A corporate rebranding can be met with huge opposition from a loyal customer base. More than 25 years after Coca Cola’s epic failure with “New Coke”, it is still considered one of the largest consumer backlashes of all time.
Now the voice of the consumer is louder than ever before through social media such as Twitter and Facebook. But, when done well and with innovation, a corporate rebranding can boost revenues, brand recognition and increase the customer base for a company that has stalled in its growth.
In early 2011, Starbucks gave a new face to its logo, or rather, reduced its logo to only a face. The iconic Starbucks siren now stands on her own as their logo, no longer surrounded by the text “Starbucks Coffee”. The move was made in the attempt to widen the brands offer which now includes a grocery product line of ice-cream, teas and instant coffee sold in supermarkets and to update the company’s image for its domestic and international stores.
While media and consumers met the change and the dropping of the name “Starbucks Coffee” from the logo with much criticism, after a year it seems that Starbucks has managed to do what Prince was never able, to represent themselves successfully with only a symbol.
In 2010, clothing retail giant, Gap, tried to think outside the box, literally, changing its logo of 20 years, the name
But while social media can be the death of a rebranding strategy it can also be the key to its success, as was the case in 2009 with the launch of a new Old Spice advertising campaign. A clever ad featuring Isaiah Mustafa who told women to “Look at your man, now back at me” quickly went viral and generated tens of millions of online views.
The company then followed up with186 videos starring Mustafa, in which he responded inquiries by celebrities including Ellen DeGeneres and Alyssa Milano and bloggers, including Perez Hilton. In the 12 months following the launch of the new campaign, sales for Old Spice increased 11% and the company launched a well-received line of body sprays, deodorants and body washes.
Sylvia McNamee is blogger at Mijo! Brands in Mexico.
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