10 Of The Most Transformative Rebranding Examples.

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Rebranding Examples

Brand identity is an essential component of a successful business. It allows companies to stand out from their competitors, communicate their core values, and create long-lasting impressions on customers. But what happens when a brand’s identity no longer aligns with its values, goals, or positioning? That’s where rebranding comes in. 

Whether a complete overhaul or a subtle brand refresh, rebranding can bring new life into a struggling brand, helping it connect with its audience. A successful rebrand helps recalibrate marketing campaigns according to the changing interests of the target market. 

In this article, we’ll explore impressive rebranding examples that successfully transformed brands while discussing the strategies behind their success. Whether you are a small business or a large brand such as Stella Artois, this article is for you. 

Ready to dive into rebranding and learn how it can benefit your brand?

Why Do Companies Consider a Rebrand?

Rebranding is a complex process that involves transforming the image and identity of a company. While a successful rebrand can bring significant benefits, such as attracting a younger audience, preserving an industry’s top position, or distancing from negative associations, it’s not always easy. For every successful rebrand, there are numerous rebrand failures.

For instance, Elon Musk’s decision to transform the iconic Twitter bird into an ominous “X” or Gap’s expensive decision to change its logo for only six days exemplify rebranding failures. Even with a well-planned rebranding strategy, building a new, dynamic brand from scratch requires extensive effort, including creating new brand guidelines, conducting market research, and updating all marketing materials.

So, why bother rebranding a company? The answer is simple: Rebranding is necessary at some point in every brand’s company. Trends, customers, and industries change, and businesses must adapt to stay relevant and competitive. A fresh new look can help companies stay ahead of the curve and appeal to their target audience. 

Additionally, a rebrand can help a company distance itself from negative associations or scandals, as seen with Facebook’s recent rebranding to Meta. Despite the challenges, a successful rebranding strategy can pave the way for a new era in a company’s history. It can breathe new life, enhance brand equity, increase brand awareness, and enhance customer loyalty.

Also read: The Ultimate Rebranding Checklist And Success Roadmap.

Successful Rebranding Examples

Rebranding can be a daunting task for any business, but the good news is that there are numerous successful examples to draw inspiration from and develop a proactive rebranding strategy. The best rebranding efforts are usually achieved through meticulous planning and execution, frequently with the help of experienced branding and design experts.

The following is a list of inspiring stories of successful rebranding from various periods. These examples demonstrate how a well-executed rebrand can positively impact companies and provide advantages for updating their brand image and connecting with their target audience more effectively.

Google Generative AI Search

As generative AI, such as ChatGPT and ClaudeAI, became popular, more people started using them for various search activities. Seeing this, Bing incorporated a generative AI search within its model to stay relevant to the changing market. It forced Google, one of the biggest tech giants, to rework its brand strategy and remain competitive. 

The company launched its AI-based search algorithm in 2023, which is still in the beta phase and hasn’t entirely rolled out. It is only available for testing and experience, and Google calls it generative search experience GSE. In contrast to traditional search systems, Google will now use generative AI to understand each search query’s context and identify the most relevant results. 

While it is a partial rebrand, the company has successfully created excitement around its new brand strategy by first launching the testing and experience phase. 

Chobani Evolution To Food Focus Wellness

Chobani, a brand well-known for its high-quality yogurt, made a few changes to its identity, differentiating itself from the competition. It was a strategic move that allowed the company to shift its brand image from yogurt to “Food-focused wellness” with a new mission of “fighting for happily ever after. 

This new mission reflected the company’s focus on better-for-you foods, evident in its advertisements and new product offerings, such as Less Sugar Greek Yogurt and Chobani Flip Yogurt. The company’s Impact page on its website also highlighted its commitment to making a difference beyond just selling yogurt.

One of the most noticeable changes in the marketing strategy was the product packaging redesign. Chobani moved away from the plain white cups with fruit photos and instead used 19th-century American folk art with a varied color palette. This new packaging design helped the company’s products stand out from the other plain white yogurt packages on the shelves.

The new brand strategy succeeded, with Chobani’s new identity and product offerings resonating with consumers. The company’s focus on health and wellness, commitment to making a difference, and unique packaging design helped it stand out in the crowded yogurt industry and attract new customers.

Candid: A Splendid Merger Of Foundation Center And GuideStar

The Foundation Center and GuideStar merger resulted in a successful rebranding effort that created Candid, the largest source of information about philanthropy and U.S. nonprofit organizations. It allowed both organizations to enhance the services they offer to millions of people who rely on them to help make the world a better place.

The rebranding campaign involved redirecting Foundation Center’s website to Candid’s website, which now boasts a sleek design with a clear mission statement, guiding principles, and a vision that combines the best of both Foundation Center and GuideStar. The old GuideStar website is still visible and usable, but there is an explanation of the new corporate entity and a link to Candid’s page.

