic or “chain” restaurant.
The colors used on the restaurant walls and on print were inspired by exotic spices like chili red and turmeric yellow. Vibrant and intriguing, all the collaterals encourage people to “meet the world for dinner,” or brunch.
Finally, they made sure that the brand voice is seamless with the interiors. With a rustic and industrial design as a base, Turkish lamps can be found hanging from the ceiling. Walls are adorned with murals and mementos, like Japanese posters and tribal patterns.
These changes have made the restaurant Instagram friendly, appealing to a young and adventurous audience.
Businesses are influenced by the demands of clients or current trends, but playing it too safe also prevents you from reaching your full potential. In the case of Giraffe World Restaurant, rebranding allowed them to be fearless in bringing a refreshing and interesting take on their brand.
Energizer switches to bright packaging
Energizer has been manufacturing batteries since the 1890s, but with their long streak of success in the business, they still make an effort to stay relevant. And maybe that’s the secret to the company’s long life.
Despite their reputation as one of the most reliable longest-lasting batteries in the market, they knew this wasn’t enough to stand out against competitors.
Noticing that most battery brands like Panasonic and Rayovac follow a red, black and copper motif, Energizer decided to go the other route. Vibrant colors like red, blue and green contrast against the white background of their packaging. The design change made Energizer batteries easily visible in the sea of dark-colored batteries.
Of course, who can forget the silly-looking pink rabbit, Mr. Energizer, who’s “still going!” From being a small icon on Energizer packaging, a larger Mr. Energizer has taken the spotlight on all their branding efforts.
The rebranding of Energizer is a reminder that even established brands cannot be complacent. Strive to connect with your audience and develop your brand to keep you going and going.
Moonpig lifts off without the pig
Moonpig is an online-based company selling personalized gift cards and other gift items. Staying true to their brand icon, which is a floating pig head wearing a spacesuit, Moonpig produces attention-grabbing and unconventional gift cards.
After 17 long years in the greeting cards market, Moonpig decided to retire their old look and open an exciting new chapter.
The Moonpig has landed! He landed, retired and found a partner, as seen in the Moonpig’s Hogumentary. And with that follows a new identity where, according to their brand guideline: “Boring is banished, obvious is avoided, and we all live a little lighter.”
The biggest change in their rebrand is the removal of the pig that many grew fond of. Only the company name, Moonpig, without the “.com,” remained in their efforts to have a modern minimalist design.
The new logo uses a special typeface available in various weights. The main weight (or weightless) type is Moonpig Lift-off, where the texts seem to float and wobble.
Their primary colors are vibrant pink, mint green and yellow. These fun colors are well-balanced in every design output, preventing a visual clashing of hues.
Despite the removal of the well-loved pig, Moonpig managed to stay fun, quirky and exciting with their new brand direction. But to be more relatable, Moonpig showcased a new set of adorable animated piglets in some of their collateral, four years after their rebrand. These piglets represent the warm feeling you get when you receive a greeting card.
Airbnb is more than just a cheap hotel alternative
What started as a simple lodging business ballooned into a giant online vacation rental marketplace that disrupted the hotel industry. Through Airbnb, tourists can travel and live like locals.
Despite the convenience they offered to hosts and guests, Airbnb was only seen as a cheaper option to hotels. A year after their global launch in 2012, they garnered a 200,000 increase in listings. But to maintain their market hold, they needed to grow their brand with a more elevated customer experience targeted towards millennials.
Airbnb prides itself on being one of the largest platforms for local homeowners to open their doors to tourists and deliver an authentic traveling experience. First in their rebranding efforts was the logo being replaced by what is dubbed, the Bélo.
The Bélo, from the word “belong,” combines universal symbols for people, place, love and Airbnb. It signifies the creation of a community where you can feel a sense of belongingness through shared traveling experiences. This message was consistently voiced via video content and testaments shared on social media, blogs and other platforms.
But the brand hit a bump when critics pointed out how the logo was similar to Automation Anywhere and Azuma Drive-in logos. Some even said the logo looked like a woman’s genitalia. Automation Anywhere addressed it as a mere coincidence and a nonissue, since they were changing their logo themselves.
The lesson: With thousands of logos created everywhere, it is not impossible to have identical designs. Run logo research in your industry, double-check with the patents department or your lawyer to avoid this problem. Not all brands can be as forgiving as Automation Anywhere and trademark infringement can also affect your credibility.
The old website of Airbnb banked on a friendly but simple layout that is easy to customize when hosts advertise their rentals. With the new website, the design goal was to not just sell rooms but to tell a story.
The website’s user interface was elevated by integrating captivating high-quality photos of rentals, local attractions and what the local culture is like. Highlighted contents were neatly arranged, and the menu, CTAs and social links were easy to find.
