Rebranding is not an easy process, as many believed it. Changing your logo or name, it won’t bring immediately reputation and also it won’t change the stakeholders’ attitudes overnight. Rebranding is a strategy that should be very well constructed and should take in consideration all the elements that can influence it. Therefore, a holistic approach it may be wise.
Brands are much more than simply a name or a logo. They represent values and promises, attitudes and feelings about brands and products. They are recognised as major assets which may have taken years of investment to establish. Rebranding, that is changing such an asset, should not be undertaken without careful planning. (Daly & Moloney, 2004)
So, I decided to look at different companies that tried to rebrand themselves but failed. I want to analyze why they choose to rebrand, what was their strategy and to see why didn’t work. In that way, we can learn something from others mistakes and we’ll try to avoid to repeat these in the future.
Royal Mail – Consignia – Royal Mail
In 2001, Royal Mail decided to make a change within the company so they opted for a rebranding. This change came because Royal Mail was no more a simple post mail, it has a lot of other operations like logistics, customer call center, acquisition abroad and so on. Thus, they taught it’s about time to tell the people what are their real value, what they stand for and what are all the services provided. They lost £2milion to change Royal Mail into Consignia. After one year and a half, they came back to Royal Mail.
What was the problem?
First of all, I don’t think there was any kind of research on stakeholders’ (customer, employee, investor etc.) opinion about this transition. Certainly a research like this it would have helped them.
Second, the name Consignia doesn’t say anything. People find it difficult to pronounce, to remember or to associate with post mail.
Third, they didn’t take in consideration brand’s heritage. Royal Mail it can be seen as one of the brands that remind about childhood. A lot of people grew up with this brand. This transformation destroyed many memories. And this determined the negative attitude towards Royal Mail.
And finally, they disregarded some reason when it’s the right time to rebrand. A rebrand is essential when:
- the brand wants to separate from the past;
- two company emerged;
- the brand is associated with something negative;
- the brand is old-fashioned;
- the brand has a bad reputation or some crisis communication (but, in this case, the situation require more attention because a rebrand can cause more complication that it is necessary).
Do not rebrand your organisation just because you want to do some change without being sure that it is the right choice and it will bring more benefits.