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Why Brands Re-Brand

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Ask any company owner how difficult it is to create a brand that resonates with consumers, one that that becomes synonymous with its products, ethos, and general business. In fashion, companies spend decades – even centuries, in some cases – building themselves into luxury brands (or better yet, houses) that can demand upwards of $3,000 for a purse (and even more, in many cases, for garments) and not have consumers blink an eye because they are so intrinsically synonymous with luxury, exclusivity, and well, fashion.

Such brand building does not occur overnight. Sure, this tends to happen more quickly today, thanks in large part to the widespread sharing of information, namely by way of the internet and social media. Having said that, it still requires no shortage of resources – financial and human – to build a brand that consumers recognize and one with which they associate good will – two different sides of the same coin.

Branding is far more complex than a logo, a font, and/or a fancy color palette, of course; for the user, a brand is defined by what it does, not solely by its aesthetic. Yet the different ways a company projects itself to consumers is certainly important, particularly with the ever-decreasing attention spans in our highly visual world in mind. Enter: the logo, a brand’s most immediate representation of themselves to consumers.

If designed and marketed effectively, a logo serves as a source indicator to consumers. It also allows consumers to make snap judgments as to the quality they can expect from that brand’s goods and services. Consider Louis Vuitton’s signature “LV.” Not only does that logo indicate that a bag is from Louis Vuitton, it suggests that the bag is also of high quality, as that is what Louis Vuitton is known for. As such, familiarity with a company (vis a vis its logo) enables consumers to make instinctive shopping decisions that would otherwise require research and also a bit of trial and error to determine quality. Moreover, without such branding, it would be far more difficult for customers to differentiate between various competitors.

Thus, when well-known companies up and change their branding – by way of their logos, packaging, or other aspects – it always tends to be a bit surprising, considering that building a strong and identifiable brand is one of a company’s biggest investments in the first place.

So, why do brands revamp? Well, there are a few key factors that come to mind. They do it to evolve with the market and stay relevant (this includes but is certainly not limited to practical concerns, such as the need for a logo to register well in any browsing device, particularly given the vast shift to mobile), to reflect an expansion in product or service categories, to limit negative associations with prior logos, and to reflect a merging of companies – just to name a few common reasons.

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