• 01 04 2017

The rebranding revolution

Some of the world’s biggest companies underwent a rebrand last year in response to an increasingly uncertain political and economic backdrop and ever-demanding consumers. 

Going into 2017, the Rebranding Revolution shows no signs of slowing down, with brands finding themselves questioning how to best communicate, how to act – and more importantly, what to stand for.

 Bold rebranding is a high-risk, but certainly high-reward strategy for brands looking to get – and stay – ahead. Here we look at what we can learn from the best rebrands of 2016.


Instagram (re)born & led
Mastering and maintaining a strong visual identity is not for the faint-hearted, and social media now play a more important role than ever. Both Yves Saint Laurent and Abercrombie & Fitch have marked their rebrands by erasing their Instagram histories. This move signifies a defiant departure from the brands’ past and a strong acknowledgement of the importance of Instagram in connecting with consumers. Indeed, by 2019 1/3 of all consumers will be engaging with the platform, making this the obvious space for announcing your intentions and relaunching your brand.

If it’s not authentic, drop it
Brands are operating in a post-truth world where facts are dismissed in favour of appeals to emotion and personal beliefs. With trust in institutions falling to an all-time low, this is a uniquely powerful moment for getting to the core of your brand – showing people why you started, what you stand for and highlighting the value you bring.

Budweiser’s recent rebrand highlights the classic elements of its brand and eliminates the unnecessary aspects that muddled its brand message. A fantastic move to retain familiarity whilst modernising to increase its appeal to a new audience. Perhaps taking the rebrand a step too far, Budweiser then rebranded to ‘America’ in a bid to piggyback on the Olympics’ patriotic spirit. The move created an initial buzz, but perception soon slumped, with people calling the campaign inauthentic due to the brand’s Belgian ownership.

The lesson? Consumers are smart, they see through short-lived marketing tactics. In order to enjoy long-term success, brands need to be aggressively authentic.

Forget tired stereotypes
Gender-fluid fashion. Never too old. Blemished is beautiful.  It’s evident that brands are waking up to a new type of consumer who defies tired stereotypes and embraces imperfection and individuality.

Rimmel’s rebrand to ‘Live the London look’ encourages consumers to shake off expectations and embrace self-expression. Featuring its first male brand ambassador, the brand sends a clear message that “there isn’t one London look, it is whatever you want it to be”.

‘Fitting in’ is no longer a concern for technology-empowered consumers, who can find their ‘tribe’ online. Brands that tap into mindsets and speak their language, providing room for individualism and helping consumers be their best selves, will reap the rewards.


Ready to reboot your brand? Let’s collaborate.