What does it mean to rebrand?

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Rebranding is confusing. Yet there are a number of brands out there, big brands, that announce they are well on their way to rebranding. It makes branding sound like a house renovation of sorts. If “branding is the consistent delivery of the brand promise, which generates the integrity that makes the brand,” how can there be such a thing as rebranding? You either understand the concept and meaning of branding or you get confused. Unfortunately, confusion reigns.

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Maybe these companies are merely repositioning their products and services, which is another story altogether. Many brands reposition to gear up or down shift to an alternative market. This may be to move up to a more premium status or to move down for pricing strategies, which may include innovative packaging, advertising and promotions. To reposition upward is to put a premium on the products, which may comprise higher pricing and more attractive and expensive packaging.

This marketing strategy will also be sensitive to media platforms. As the target market changes, so do the multiple strategies for sales, presentations and shelf locations. Media positioning will most likely be affected with market viewers, listeners and readers changing dramatically. To move a product down does not necessarily mean to lower a standard but to acquire a totally different market, either for expansion or to change targeted consumers. Moving down can also mean to acquire a broader market base with the social pyramids common in most markets, especially in Asia. Pricing of course, together with packaging and volume content, will change to fit the wider market base.

These are all marketing strategies left for the brand manager to decide on. We must not, however, confuse these with the concept of “branding,” which should stay consistent and firm. The titles alone are confusing between the marketing manager and brand manager. The objectives and sensitivities differ, and can easily come into conflict with one another. And yet the practice in the industry is to confuse these two titles, which make it doubtful that many understand the concept of branding.

If superbranding is what you wish to understand . . . the question is “do you have what it takes”? To understand and to superbrand . . . call us at Superbrands Marketing International Inc., the global brand arbiter.

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