The branding of your company doesn't simply happen on day one and last the entirety of the company. The marketplace continually changes and companies must too. One of the best ways companies can realign with the needs of their target audience is by rebranding.
Sure, this comes with a few dangers—no one wants to end up following in Tropicana’s footsteps and have to revert a failed rebrand—so it’s something that needs to be carefully thought through.
If you’ve been considering going through with a rebranding, it’s useful to take a look at brands that have taken the plunge and come out the other side smiling. To help you out, we’ve considered some of the rebranding efforts that have been hugely successful and managed to turn things around for brands.
Here are 5 of the most important rebrands of recent years.
Huffington Post was already well-known on the online news scene for well over a decade before its rebrand in 2017. The site’s founder, Ariana Huffington, believed that it was time for a new era and visual direction, which led to the site being rebranded as just “HuffPost.”
Before this change, the brand was very much led and fronted by Ariana. However, once it was announced that she was to step down from the publication and new Editor-in-Chief Lydia Polgreen would be taking over, the brand moved on to its new HuffPost moniker. This made sure there were no more links to its previous chapter with Ariana at the helm.
Originally seen as a pioneering brand known for its investigative reporting and blogging, this new look is visually not that different. The brand’s new logo still uses the color green, something that the site was well-known for. The green slashes on either side of the logo are also homage to the site’s main goal of using divisive stories to bring people together.
This new logo, however, gave the brand a fresh and modern new vibe, that went down well with many online. However, some detractors believed that the use of a slanted font moved the brand into tabloid territory.
For many, though, this edging into tabloid territory isn’t something to work about. As Sam Becker, ECD at Brand Union puts it: “The slanted sans serif typography and assertive geometry do seem to push the brand into tabloid territory but Huffington Post has the reach and history to redefine what those cues mean and take ownership of them.”
The brand has continued using this new logo since unveiling it, though, so it must be bringing them noticeable benefits.
Compare the Market
When Compare the Market, a UK site for comparing insurance premiums, launched their Compare the Meerkat campaign back in 2009, they probably didn't realize that it would become one of the most successful long-running TV ads. Not only that, though, it would also fuel an equally successful rebrand that turned a struggling company into one of the UK’s most well-known price-comparison sites.
The advertising campaign was so successful, that it was incorporated into Compare the Market’s entire branding. Over time, Aleksander Orlov, the first meerkat to front the adverts, was joined by a whole host of characters, allowing the brand to evolve their story further.
Compare the Market’s rebrand around this cute bunch of Russian meerkats was so successful that their competitors started to follow suit. GoCompare even created their own character for the brand—the “GoCompare Guy”—and MoneySupermarket went down the quirky route with their “You’re So Moneysupermarket” slogan.
Nothing could beat Compare the Market, and the popularity of the meerkat adverts led to the characters’ “simples” catchphrase being added to the Oxford English Dictionary in 2014.
When brands make small design changes to their company logo, they might sometimes seem unnecessary. However, Santander has shown that, when done right, it can help a brand reach new audiences and retain its enduring appeal.
In 2018, the international bank decided to change the font used in its logo as well as refining the logo’s “flame”. This might not seem like such a huge rebrand, but it was done to “gain greater visibility and improve the user experience in the digital world.”
The new font makes the word “Santander” a lot clearer to read. It’s a very clean and simple font, which also makes it great for adapting to various forms of media. This is, in effect, exactly how the brand wants to be seen. They want to appeal to customers by being a simple and modern bank, which is also very trustworthy with money.
In 2014, PayPal had already been around for 16 years without any changes to its entire branding. So, they decided to bring out a fresh new logo to show that the brand does indeed keep with the times.
As well as this rebranding, PayPal coupled the new look with a fresh new advertising strategy too. The new logo was showcased in the brand’s very first TV commercial in America.
But why change such a long-standing logo? If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it, right?
The main issue with the old logo was that it had been created during the early days of the internet. It didn’t encompass all of the modern services that PayPal now offers customers, and it certainly hadn’t been created with mobile design in mind. Because of this, a new visual identity was needed to prevent the brand from falling behind with the times.
The new logo looks fresh and modern, even now in 2020. It was part of PayPal’s new overall identity that focused on always making the customer number one. When paired with their “The People Economy” advert campaign, it positioned PayPal as the brand that consumers can really trust with their money.
Overall, this rebranding was a big success for PayPal, and customers still view them as a highly trustworthy platform for all forms of online payments.
Sometimes, a rebrand comes out of necessity rather than a want to modernize. Take fast-food sandwich chain Subway, for example. After their long-time spokesperson Jared Fogle was arrested in 2015, the brand decided to redesign itself to try and distance itself from the scandal.
The brand ordered a huge relaunch and every aspect was changed, including images, brand colors, and functionality in its restaurants. The rebrand took a couple of years to roll out through the global franchise, but it’s now very obvious to see in all outlets.
Despite such a big change, the Subway logo still looks fairly similar to how it used to. The famous arrows still remain, as well as the iconic mix of yellow and green. However, the italic font has been changed to one that has a bolder and striking look.
One extra trick that helped Subway to further distance themselves from their former spokesman was that they relaunched during the 2016 Olympics. In all the fanfare, consumers eventually forgot about the scandal surrounding the brand.
Rebrands can work wonders for organizations that are looking to update their look, regardless of whether they want to modernize their branding or move away from a PR scandal. It just needs to be done in a way that doesn’t alienate target audiences. A successful rebrand should even open the brand up to even more consumers, such as Compare the Market’s did for them.