The newly merged foundation, Candid, has become a one-stop-shop for philanthropic information, offering a wide range of services to help individuals and organizations make informed decisions about their charitable giving. The brand refresh has helped streamline the information-gathering process for donors and nonprofit organizations, making it easier for them to connect and work together towards common goals.

Pet Food Experts

Pet Food Experts underwent a thriving rebranding campaign that reflects the company’s growth and evolution over the years. The company has a rich history dating back to 1936 when it first opened as “Rumford Pet Center.” Over the years, the company has undergone several changes, including a name change to “Pet Food Experts” to establish itself separately from the Rumford Aquarium.

The logo redesign was one of the most notable changes. The new logo reflected the company’s commitment to providing customers with high-quality pet products and services nationwide. The new logo was sleek, modern, and memorable, helping the company stand out in a crowded market.

Pet Food Experts’ rebranding process aimed to reflect the company’s growth and evolution. It has grown significantly and is now a significant distributor of pet products from coast to coast. Pet Food Experts can be considered one of the most successful rebranding examples through the company’s continuous growth, increasing market share, and brand awareness. 

The company has remained competitive in the constantly evolving market by maintaining its commitment to providing high-quality pet products and services. The recent rebranding effort has further reinforced this message to customers.

Dropbox Became Connective Tissue For Teams 

Dropbox was one of the most famous fire storage and sharing web services, which was widely used around the globe. The company planned to take its services a step further and offer support for teams and organizations where they can plan and execute projects without any interruptions. As a result, in 2017, the team developed a new brand strategy and gained new brand recognition with the help of its APIs, tools, and integrations.

During the brand refresh, Dropbox worked on its logo, making it cleaner and more straightforward. The old box logo represented file sharing and storage, while the new one represented a collection of surfaces. Dropbox is now an open platform for creation and development.  As a result of this new brand identity, the company attracted more customers. 

GoDaddy’s Transformation

GoDaddy had long been known for its quirky and, at times, unsettling brand image. The company had ridden to popularity accompanied by a cartoon head, leaving many customers uncomfortable. Recognizing the need for change, GoDaddy decided to bid farewell to this quirky past and embrace a more user-centric identity.

In January 2020, the web domain giant GoDaddy embarked on a brand refresh journey that would redefine its identity and user experience. At the heart of this transformation was creating a new logo, ‘ Go.’ This logo, an interlocking G and O, was a departure from the kooky cartoon head of old. 

The logo redesign reflected a friendly, curvy, heart-like shape with minimal noise, aligning with contemporary design trends. GoDaddy’s internal design team collaborated with external branding firms Codo and Lippincott to bring this vision to life. GoDaddy complemented the logo change with a revamped website and advertising campaigns. 

Both were designed to be sleek, sparse, and devoid of the sales pitches and cartoonish images that had characterized the old brand. GoDaddy’s chief brand officer, Cameron Scott, emphasized that the new identity represented the entrepreneurial spirit and a commitment to supporting customers at every step of their journey—this message aimed to be uplifting and supportive, putting the customer firmly back in control.

Facebook Turned Metaverse

Facebook’s rebrand to “Meta” was a bold move that emerged after the Cambridge Analytica scandal, severely impacting the company’s reputation and customer trust. The rebrand was not merely a cosmetic change but a complete overhaul of the company’s identity, mission, and vision.

The new name, “Meta,” reflects the company’s shift toward a futuristic vision of the digital world centered around the concept of the “Metaverse.” This new direction positions Facebook as an innovator and leader in the emerging field of virtual reality and immersive digital experiences.

While the impact of the rebrand on customer trust and market share is yet to be fully realized after two years, the move demonstrates Zuckerberg’s commitment to steering the company in a new direction. The new identity and vision could increase brand value and attract new users excited about the Metaverse’s potential.

Old Spice Ditches The “Old”

Old Spice’s rebranding success story is one for the books. The company’s traditional and old-fashioned imagery was losing market share, as it failed to appeal to younger audiences who associated the brand with their grandparents. In response, Old Spice underwent a complete image overhaul while keeping its name intact.

Through clever research, the company discovered that women made up 60% of body wash purchases and launched a hilarious new campaign, “The man your man could smell like,” aimed at both men and women. The campaign was launched on Super Bowl weekend, and it quickly became a viral sensation, generating laughter, smiles, and a newfound appreciation for Old Spice’s brand personality.

The rebranding campaign was a resounding success, dramatically boosting sales and brand awareness. Old Spice continues to innovate with fresh approaches to video and social media campaigns, ensuring its brand remains relevant and appealing to new consumers.

LEGO Extended its Reach

LEGO’s rebranding effort is a compelling example of how a company can expand its reach without completely overhauling its visual identity. While the brand name, logo, and color palette remained the same, the company recognized the need to connect with a broader audience and establish its relevance in the digital age.

