Outdated: Time for a Rebranding

It’s A Fact of Brand.

Mention of a re-branding is often considered a death knell. Certainly as times change, so must brands in what they offer and what they stand for. Some may be able to avoid the full death spiral, while others may find a way to pivot to a new path for growth. Regardless, it’s a reminder to marketers to once in a while lift one’s head up out of the day-to-day to focus on the current and future marketplace, especially today when many norms are being upended.

Here are a few examples of brands that are going through these evolutions of late and deploying varying strategies to find their way:

  • Spanx offers an example of a brand shifting to meet your market. Despite continued high levels of obesity in the U.S., Spanx is facing market shifts such as women not being as concerned about dieting and bodily perfection and the growing leisurewear market. In response, it’s looking to loosen its image and products, from focusing less on the functional restricting product benefits and communicating more aspirational messages, as well as launching new products that better align with women’s new functional desires.
  • Mozilla is an example of being able to innovate your way back to relevance. Mozilla’s Firefox browser is in third place next to Microsoft Internet Explorer and Google Chrome, but with its new Rust programming language insiders are suggesting the technology may allow it to make a comeback.
  • Facebook provides an example of knowing when to leverage a brand asset and when not to. With its Messenger app, Facebook no longer requires people to have a Facebook account to sign-up, knowing that some consumers have written off the social platform.
  • Blackberry is an example of going back to a brand’s roots, understanding your core, loyal user and what truly matters to them in terms of product functionality.
  • And then there are those brands that might find it hard to make it back from the brink of extinction. Abercrombie & Fitch and Gap both have lost their cool-factor with young buyers, casting each afloat to define the life preserver that will hopefully lead them to find an anchor again with Gen Z.

Brands will go through normal up and down brand cycles, yet as times change, not all brands will be able to weather the tide of changing consumer attitudes and opinions.

The Brand Forecast: Help me be diligent in maintaining consumer relevance given today’s dynamic consumer landscape.



Asay, Matt. “Rust Never Sleeps: How Mozilla Could Become Cool Again,” ReadWrite, July 2, 2015. http://readwrite.com/2015/07/02/mozilla-rust-programming-language-potential

Di Somma, Mark. “Blackberry: Keys To Reviving A Dying Brand,” Branding Strategy Insider, June 12, 2015. http://www.brandingstrategyinsider.com/2015/06/blackberry-reviving-brand.html#.VbgdykJViko

Maddox, Kate. “BlackBerry’s Turnaround: From Losing $1.2 Billion a Quarter To Profitability,” Advertising Age, June 2, 2015.

Tabuchi, Hiroko. “Spanx Tries to Loosen Up Its Image,” The New York Times, April 24, 2015. http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/25/business/spanx-tries-to-loosen-up-its-image.html

Tabuchi, Hiroko. “To Lure Back Young Shoppers, Abercrombie Puts On a Shirt,” The New York Times, April 24, 2015. http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/25/business/to-lure-back-young-shoppers-abercrombie-puts-on-a-shirt.html

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