Rebranding: The New Norm

By: Paige Leonahardt

In a time when consumers are inundated with information and products constantly, remaining up-to-date with the modern world is the best way to grow success. An article in AdAge, Why Rebrands Are All The Rage, reviews the trend that big companies are jumping on board with the strategy of rebranding. One of the most relevant rebranding success stories is told through the company MailChimp. Mailchimp, once known for their convenient email services, has grown greatly since its genesis. After partnering with agency Droga5, the brand was thrown into the mainstream public with acquisitions and inventive digital wordplay. In a little over four years with Droga5’s strategies in place, the brand grew to more than half a billion dollars in annual revenue.

            The rebranding decision took force in 2018 when Mailchimp was preparing to relaunch with full-service marketing services, a departure from their singular focus on their mail services. They were anticipating a redesign of its identity. Some small changes that initially took place, they changed their infamous monkey logo to be winking and be one neutral yellow color. Also, they dropped the capital “C”, and launched as Mailchimp- minor, but evolved. Their goal was to get away from the mail part and focus on their monkey character logo, “Freddie”, an upbeat playful personality. The brand has also released many other digital design updates.

            This rebranding trend gained some heat and snowballed to other advertising agencies overhauling their clients’ identities. As stated in AdAge, Matt Kandela, CEO of branding and design company at Dear Future said, “It feels like we are witnessing a seismic shift in the sheer number of rebrands” (Sherwood, 2019). For example, Slack changed their logo to where their name isn’t even in the logo. Weight Watchers simplified to WW and Dunkin’ discarded Donuts. In fact, Dunkin’ is a brand recently that has been focusing on innovative ways to establish themselves yet maintain their original look and appeal. As reported by AdAge, the company has new packaging for coffee cups and their new donut fries are a couple early creative nuances, produced by agency Jones Knowles Ritchie (Wohl, 2019). JKR is an agency that has not only been revising the brand strategy recently for Dunkin’, but also formerly controlled the packaging strategy for Budweiser.

In today’s industry, rebranding may become a new norm. One reason for this trend aside from the rise of direct-to-consumer, is that company’s need consumers to know they are keeping up with modern times and have something new and refreshing about them. However, these brands are not completely leaving their original identity, rather evolving, updating. Sometimes too much revision can cause a loss of their typical equity with consumers and subsequently not have an ideal audience reaction, so there’s a line.

Furthermore, another factor in being successful at rebranding is that it means more than just aesthetics, as presented in a TWD article, Rebranding is the New Advertising. For instance, as reported by Akshayta Rao, when selling something other than a digital service, like merchandise, the changes better reflect in the quality as well. Zara has recently revamped their logo along with other marketing changes in an attempt to become a high-end recognition, however, “the customer returns for the quality and not the image,” said Rao of TWD. (Rao, 2019). Tangible difference if essential in real products. Also, what’s true for all these companies and the most successful ones, is that providing a more interactive and experiential interaction is part of living in the modern world. This is an important characteristic of a successful brand equipped with the right technological advancements.

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