Rebranding involves the process of changing the corporate image of a firm. Rebranding is a market strategy that ensures that an already established brand is given a new name, symbol, or structure to come up with a different identity in the market from the other competitors. Successful businesses have a great connection with their customers, which is what rebranding aims to achieve. Companies take part in rebranding to get rid of the past and attract a broader base of customers. When the company’s brand name does not reflect the overall brand vision, it calls for rebranding. Therefore, companies opt to change their brand name to a unique one that consumers find relevant to engage with. Companies also rebrand to differentiate themselves from their competitors (Todor, 2014). Rebranding, in this case, helps the employees and the customers to understand how the company’s brand is superior to its competitors.
Rebranding also helps in building the reputation of an organization. Rebranding is a sign of coming change to improve an organization’s brand or products. Companies may encounter environmental scandals or lawsuits that damage their reputation, which is more likely to affect the company’s outcomes. Rebranding can therefore be used as a way of reducing or eliminating the negative associations that are linked with the brand. Rebranding shows that an organization has implemented new operations in all aspects of the company, which creates transparency in the business. People always want to witness a fundamental change in the organization to increase their transparency and loyalty to the brand.
Businesses hope to stimulate growth and increase their profits through rebranding. They also rebrand to expand their business and give more strength to their workforce to gain a competitive advantage in the market. Internal changes that are established when rebranding aim to create a business’s identity. Another primary goal of rebranding is to influence customers’ perceptions concerning the services and products offered by the company. Companies revitalize a brand to make it more relevant to meet the customer’s needs to achieve successful rebranding (Jain & others, 2018).
Rebranding can sometimes fail, mainly when the company does not engage in more research to decide what the company requires. For instance, in the case of Altria’s failure, Philip Morris’s top management thought that the company’s name needed to be changed would insulate the cooperation and other operating companies from the pressure related to tobacco harm. The change, however, failed to work for the company; it did not achieve the need to make customers forget about Philip Morris’s name. The company’s name reminded the customers that the company was running away from being blamed for the adverse health effect resulting from tobacco products. The consumers believed that the company’s reason for rebranding was self-serving, and they viewed it as a way of denying the truth about the harm of tobacco products.
Facebook’s rebranding of its name to Meta acts as a way of creating a new cooperative name to switch strategies to ensure that it is recognized as a social media company. However, the 2021 launch of Meta exposed Facebook to criticism for promoting misinformation on its platform. Facebook also received criticisms for failing to moderate its content and violating the privacy of its users. Facebook also faced accusations of being aware of the harm that the services offered by Facebook had to its users and had chosen to ignore them since they were not ready to affect their profits. The attempts to change the Facebook name to Meta positioned the company as a way of whitewashing the lousy behaviour of Facebook.
Personal branding plays a crucial role in modern business since most consumers gain trust from familiar faces. People with a lucrative personal brand have a massive power of personal interaction with their followers. Developing a personal brand develops trust with followers, and they are more likely to explore the products and services that their content creator uses. Influencers, for instance, have their brand that they have cultivated to the followers that trust their opinion. Influencers develop their personal brands on different platforms ( Gorbatov & others, 2018). For instance, actor Dwayne Johnson who is commonly known as The Rock, and Ariana Grande, a singer, has developed a lucrative personal brand on Instagram with a huge following and can earn up to $1.5 million for every post on Instagram. On YouTube, Ryan Kaji, a nine-year-old, was ranked by Forbes as the highest earning in 2020. Kaji began his YouTube career by playing with Toys and earned approximately $30 million.
Some people who have developed a personal brand value their reputation, and, in some cases, they refuse to sponsor brands that do not attract their audience. Social media is a source of income for people with a vast following. Influencers have endorsements and advertisements which pay them well. For instance, athletes on YouTube have many followers, which enables them to have paid tweets and advertisements on their YouTube channels.
Companies work with influencers to expand their reach to people on social media platforms. Influencers earn their money through the high numbers of followers that they have; they create engaging content that builds a connection with their followers. Companies utilize influencers as their marketers since they can connect with many people. Companies and brands are attracted to influencers who have authentic content for their products or services. Influencers build captivating content on a brand that captivates their followers. Influencers also post the items of the brands they are promoting and ensure they use them to lure more followers into using them. When influencers use a particular item, their followers get the urge to use them since they have developed trust with their content creators. By offering discounts and gifts on their timelines, most of the followers purchase the items being advertised by their influencers (Kim & Kim, 2022).
Influencers also interact with their brands and the companies they are working for or during prelaunch regarding rebranding. The influencers take part in the launch of new products of their brands. Referral programs are also essential in interacting with influencers and their brands. Companies offer unique promo codes to every influencer their followers can use to purchase their products. The companies pay the influencers depending on the number of sales that they provide for the company.
Consumers prefer purchasing their products from a brand that has a purpose. They seem to be getting away from brands that only aim at making profits. Currently, consumers show the need for brands to ensure that they have a stand on political and social issues in society. Consumers want brands to take part in addressing the fundamental issues that affect them, for instance, putting an end to racial justice, gun violence, and climate change. Most consumers also choose brands that value mental issues and strive to support mental health activities. People believe that brands have a powerful impact on the community, which can be used to address social and political issues in society (Di Muro & Murray, 2012).
However, some consumers believe that the brands engage in these issues to win over more consumers. Depending on race, age, and even marital status, some people believe that developing social engagement efforts that are not actionable and genuine. Companies have a responsibility to choose a political stand or make a political statement. Brands also avoid taking stands to minimize the risk of getting pushbacks. Consumers develop less trust in brands that says they believe in one thing but show their stand in another thing or those who pretend to be neutral.
Di Muro, F., & Murray, K. B. (2012). An Arousal Regulation Explanation of Mood Effects on Consumer Choice. Journal of Consumer Research, 39(3), 574–584. https://doi.org/10.1086/664040
Gorbatov, S., Khapova, S. N., & Lysova, E. I. (2018). Personal branding: Interdisciplinary systematic review and research agenda. Frontiers in Psychology, 9, 2238.
Jain, P., Sneha, M., & Kumar, N. (2018). Rebranding: Strategies to Internalize the New Brand. Asian Journal of Research in Business Economics and Management, 8(1), 140-149.
Kim, D. Y., & Kim, H. Y. (2022). Social media influencers as human brands: an interactive marketing perspective. Journal of Research in Interactive Marketing.
Todor, R. D. (2014). The importance of branding and rebranding for strategic marketing. Bulletin of the Transilvania University of Brasov. Economic Sciences. Series V, 7(2), 59.