5 Successful Re-branding Efforts

5-successful-rebranding-effortsA strong brand image plays a big part in business success, but is there one tried-and-true formula for branding success? Most experts say there isn’t. In fact, even the most successful brands need to revamp their images. Here are five companies whose re-branding efforts led them to renewed success.

Target’s Yuppie Makeover

Do you remember a time when Target was a regular discount store on par with Walmart or K-Mart? Most people don’t, but it really wasn’t all that long ago that Target wasn’t the hippest kid on the block. In the late ’90s, Target executives decided that they wanted to change the brand’s image and began introducing high-end goods at a lower price point. Successful partnerships with fashion designers started the revolution, and now Target is synonymous with cool and affordable goods favored by yuppies, hipsters and college students alike.

Old Spice Rides into the 21st Century

Old Spice deodorant has been around for 75 years, and for much of that time it was considered the favored brand of grandpas and working dads. Thanks to a successful re-branding effort utilizing former NFL player Isaiah Mustafa, the brand is hipper than ever. Known popularly as the Old Spice Man, Mustafa dispenses wit and wisdom that appeals as much to female as male consumers. The ad campaign’s catch-phrase, “I’m on a horse,” gained traction on social media, which helped boost the re-branding effort’s success.

Pabst Blue Ribbon Gains Luxury Status in China

If you asked a dozen people on the street to name a luxury beer, it’s not likely that you’d hear the name Pabst too often. If you were in China, though, the story might be different. That’s because the beloved blue collar beer was licensed by a Chinese company and now sells for $44 a bottle throughout the country. It’s the same Pabst that you’d see at a frat house, but it’s been re-branded to appeal to a growing pool of artisan beer fans in China. Pabst proved that it’s possible to change the way the public perceives your brand, but you might have to go to another country to do it.

McDonald’s is an American Favorite Again

Long considered one of America’s favorite fast food chains, McDonald’s took a hit after director Morgan Spurlock’s documentary Super Size Me was released in 2004. The film drew attention to the questionable nutritional value of the chain’s food and led many consumers to reconsider their fast-food habit. To rebound, McDonald’s had to catch up with the times and respond to demands for better food. Today, the fast food giant offers healthier items and talks openly about how the restaurant’s food is made.

Burberry Gets Hip Again

By the 2000s, Burberry was largely considered a stuffy luxury brand by American consumers. In Britain, the high-end brand was even associated with criminal gangs who allegedly loved to sport its luxury duds. The misperceptions and rumors were hurting the brand, and Burberry was badly in need of an update. That’s when it recruited new ambassadors, including Harry Potter actress Emma Watson and supermodel Kate Moss. Getting hipper, younger women to wear Burberry styles revitalized interest in the brand and in the classic British aesthetic that it represents. Mixing contemporary styles into the standard Burberry line was also essential to the brand’s comeback.

Re-branding is all about changing the way that consumers perceive a brand. Doing that can be a serious challenge, but it is possible with a lot of creativity and a little inspiration from successful brands who’ve gone before. Thankfully, you’ll find many examples beyond these five that show that re-branding success is possible.

See also: Creating a Culture Around Your Brand (Infographic)