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Let’s Learn From Successful Rebranding Campaigns

While many can attest that rebranding is an effective path towards increased sales, we ought to realize that not all rebranding turns out successful.  There are several crucial steps that need to be taken, and even if the steps we take have been proven effective through time, there are still rebranding efforts that fail. A successful campaign involves more than a new logo – it calls for a new vision that inspires the market, investors and its business associates to view the entire brand in a new light.

With this note in mind, let’s take a look at successful rebranding campaigns these recent years and ask ourselves what steps we need to take regarding our business.  Our list is not limited to the restaurant industry and our apron-clad service staff, but we figured we can always pick up a thing or two from the success other companies had.

J. Crew

Specialty retailer J. Crew had plunging sales at the beginning of this decade, but rebounded dramatically in the latter years.  Their rebranding efforts focused on the products they sell, changed the image of their store as one that sells essentials products that are elegantly made with a slight intimation of luxury.   Their sales shot up dramatically when the Obama family wore the brand during the President’s inauguration, and Michelle Obama appeared in a primetime talk show wearing a “J.Crew ensemble.”

Who supports your brand?


Even those who do not know Burberry would recognize Burberry – checked black, tan and red pattern.  The brand’s image has gone up and down in the last 150 years of its existence, from being embraced by royalties and celebrities to being well-loved by the preppy, elite market.  The ride went at its lowest when around 15 to 20 years ago their image became strongly attached to gangsters and hooligans.  One pub in England actually banned anyone who wears the label.  But things started to change when the company recreated their identity in 2001, and transformed it to one of the hottest fashion labels in society today.

How does the public perceive your business?

PBR (Pabst Blue Ribbon)

This old-time favorite has been known for being a cheap beer for hipsters and college students since the 1800s.  Fast forward and now it’s being sold as an expensive beer in China, labeled Blue Ribbon 1844 at a staggering price of $44 a bottle.  China, apparently, is the world’s biggest beer market and China’s elite has a thing for high end alcoholic drinks. Pabst Brewing Company took the cue, saw the opportunity, and repackaged their brand to make it more appealing.

Are you happy with the way your restaurant is packaged?


Around two decades ago, Target was deemed as just another mass-marketed discount store, indistinguishable from its competitions K-Mart or Wal-Mart.   By partnering with high-profile designers, it slowly stood out from its competitors and was hailed the second largest discount store in the country, having expanded all across America.   Now it has plans to open 150 more in Canadian territories by next year.

How do you compete with your competitors?

Old Spice

We’ve had Old Spice for so long it reached a point when there’s nothing really special about it anymore…until recently.  NFL player Isaiah Mustafa’s TV commercial “look at your man, now back at me,” became a big hit, generated millions of online viewers, enlivened the consumer’s interest and intensified sales.  There was an uproar of market reaction online and on TV, and in response; the brand came up with 186 more videos uploaded on social media (YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter) where Mustafa replied to digital questions raised by bloggers and various celebrities. The brand’s identity was transformed overnight, from being our grandfather’s favorite scent to today’s viral sensation.

How do you promote your brand?


Apple was on the verge of bankruptcy in 1997, but now, 15 year later, with their sensational iMac, iPad, iPods and iPhone, their stocks rose from $6 to $350.  They intensified efforts not just in coming up with exceptional and dependable products but also in their support to their dealer and users, heavily focusing on customer satisfaction.

What kind of experience do your customers undergo when they visit your restaurant?


The past decades have been really challenging for McDonald’s with blows coming from all sectors, declaring it as an unhealthy restaurant chain.  They battled bad publicity and rebranded themselves as a healthier restaurant, had their apron-clad chefs come up with a wider selection of salads and healthy meal options, and came up with commercials showing families and couples enjoying their meals.  Their “I’m lovin’ it“ and “what we’re made of” campaigns might still have its detractors, but through it, McDonald’s was able to hold their ground and hung on to their throne of still being the world’s biggest chain.

How do you battle your odds?