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Rebranding in 2024: theory and trends

[ BLOG ]

Table of contents of the article

Sooner or later, every brand is waiting for it... Rebranding.  In this article, we will talk about rebranding, consider its trends and try to understand how difficult and scary it is for the company.

What is rebranding

Since the creation of the company, we have been working on its image, positioning, audience loyalty, in a word, we are engaged in brand development. But one day the moment comes to change the vector of development and rebrand.

Rebranding is the process of total brand image change, including positioning transformation, possible name change, logo, sign, etc.

Rebranding is often confused with redesign, although redesign is only part of the rebranding aimed at improving the appearance. The changes during the redesign will be noticeable, but they are not so radical.

When do companies rebrand

Few companies will carry out a complex rebranding without a reason, just because someone wants to. Usually, a radical change in the brand image is required in the following situations:

  • The company has a new positioning;
  • The general agenda in the world has changed;
  • The company has started to release new products;
  • The brand's reputation has been damaged for some reason;
  • the sharp formation of new trends;
  • The business is entering a new market with a new target audience.

Depending on the objectives and needs of the brand, there are different degrees of rebranding.

The rebranding pyramid

The rebranding can be visually represented as a pyramid. It has a base and a top. To build a pyramid, we must lay a solid foundation. Only this will lead us to success.

Rebranding is a long and deep process, based on the elaboration of the brand concept.

The brand must look harmonious, a certain logic must be observed that connects all its manifestations. If you skip the concept development stage, you can get a non-consistent brand at the output, which no one will believe.

Change begins with the foundation — the values, philosophy, mission and strategy of the brand. After that, you can start making visual changes — changing colors, fonts, name and logo.

You can't skip the basics, but the next steps are possible, you don't have to change the company name if it corresponds to the new concept.

The main trends in rebranding

During our work, we began to notice that some rebranding tools are used more often than others. Let's look at them in more detail using examples of well-known companies.

Rethinking the name

This method is one of the most radical and is used when a brand needs to abandon old values. Changing the name allows the consumer to form new associations. In this case, rebranding is not limited to changing graphic elements (colors, logos and fonts), but also includes changing the whole name.

Cosmetic edits

This is the easiest and safest way to refresh yourself while maintaining awareness and loyalty among your audience. Time is running faster every year, trends are changing each other, and our clients live in an ever-changing visual context. In order not to lose their relevance, brands resort to cosmetic edits.

These can be:
  • lightening and simplification of the sign (small decorative elements are removed in the name of purity of form);
  • selection of a more modern typeface in the font part of the logo.

The degree of change here also depends on the tasks. Somewhere it is enough to refresh only the shapes of the letter, and somewhere - to climb into the sign.
Evolution of logos of Coca Cola

Sign change

This method can be attributed to an average degree of change. Here, not only the shape of the sign may change, but also its meaning. For example, if you put new meanings into the brand at the stage of developing the concept, changing the sign will help to tell the audience about them.

Total: the sign is completely changed, the name remains the same. At the same time, the font part may change greatly after the sign or only slightly evolve.

Rejection of the sign

More and more brands are paying special attention to the font part of the logo. Compositions are facilitated by the rejection of a free-standing sign. The brand's character can be conveyed through the shapes of individual letters. This way, the logo becomes more concise and speaks directly to the audience.
Evolution of logo Bold

Level Up in the design system

Many brands create only a logo at the moment of birth and do not think about how they will live on, maintaining consistency when scaling. They have spent a lot of time and effort on development, have reached new scales and understand that all their materials look different, and, as a result, do not create a single recognition among the audience.

Here design agencies come to the rescue, which help to systematize and unify the approach, develop and repackage the grain of the idea that was invested at the beginning of the journey. After all, if you are not recognized because of the disparate visual communications, then why is this all?

The evolution of the mascot

Rebranding is reflected not only in the logo and corporate identity, but also in the brand's mascots.

A striking example is the rebranding of Nesquik. Do you remember the cute bunny Quickie? At the agency, we began to face more often the need for brands with a long history to update the mascot. This is due to the maturation of the target audience, as well as the development of the animation industry and visual standards.

For example, cartoons that were watched 10 years ago are significantly different from today's ones. The characters' drawing, style and behavior have changed, they have adapted to the new world. So, the well-known Quickie has evolved, become cleaner, more voluminous, friendly and gentle.
Evolution of mascot
A more radical way is to abandon the mascot as a whole. This decision can be difficult for brands, as the emotional connection has been building for years. However, sometimes this step can be quite justified. One of the reasons for the rejection of the mascot is that the audience that the brand was targeting has outgrown its hero. And giving it up can lead to a better result.

Of course, such decisions should not be made in a hurry. It is better to conduct preliminary research, analyze the audience and trends, form hypotheses, and test new concepts in focus groups.
There are many rebranding tools, some of them are easy and fast, others are more complex and deep. The main secret of success is to approach the decision to change your image carefully and choose such rebranding tools that will meet the reasons and goals of change. And competent analytics, research and audience surveys will help you predict the changes themselves.

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