LEGO implemented a new brand identity and guidelines emphasizing digital channels to engage with kids and parents to achieve this. The company created LEGO movies, games, television shows, and unique toys for adults, recognizing that people of all ages enjoy building things.

The rebranding effort paid off, with sales skyrocketing and the company even creating specialist digital channels to connect with customers interested in franchises like Star Wars and Harry Potter. LEGO’s success demonstrates the importance of recognizing and adapting to changing customer needs and preferences, even without a complete rebrand.

KIA – A Transformative Journey in Rebranding

In 2021, KIA embarked on a remarkable rebranding journey, marking a significant brand identity and positioning shift. The company faced challenges in differentiating itself from competitors and embracing the changing landscape of the automotive industry, notably the transition to electric mobility.

The primary motivation behind its rebrand was to reposition itself as a leader in innovation and technology within the automotive sector. Another objective was to signal its commitment to electric mobility and sustainability, shed the perception of being “conservative,” and introduce a bold and modern design language.

As a result, KIA unveiled a dramatically different logo, abandoning the word “motors” from its name to emphasize its dedication to electric vehicles. The new logo features angled letters ‘K’ and ‘A,’ creating a distinctive and memorable visual identity.

The company introduced the new slogan, “Movement that inspires,” highlighting its ambition to inspire change and innovation in the automotive industry. Similarly, KIA revamped its approach to car design, shifting from conservative to bold and attention-grabbing designs. The new designs aimed to make KIA vehicles stand out on the streets.

This marketing strategy helped KIA  successfully reposition itself as a forward-thinking and innovative brand, attracting attention from consumers and industry experts. Moreover, the bold new logo design helped the company catch car enthusiasts’ attention.

Lessons Learned from these Rebranding Examples

The lessons learned from these rebranding examples are valuable insights for businesses contemplating a brand transformation. Each story illustrates distinct strategies and outcomes, offering a diverse range of takeaways:

  • Embrace Change with Purpose: Rebranding should not be undertaken lightly. It requires a clear and compelling reason. In KIA’s case, the company reinvented its identity to position itself as an industry leader in innovation and sustainability. 
  • Evolve Without Losing Identity: LEGO’s rebranding demonstrated that you can expand your reach without losing the essence of your brand. By adapting to the digital age and diversifying its offerings, LEGO appealed to a broader audience while staying true to its core values. Evolution doesn’t mean abandoning your brand’s identity.
  • Bold Logo Changes Can Pay Off: As seen with KIA’s redesign, a dramatic logo change can capture attention and signal a bold commitment to change. It indicates that a new logo can be a powerful symbol of transformation.
  • Consistency is Key: Chobani’s shift from yogurt to “Food-focused wellness” involved a new mission, product changes, and advertising alignment. It means consistency in messaging, products, and advertising strengthens the impact of rebranding.
  • Merge for Mutual Benefit: The Foundation Center and GuideStar merger into Candid showcased how combining strengths can create a stronger brand. It means strategic partnerships can enhance your brand’s capabilities and impact.
  • Engage Your Audience:  Interacting innovatively with your audience can revitalize your brand. Old Spice’s viral rebranding campaign.
  • Stay Relevant: Even successful brands like Dropbox recognized the need to evolve with changing markets. Their shift from a file-sharing symbol to an open platform demonstrated adaptability. 
  • Overcome Negative Associations: Rebranding can help a brand distance itself from negative associations, as Facebook did with its rebrand to Meta. It can be a strategic move to leave behind a tarnished reputation.
  • Learn from Failures: Elon Musk’s Twitter logo change and Gap’s short-lived logo redesign serve as reminders that rebranding can go wrong. Therefore, plan and do market research before starting the rebranding process.
  • Plan Meticulously: Successful rebranding often involves meticulous planning, as seen in Pet Food Experts’ comprehensive approach. Thoroughly plan every aspect of your rebrand, from logo design to marketing materials.
  • Connect with Your Audience: Stella Artois’s rebranding success reinforces the importance of authentically connecting with your target audience. The lesson is understanding your audience’s needs and preferences to create a meaningful rebrand.
  • Adapt and Innovate: Rebranding doesn’t always mean a complete overhaul. LEGO, for instance, adapted by innovating its product offerings. Adaptation and innovation can be effective rebranding strategies.

These lessons underscore that rebranding is a strategic endeavor not to be taken lightly. It requires a deep understanding of your brand, its audience, and the ever-changing business landscape. A successful rebrand should align with your brand’s core values, resonate with your target audience, and reflect your commitment to growth and relevance in your industry.

Read More: The Most Famous Rebranding Stories Of The last Century.

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If you need a rebrand with performance predictability, we can help. SmashBrand is a rebranding agency that researches, designs, and tests all products to ensure peak shelf performance. Book a time to discuss your project with our team.

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