There has been a seemingly never-ending number of major rebrands in the last month, and as we were delving deeper into the latest, I stopped to think, can a major rebrand really be that effective?
We know why they do it – a response to a bad financial year, or to distract from a dubious news story, or perhaps just to stay fresh and current in an evolving market. But, is rebranding the cure-all solution that brands hope for? Will it bring renewed profit growth and authority to the brand? Let’s break down a few recent examples.
John Lewis/Waitrose & Partners
We know that they’re a huge company, that’s employee-owned, so why the renaming and identity overhaul? John Lewis’ profits were down 99% – could this brand overhaul be an attempt to disguise this, or it could it be a necessary updating of the brand – incorporating that all important ‘& partners’, putting a stake in the ground for putting their partners first?
In the last month alone, both Dunkin Donuts and Weight Watchers have announced ‘minimalisations’ of the brand. For Weight Watchers, WW will be their new brand, that moves away from the somewhat chastised and outdated idea of simply watching one’s weight, and in fact focusing more the emerging market of focusing on a balanced, healthy lifestyle. Their strapline now reads: ‘Start your wellness journey and sign up today.’ This could be a response to the diet industry tide turning towards promoting overall health and a ‘#strongnotskinny’ ethos.
It remains to be seen whether these particular rebrands will be successful. We’ve certainly seen some disastrous rebrands in recent years, as well as hugely successful ones. We’re excited to see how these ones fare.