Considering a B2B rebrand? Get it done right
White Hot: The rise and fall of Abercrombie & Fitch, a new documentary, depicts one of the most briefly successful rebranding jobs of all time.
From 1998, through exclusionary marketing, illegal hiring practices, and an unhealthy workplace culture, then-CEO Mike Jeffries managed to turn a dying brand into one that everyone wanted to get their hands on. Unfortunately, Jeffries’ idea of ‘cool’ centred around a very specific image of young, white America.
Sure enough, the marketing strategy that fueled the infamous frat-boy rebrand also caused its timely demise. By 2016, Abercrombie & Fitch was America’s most-hated retailer.
Aside from providing an uncommonly satisfying sense of schadenfreude, the documentary teaches us marketers valuable lessons about the longevity of a poorly considered rebrand.
So, since White Hot is trending on Netflix, let’s take a closer look at how to rebrand your business the right way.
1. Consult your existing brand carefully
In B2B branding conversations, we’re often quick to say, “it’s much more than just a logo and a colour scheme.” But in truth, the look and feel of your brand are just as important as how you market it.
In 2019, Dunkin’ Donuts officially became Dunkin’ – successfully relaunching in favour of much simpler branding. The rebrand covered all bases, from logo and packaging redesign, to store remodels and revamped brand messaging. Which might sound like a lot of work, but it turned out to be a pretty easy task.
Simply by considering the font, tone and colours already associated with Dunkin’ Donuts, Dunkin’ were able to neaten up its brand, giving it a fresh look without losing any resonance with the audience.
2. Invest seriously (and wisely)
A successful rebrand job can help a business realise better brand awareness, reduced expenses and significantly increased market share – but this is only possible with the right investment.
In 2022, you’d never know that just a few years prior, Domino’s was a failing brand whose pizza was considered to “taste like cardboard.” Thanks to a combination of big investment, better ingredients and more robust brand marketing, CEO Patrick Doyle saw the company’s stock price skyrocket from $8.76 to $104.52.
Domino’s turned things around by investing in the likes of smart ordering technology and specifically designed pizza delivery cars to help their brand reach new customers. They even created this pretty bolshy advertising campaign to address concerns about their previously poor quality pizza:
3. Accept that rebranding comes with the territory
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It’s not uncommon for companies to explore a slight brand touch-up every now and then to keep up with current trends. But a full rebrand is something most businesses only tend to undergo every 7-10 years.
Big companies like Starbucks and Apple have revisited their branding multiple times over the last few decades. This is because no matter who your business caters to or what your mission statement is, there will always come a time when the original branding just doesn’t cut it anymore.
Even though you might love the concept that saw your company hit the market, rebranding is crucial for businesses that want to continue seeing growth and reaching new audiences.
In summary, rebranding is something that you’ll always have to do at some point in the life of your business. But that’s not to say that it should be taken lightly — one bad rebrand could take decades to come back from.
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