A case for rebranding – catalysts for brand revitalization

British Bakeries first launched Hovis Invisible Crust, the first ever crust-less bread, in August 2005, and has re-launched the product this January with a $4.5 million rebranding campaign. The company says, ‘It has performed brilliantly with great consumer feedback’. A perfect example of how rebranding can revitalize a product, British Bakeries is investing at a critical point to bring this revolutionary new product in line with the rest of the Hovis range, creating a sense of continuity and trust in the new product, and bringing fresh attention to the rest of the brand’s existing products.

This is the most significant investment for the company since Invisible Crust first hit supermarket shelves. Following the product’s introduction in 2005, competitors have begun to release their own crust-less offerings, prompting the need to reinforce Hovis Invisible Crust’s position as market leader. According to Hovis, “we are making this investment to meet demand, renew our commitment to this innovative brand and encourage consumer trial to prove our point of difference in the market.”

Rebranding, whether a product or an entire brand, is a serious endeavour. The overall need for rebranding is based on the basic premise that just as people change their style of clothes, hairstyles and home decorating, so brands need to keep up with the times and changing market and consumer dynamics. At the same time, rebranding can be undertaken to fix errors made earlier in a product’s development, to create new consistency across products, or conversely, to take advantage of the benefits of product differentiation and market segmentation.

Rebranding and brand revitalization are not tasks to be taken lightly, and should be backed by legitimate reasoning – and no, simply becoming bored with your logo is not a good reason.

Some of the better reasons to rebrand include:

- modernization, if a brand has become old-fashioned and is in danger of stagnation
- differentiation, due to fierce competition or a fast-changing environment
- blocking or outmaneuvering competitors
- handling increased price competitiveness
- addressing the needs of brand globalisation
- addressing a brand merger or acquisition
- improving competitiveness by creating a more unified identity
- testing new markets or products
- countering declining profitability or consumer confidence
- signaling a change in direction, focus, attitude or strategy
- capitalizing on new opportunities or mediums

Whatever the catalyst, just as your customers should come to you for the specialist product or service you provide, so should you engage the services of an experienced brand design firm when undergoing or even considering a brand redesign or revitalization campaign.

Sage Media is an international corporate design firm based in Ottawa, Ontario.

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