Build a Brand


Rebranding is changing a product or company’s image to an upgraded version. The ultimate goal of rebranding is to influence a customer’s perception of a product, a service, or the overall corporate image of the company.

What a rebrand does for your company is to inject more energy into your already established brand, making it seem more modern and relevant to the customer’s needs. Suffice it to say, rebranding will increase public awareness and strengthen your brand identity. It should be noted that brand identity is never permanent because markets and culture are ever-evolving. Needless to say, rebranding is a good business move, but, it can be risky as it might not get the positive reaction it is aimed for in the long run.

Now, let’s take a look at the two types of rebranding:

Proactive Rebranding– it is done typically to explore new growth opportunities and innovate.

Reactive Rebranding– as the name implies, it is the response to a company’s being shut down or changed. Possible reasons could be legal issues, fraud, mergers, and acquisitions, or the company’s need to beat other competitors. Note, a crisis is involved, which needs to be fixed. Rebranding is the response to the crisis.

I am going to delve into discussing Five companies that rebranded, their strategies and lessons to be learned from their success stories.

CVS Pharmacy

Rebrand Strategy

CVS became the first to stop selling tobacco products. Although the sales of tobacco products accounted for 4%sales, rebranding gave them a shift in focus from just profit-making to taking a positive step in committing to health more. They took it further to change their name from CVS Caremark to CVS Health, which had more meaning not only to them but to their target audience. The name change and their new stance on tobacco products scaled their brand higher than other marketing initiatives they have ever engaged in.

Employing public relations support and social media buzz, they were able to create more awareness(100, 000tweets to be precise) and even a comment from the president. This bold move made CVS stand out as the first of its kind in the industry, thus, creating a lasting impression.

Lesson Learnt from CVS’ Rebrand

when rebranding, do it by making a bold statement and standing behind it. Though it might sound bogus and unpopular at first, as consumers see your dedication and commitment to this bold move, they will be more receptive to it with time!


Burberry designs were taken to be luxury brands, with their fabrics being finely woven in gabardine, trench coats, handbags, and fragrances. Because it is high-priced, the brand attracted an unintended target audience – thugs. It was known in cities that Burberry was mostly worn by thugs, and people who then were banned from entering certain pubs and restaurants.

Brand Strategy

Burberry reinvented this odious perception of mostly being used by thugs by creatively putting a spin on utility clothing and getting endorsements from popular celebrities. This transformation didn’t entirely focus on the new, discarding the old. No. Burberry still produces trench coats and swimwear but with a different aesthetic approach. The company was careful not to sacrifice 150years of hard work and brand goodwill.

Lesson Learnt from Burberry’s brand

You cannot stop your brand from getting into the hands of unintended users, but you can seek ways to modernize your brand, bringing out its unique selling points without letting go of the reputation and quality you have built over the years.

Old Spice Deodorant

Old spice is a men’s deodorant and its production was designed for women. Most people’s perception of it was that it was for the grandparents- old, unflattering, and very traditional. Nothing the younger generation could relate with. I would think that Old Spice took longer on the shelf before being snatched; after all, better options are competing successfully against it.

Rebrand Strategy

Old Spice decided to work with NFL player Isaiah Mustafa who is younger, attractive, and fun-loving. He shot several commercials targeted at women that portrayed Old Spice as something sexy and alluring. The old name was changed to “vacation scent”, rather than the old pitch of antiperspirant that had an ‘ordinariness’ ring to it.

Lesson Learnt from Old Spice’s Rebrand

You can change your brand’s perception from something new and exciting. How bold your brand’s message is and how consistent it continues to deliver are crucial in getting more customer awareness and ultimately good sales.


Airbnb was established in 2008 when two of its founders had to rent out their air mattresses in their loft so they could raise money for their rent. A great revolution came into the lodging industry, creating an impactful global phenomenon. It is a major competitive force in the hotel industry, and most governments have had to respond to Airbnb’s short-term rental structure. This company has changed the traveling experience for millions around the world

and is fast becoming a way of life. By 2014, Airbnb had gained ground and was operating well although, it was obvious the company hadn’t yet come to its potential. The reason being, they had a goal, and that was to be more of an alternative to a hotel. They were giving their customers the feeling of being a ‘home away from home, yet, it was obvious it wasn’t reflecting on their brand enough. Hence, a rebranding campaign was set up.

Rebrand Strategy

Here are the step Airbnb took in rebranding;

-They changed the logo to a new one carrying the “Belo”.This symbol revolves around four concepts- People, places, love, and of course Airbnb. The designers creatively combined these four concepts- to form a universal symbol that encapsulates the whole idea of creating a sense of belonging.

-They introduced new topography, photography, and color schemes into their websites, apps, and other relevant areas. The new scenery highlighted places they can visit and interesting people they can meet. The unveiling of the new logo created a massive buzz on social media increasing coverage.

The “Belo” won several awards, making the rebrand Strategy an astounding success, with Airbnb having over 6 million listings in almost 200 countries,  an estimated worth of 30 billion dollars. These lodges host approximately 2 million people every night.

0ne of Airbnb’s founders, Brian Chesky said one of the best pieces of advice he had ever received was that it was better to create a product a 100 people would love rather than what 1 million people would just be okay with. This philosophy was behind the success of the rebrand.

Lesson Learnt from Airbnb’s Rebrand

even within your target audience, find your niche. Let your brand be built to specially satisfy the needs of these customers in your niche so that they entertain no thought of patronizing other brands or alternatives.

Dunkin’s Donuts Rebrand

Dunkin’s Donuts came to the public eye in 1959 and soon enough, the public became enamored with the donuts and coffee it offered. Five years into their existence, they grew into a franchise. Today, the company has over 11,000 locations around the world, making it one of the largest companies of its kind.

Rebrand Strategy

As it is routine for most successful businesses to rebrand their companies to stay relevant, and up-to-date, in 2019, Dunkin’s Donuts had a rebrand. The “Donuts” part of the name was removed, leaving the “Dunkin” part.

The reason for this rebrand was not because Dunkin had pressing concerns that needed to be addressed, but because the company had outgrown its original name. Dunkin needed to upgrade its corporate image, although it came as a shock to many as they didn’t anticipate the name change. It was the company’s goal to modify it into a brand people can easily associate with beverages, and getting it on the go. The idea was to get their brand closer to the new generation of consumers by infusing more energy into the company’s image which they can relate with. This is not to sacrifice their legacy, as there are more than 50 varieties of Donuts still on their menu. But, expanding their brand potential was crucial. The new name is short, simple, and modernized, making it more attractive and relatable. This action removed a potential limiting factor, increasing the company’s tendency to attract more customers who are not only interested in donuts. Concurrently, this step they took has strengthened their brand and positioned it better to face fierce competition.

Though Dunkin Donuts not only changed its name but also its logo. However, the new logo retained its original color(orange and pink), and still carried its original philosophy and resolve to continue to honor its heritage. Tactically, Dunkin harmonized both the old and new, making the best of both worlds.

Lesson learned from Dunkin’s Rebrand

Changing the visual elements of a brand is not the only feature of a good rebrand, you also need to delve into acquiring appropriate equipment and training your employees. Combining these features will lead to ease of delivery of the upgraded version of your service or product.

In the case of Dunkin, the company invested about 199 million in equipment and employee training to ease the delivery of orders made on mobile and reduce waiting-in-line.

Funmilola Bamidele

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