• Sydney Latchaw

The Fear of Rebranding


Being a small business owner means you're constantly evaluating where you're at, where you're going and how you'll get there. You are well aware of all of your strengths and all of your weaknesses and at times, change is necessary. Now change can be good, a rebranding you might say.

If You Find Yourself Needing to Rebrand...

When should you rebrand? Is it necessary? With modern technology we are absorbing visuals at a rapidly increasing rate compared to the early 1990’s.

Yankelovich, a market research firm, estimates that a person living in a city 30 years

ago saw up to 2,000 ad messages a day, compared with up to 5,000 today.

It isn’t surprising that so many of us feel jaded when it comes to longstanding brands. The itch to rebrand sets in. The fear that our company does not look like the competition, that the competition has an increased rating in their social media compared to ours. Are we losing a younger demographic?


I say that the desire to rebrand usually comes from a sense of peer pressure. But then there is that trick of an eye, new is not always better. New is sometimes just new, which may create a relief on our strained eyes but ultimately damage the brand. We are living in a time of individuality in business with a consistency of branding. Where logos, color schemes, storefronts are blending into one another. Not that there is a death of creativity but that it has become the norm to model your individual business with the brand of the person next to you. Lack of originality due to an abundance of content.

Circle K

Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc., is the largest convenience store operator in Canada. Separating its branding under:

Circle K, Statoil, Mac’s and Kangaroo Express

You learn something new every day right? I know when I saw the new Circle K logo my reaction was why deal with the rebranding cost when the logo itself did not change enough to merit any attention.

Alimentation hit its first billion with last years’ profits. They are now consolidating the brand under one umbrella.

Brian Hannasch president and CEO says, "We’re committed to make this more than a sign exercise, and we can already see that our new global Circle K positions better than ever to reap the benefits of our worldwide best-practice sharing.”


Taking things such as their “Polar Pop” and introducing it to what was Kangaroo Express. This is not just a simple brand refresh but rather a consolidation. It is risky to lose brand equity of the already established convenience stores but there does seem to be several marketing opportunities laid out in what I would call a successful rebrand.

An increase in new customers, new products and marketing campaigns based on one brand rather than several.


Best Western

Established in 1946, Best Western is a chain of mid range-priced hotels that holds seven hotel brands such as Best Western Plus to Best Western Premiere. They already went through several rebrands in the mid 90’s to unify the expansion of the company. Now another one? Why?



The brand does separate itself when it comes to hotel design because it is not the traditional 2d type logo. Seeing it on a sign, I must admit I drove by it, missing my hotel when it was a Best Western that I was looking for. When my eyes saw the beveled circle my mind went to a doctor’s office. Seeing it implemented on its towels, well it does look good. As if it were a higher quality inn I was staying at.

Now I am torn. Seeing it printed and in use, it is not a bad branding. But every time it is just the logo next to images the brand comes off as a relatively new company that was created in the late 90’s when digital image making become a trend. Just because you can add a filter to your design does not mean you should. Will Best Western lose their brand recognition in the name of rebranding?

These are the two most recent rebrands that I know of. What do you think, did Best Western make a smart choice in their revamp? And how do you think Circle K’s brand unity will affect their sales?

Sources:

NY Times

CSP

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#Branding #GraphicDesign #Design #DesignServices #Rebrand