When is the right time to rebrand?

Two well-known global brands have launched a new visual identity this year and we suspect that it could be the first of many.

All sectors have experienced big changes in the way they operate as a result of the global pandemic.

Businesses are being challenged to rethink long-term business strategies and their position in the market. Which is why we’re fully expecting to see more rebrands emerge this year.

Who’s already taken the plunge and what can we learn?

Car manufacturer Kia has dropped ‘Motors’ from its name. The traditional badge logo has been replaced with Kia written in an angular font.

The new look better represents the manufacturer’s commitment to innovation in transport. The South Korean brand joins many others in the same sector who rebranded last year, with Vauxhall, Toyota, Nissan and BMW all revealing new logos in 2020.

Fast-food chain Burger King has launched its first rebrand in 20 years. Its visual identity has been overhauled to create a retro look which has a very 70s feel. The designer behind the revamps says “the new logo pays homage to the brand’s heritage with a refined design that’s confident, simple and fun.”

What’s the benefit of rebranding?                             

But why spend all this time and resource on a rebrand? In Kia’s own words, the new look aligns with “new brand purpose and values” and follows the announcement of Kia’s Plan S – which is just a fancy name for its new business strategy.

The firm is focussing on electric vehicles and introducing a broad range of mobility services.

Let’s take a look at Burger King. The burger giant removed the blue crescent from the logo to represent the removal or artificial colours and preservatives from its food.

The team behind the rebrand wanted to reflect the chain’s quality of food and great taste and this change has been rolled out on uniforms, menus, signage and all marketing assets.

Both businesses have considered where the business is going and how well their renewed core offering reflects that in the visual identity.

Market research is a must

It’s vital that you understand your consumers, not just your current consumer, but the people who you want to become consumers in the future.

Burger King knew that some people held a negative perception of its burgers and fast food. This helped to shape the rebrand, the chain wanted to steer away from any perceptions which implied synthetic or cheap ingredients and wanted to reflect an authentic great-tasting experience.

Digital-first branding

A rebrand needn’t be a huge shift from your current look and feel. A lot of businesses are tweaking their logos and updating their branding identifies with favicons.

A favicon is a small, 16×16 pixel icon used on web browsers to represent a website or a web page; short for ‘favourite icon’.

Favicons are only used on digital platforms like smart watches, apps and websites. These icons can afford to be a little more playful too.

Questions to ask before taking the plunge

If you’re still not sure if a rebrand is for you, consider these three questions:

  • Has the business offering changed and does my brand reflect that?
  • Do the assets I have work effectively on digital channels?
  • Am I too close to the brand and do I need expert advice?

Or, feel free to arrange a virtual chat with a member of our team.


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Written by
Martin Lovegrove
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