Airbnb goes above and beyond by offering its users a wide array of references related to becoming a host, interactive activities like cooking and making arts and outdoor destinations. Finally, enabling feedback to be posted in real-time helped the company and its users weed out low-rating properties.
The campaign was successful in redefining the brand globally. From only three guests in 2007, Airbnb has welcomed over 900 million guests to date, 60% of whom were millennials.
Origo brews unique artisanal coffee
In the predominantly tea-drinking society of China, there is a growing demand for coffee. This is evident with China’s coffee drinkers reaching 24% of the population.
But along this demand is the emerging interest in different variations of homegrown coffee, aside from instant coffee. Origo, a local coffee shop in China, took this as an opportunity to offer local specialty coffee.
Their goal of establishing a new standard among Chinese coffee consumers through artisanal coffee was not reflected in their brand design. They needed something more modern, sophisticated yet authentically Chinese to set them apart from popular foreign brands.
Origo showcased how they craft their coffee like a true artisan in their visuals, from sourcing to grinding and brewing. According to MetaDesign, their creative agency partner, “the design concept ‘Moved by Coffee’ was inspired by the circular motion observed in each step of the coffee process—from the shapes of the berries to the circular grinding of the beans, down to the final swirl through the filter and into the cup.”
The old logo used a classic typeface in gold with a plain black background that failed to attract customers seeking a luxurious experience. This was replaced with a more sophisticated and modern calligraphic sans serif typeface in amber gold and is backdropped against a textured rich mountain blue color.
They also gave a nod to their Chinese roots by incorporating a gong bi-inspired illustration of a bird feeding on coffee beans. The “Moved by Coffee” design concept was implemented on their website, employee uniforms and packaging.
As reported by MetaDesign, the coffee pre-orders during the soft launch exceeded their expectations, thus, increasing the demand for coffee roastings.
Kia finds its own identity
Kia, the first-ever Korean passenger car manufacturer to reach the global market, had suffered from bankruptcy in 1997. Hyundai, another Korean car manufacturer, came to the rescue and Kia has been under its umbrella for 23 years.
Joined at the hip, Kia was overshadowed by Hyundai. Since they have the same automobile designer and the car features and options they offer can be quite similar. This means they were targeting the same market on the same platforms as well.
With a new brand direction of tapping the electric vehicles (EV) segment, Kia is ready to break ground with an edgier and more modern look. This is clear in their latest releases of Seltos, Carnival/Sedona, Sorento Hybrid and the award-winning Telluride.
Kia Motors is now known only as Kia, dropping “motors” to define its goal of creating mobility solutions beyond cars. This is matched with a new slogan, “Movement That Inspires,” which signals the brand’s commitment to inspire people through their product innovation and services.
The logo has also seen a dramatic change, with the oval around the logo being omitted to remove boundaries. KIA was also written like a signature to evoke a more personal touch. Although their new logo drew flak as some read it as KN (with an inverted N) instead of KIA, everyone agrees it is still better and more futuristic than the old one.
Their classic brand colors, red and white, have taken a step back to make way for a bolder and edgier black and white—although red will still be used in other branding materials to acknowledge their history.
The rebranding exercise has just begun as part of their long-term strategic plan called “Plan-S” for their business expansion. Kia’s Plan-S is a complete overhaul to reposition themselves as a leader in the future automotive industry through their EV and PBV (purpose-built vehicle) solutions.
Examples of successful B2B rebranding strategies
B2B companies are notorious for being bland and boring. The products and services are filled with technical jargon that fails to capture the interest of many. But according to a survey done by Motista, the majority of B2B consumers are more emotionally connected to their B2B partners than consumers of B2Cs; therein lies the challenge and motivation behind a rebrand.
Siemens, a brand beyond mobile phones
Siemens, a multinational conglomerate, has long been recognized by one of their companies, Siemens Mobile. Siemens Mobile was known for producing phones alongside Nokia since the ‘80s. Because of its popularity at the time, Siemens as a whole became equated with the mobile company, overshadowing the other companies under its wing.
With the advent of Android smartphones, the mobile company closed in 2005. But this didn’t stop people from relating Siemens to their mobile brand.
Currently, Siemens encompasses three major areas that are intrinsic in improving the daily lives of people. These are Future of Manufacturing, Sustainable Energy and Intelligent Infrastructure. Among their initiatives was to provide electricity to 30,000 homes in Saudi Arabia’s urban housing project.
They help countries have access to sustainable energy through hydropower, solar power and biomass power, to name a few. Another branch of their company is Siemens Healthineers, where they create medical equipment and devices that help advance and transform the medical field for the better.
Amid these remarkable contributions to society, the challenge was how to humanize Siemens and detach its image from the already-defunct Siemens Mobile.
