Aug 9 2013
Two well-known brands made big announcements this week. Yahoo! and Virgin Mobile have plans to rebrand, and it’s about more than just giving their logos a facelift. For both companies, this will be the most significant rebrand in their histories.
Yahoo isn’t just doing one redesign logo reveal, but 30 over 30 days before unveiling their final new brand identity. Over the top? Maybe. But the rebranding campaign puts the faded internet star back in the limelight for a month with no-cost publicity.
Reason: The rebrand stems from a recharged sense of purpose and progress at Yahoo! since Marissa Mayer joined the company. The last year included scores of changes, including new technology, close to 20 acquisitions, all-hands-on-deck Friday meetings and decisions to make cafeteria food free. The new logo will be a modern take that’s more reflective of innovation, reimagined design and new experiences.
Lucky for us, we’ll get to watch Yahoo!’s logo evolve as rapidly as the company has. Yahoo! plans to tease with variations leading up to the debut in order to build excitement. (But, don’t expect a major transformation. Insiders say that three things won’t change: the purple, the yodel and the exclamation point!) We’ll have to wait until September 4 to discover how the rebrand concludes.
Virgin Mobile is shifting its focus with a rebrand to its retail and marketing strategy intended to hang on to existing customers – rather than acquiring new ones – in its Australian network.
Reason: Virgin, the brand that disrupted music and travel businesses in its younger years, wants – or rather needs – to mature. Their loyal and admiring customers have grown-up but Virgin has stayed the same. So, it’s time to position Virgin as a more adult iteration of itself. But, don’t worry, the brand plans to maintain a strong emphasis on hipsters (with an indication of over-30, of course).
The old positioning of “fair go for all” will shift its ethos to “we look after our own,” a way of acknowledging customers who are part of the Virgin Mobile family. The new campaign also says “we’re more than mobile,” and aligns Virgin Mobile more closely with its international “family” of Virgin brands, not to mention leverages partnerships with Virgin Australia, Virgin Money and Virgin Wines. My, how sophisticated.
From the brand’s new visual identity, we’ll see a simplified look more accustomed to the global Virgin umbrella brand with added paintbrush and splash motifs in purple and silver and a new photographic style brought to life by a little bit of attitude and personality.
Now that you’ve learned why these brands have taken the leap, should your company or client consider a rebrand? As a general rule of thumb, don’t just rebrand for the sake of rebranding – have a good reason. Here are some quick motives behind why rebranding might be a smart strategy.
1. Your company changed its name. When mergers and acquisitions occur, it’s time to re-examine your brand’s future.
2. Consumers have outgrown your brand. Over time, your brand will need to be rejuvenated to align with your company’s present needs. It’s the nature of getting old, folks.
3. Communications tools have become mish-mashed. Through the years, your brand has become a hodgepodge both visually and in voice. Get back to a consistent look and feel with a rebrand.
4. Competition is bringing the heat. Your loyal customers are buying what the other guys are selling, so it’s time to re-evaluate how you can fire up the opposition.
5. Customers are confused. It may be time to rebrand if people don’t understand what products and services you are selling. Don’t leave them dazed.
6. You’ve become old fashioned. If your brand is feeling irrelevant to your audience, look to the future with a rebrand, or you might pay the price of a slow death.
7. Congratulations, you’ve gone global. The products and services you’re selling have taken to a global market. You’re in need of a rebrand that will bring you deeper insights to new consumers in order to reach a different audience the right way.
8. Your reputation is tarnished. So, someone or something messed up. Change your audience’s perception of your brand and refresh with a sincere promise.
9. You’re thinking, moving and innovating. Technology and other business aspects can change so rapidly, causing your brand to shift, too. A rebrand shows that you’re keeping up with the times.
10. Keep the momentum. You’re launching new products, or your services have been ranked among the best. Keep the drive going with a rebrand to maintain speed. Fast-moving capabilities with a stale brand won’t get you where you need to be.