8 tips for rebranding your company post-COVID-19

For the primary time in additional than 20 years, Burger King introduced a brand-new brand, together with new packaging, uniforms, and signage. However Burger King isn’t the one huge company unveiling a recent new look this 12 months. Different corporations have already accomplished the identical. Normal Motors introduced a brand new brand that highlights its dedication to electrical autos. Kia is celebrating its greatest retail gross sales 12 months ever in 2020—with a new logo. Pfizer, which created one of many COVID-19 vaccines with BioNTech, additionally did its most vital model refresh in about 70 years.

As we begin to see the sunshine on the finish of the pandemic, it’s seemingly that extra corporations will look to rebrand: acknowledging all the harm that COVID-19 has triggered and repositioning their model for the post-pandemic future. But it surely’s essential to be strategic about these strikes and embrace a paradox of recent and acquainted with a purpose to make sure the rebrand doesn’t additional alienate prospects.

Why all this rebranding now?

In line with an August 2020 article, McKinsey stories 75% of People have modified manufacturers in the course of the pandemic. The highest three causes are worth, availability, and comfort. This implies there’s main alternative to draw new prospects who could also be shifting preferences after the life-style upheaval they’ve skilled over the previous 12 months. When the constraints of the pandemic are lifted, prospects will go after what was beforehand out of their attain. A current Harris Poll underscores this truth: There’s a variety of pent-up demand, and types need to have the ability to money in on this with a recent face when it occurs.


[Images: Burger King, GM, Pfizer]

The super hardship of this previous 12 months has additionally shifted what shoppers are wanting for in a model. There’s an elevated demand for transparency and authenticity, in addition to a need that corporations be extra attuned to points like racial justice and inequality. Youthful generations specifically need manufacturers to be extra sustainable and mission-driven. Manufacturers have to discover a strategy to talk their goal whereas referencing what everybody has been by collectively, how their enterprise has comforted individuals all through this disaster, and the way they may “be there” and be related in a consistently altering future.

However can rebranding backfire?

When to rebrand and when to not is a tough lesson to be taught. An excessive amount of change could be disastrous. A slight modification could miss the mark. In 2009, Tropicana eliminated the enduring Florida orange for a extra fashionable one, then reverted back after gross sales dropped by 20% in only one month. Hole additionally made a change to its brand in 2010, making an attempt to mirror a extra minimalist aesthetic. After rapid backlash, it in a short time switched again to its authentic brand design. As a company, it’s essential to ask, what are the aims of rebranding? Is that this an opportunity to reposition, to create alignment and relevancy, or to easily talk development and innovation to the market? If a company is unable to obviously get its message throughout, its rebranding may harm it.

Strolling the skinny line between “recent begin” and “steadfast reliability” is a enterprise crucial. Recent and acquainted is a key paradox for companies to leverage, and it’s not a straightforward one. Clients are wanting for rising relevance in an ever-changing world, whereas additionally craving the soundness of a trusted model. Ford’s advertising and marketing is well-known for its skill to rebrand efficiently. Final 12 months it leaned into nostalgia and invested in new expertise with the relaunch of the Ford Bronco; now it masterfully performs on the theme of retro cool-meets-modern swag. In 2014, the Corvette Stingray launched with a capability to burn rubber and get 29 mpg . . . extra highly effective, but extra environment friendly.

Find out how to method a rebrand

A Could 2020 McKinsey article famous that “manufacturers draw their energy from three sources: science (insights technology and efficiency measurement), artwork (creativity), and craft (administration and execution).” Strong model foundations are particularly essential in occasions of accelerated change: deep understanding of consumers and markets, creatively clear goal, and concentrate on the model expertise. All should be delivered persistently to drive each model notion and enterprise efficiency.

To get on the solutions requires new considering, in addition to wholesome dialogue and systemic motion. Which means leaders should undertake an method of “and” considering—figuring out pairs of opposites and figuring out how they’re interdependent relative to a key purpose. Recent and acquainted are interdependent as a result of each are very important in reaching the purpose: a successful model that builds the client base.

Abbott has been a successful model for greater than 130 years. It was based on a paradox of logic and creativity and has taglines that talk these two values: “turning science into caring” and “reside your greatest life, now and sooner or later.” Profitable manufacturers wish to be recognized for innovation; on the similar time, prospects should embrace them for their stability.

The place to start, as you apply this paradox considering?


1) Revisit your present mission, imaginative and prescient, and values.
2) Assess the “assumed” energy of your present model—qualitative, quantitative, social media.
3) Take heed to your buyer base (present and potential), the market, your competitors, your altering setting.
4) Take into consideration what elements of your enterprise want to remain secure and what wants to vary.
5) Be clear in regards to the particular goal of your rebranding technique: overcoming a disaster, new mission or imaginative and prescient for your enterprise, market repositioning, merger/acquisition, new location, and many others.
6) Plan the redesign for stability and alter/agility.
7) Take a look at with your buyer base.
8) Craft launch and communication with buyer involvement.

Will we see some winners and losers within the rush to rebrand in 2021? Sure, in fact. Not all rebrands are created equal. The businesses who’re in a position to leverage paradox considering within the growth of their new model identification will create the form of aggressive benefit that allows corporations to thrive.