Siemens launched the “Ingenuity for life” campaign, which was later added to their logo. As explained by the then-President and CEO, Joe Kaeser, “For me, ‘ingenuity’ means engineering expertise, entrepreneurial spirit, the power of innovation, and the willingness to give our best for society on a daily basis.”
With the rebrand, they still used their corporate colors but with a twist, turning to electric blue and edgy portraits in their print ads and other collateral. They didn’t stop there. Aside from visuals, they also executed an audio rebranding.
Audio branding is the use of sound to leave a memorable imprint on people when they hear it. Think Netflix’s opening sound, McDonald’s “I’m lovin’ it” or Samsung’s startup sound. Within three seconds, people can tell which brand the sound belongs to.
Siemens added a female voice to their sound to connect with a more inclusive audience. They produced several versions for presentations, documentaries and ambient sound in company lobbies, which sure sounds nice, but what was the reason behind this?
When strategically done, using sound or a jingle can boost brand recall by as much as 46%. Younger consumers also relate better to sound. With over 300 million owners of smart speakers, audio branding can have a huge impact with a wide market reach.
Mailchimp is expanding outside the mailroom
Mailchimp has been a handy email marketing automation tool for many startups. It is a one-stop platform with features from audience segmentation to email layout and design and automated mail-outs.
Over the years, they have grown beyond providing email services. They also added customizable websites and stores, marketing CRM tools, and insights and analytics tools. This growth resulted in disjointed branding as each branch did its own thing.
The rebranding goal of Mailchimp was to unify all its products and services and become a go-to digital marketing platform. Among the first changes was the use of a lowercase “c” in their name. MailChimp originally meant a chimp that delivers mail, but the name was limiting its transformation as a holistic digital marketing platform. Hence the new name, Mailchimp.
Another change in their website can be seen on their feature page. Instead of enumerating their unique features, they presented the benefits they can bring to users minus the complicated jargon. Mailchimp simplifies the concepts and tools they discuss and offer by using illustrations like in storybooks. For such a technical subject, it’s a particularly accessible approach and—guess what—gives them a much wider audience.
From their brand name to their charming mascot, Freddie the monkey, the playfulness in every element is clearly integrated with the brand. Even their primary brand color, Cavendish yellow, evokes an energetic vibe. Finally, they used a customized typeface, Means, that is versatile for any content, formal or informal. Having a bespoke typeface design is one way to make your brand easily identifiable.
McKinsey reaffirms commitment to their partners
McKinsey is one of the most recognized consulting firms, providing their functional expertise to analyze and strategize with their clients. They cover several industries, like advanced electronics, oil and gas, retail and real estate.
But in recent years, they have gone beyond the papers by implementing these strategies to help their clients reach optimum success.
For their rebranding, they created a well-defined corporate identity. High contrast was shown in their colors, typeface and partnership mark. The partnership mark serves as a trope for their relationship with their clients.
These elements, when combined, are subtle yet powerful in conveying how the company has transformed in recent years. With a unique photographic styling that will hopefully be identifiable to McKinsey as time passes, they use monochromatic photos with a tinge of blue in all their visuals.
Reflective of their excellence in the industry, their new visual identity is clear, authoritative, elevated yet connected to the past and solidifies their commitment to their partners.
Design tips for a successful rebranding
As evidenced by the successful campaigns above, rebranding plays a vital role as your business evolves. To further achieve your brand goals, below are some helpful design tips to remember when rebranding.
1. Each design element needs to make sense. Design is a visual language, and like other languages, a string of characters sends a message. Every stroke, form, shape and color can persuade and evoke emotions from those who see it.
2. Rebranding goes beyond modifying your logo. When reinventing your brand, take a holistic approach and consider your other communication tools like your website, print materials and social media. Most importantly, take rebranding as an opportunity to tell a new and better story that your audience can connect to. This brings us to our next design tip.
3. Make your brand designs relatable. In the world of art, every work can be interpreted in many ways. But in branding, the meaning of your visual designs should be easy to grasp by your audience. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you can’t have fun. Personal touch and character can go a long way when incorporated correctly. For a better understanding of how you can communicate your brand, start by polishing off your brand persona.
4. Rebranding doesn’t always mean a design reboot. While changing your design sends a powerful message of your brand evolving, a total reboot may alienate your existing audience. Your loyal customers are drawn to you for a reason so try to include the design elements that worked previously when reinventing your style. For instance, Tropicana, a leading juice brand, had its sales plummet after redesigning its packaging. Put simply, if it’s not broken, don’t fix it.
The Bottom Line
Rebranding is not an easy venture, but it can also be a powerful move that can catapult your business to success. Before doing so, fully assess your business for improvements. Make sure that you are clear with your new direction and invest in your brand design.