What is the Difference Between Rebranding and Repositioning?

by | Oct 3, 2016 | Branding & Design, Sales & Marketing

“The success of many of the world’s top brands lies in their ability to constantly realign or reposition themselves within ever-changing markets.”


Many businesses today are faced with the unsettling reality that as markets change so must their business approach. As the economy gets tougher and market segments become vulnerable or more competitive it becomes apparent that its time for change. Sometimes the best way to adapt is to realign your goals and brand messaging. In some cases that can mean an extreme change of direction, for others it can mean a simple design upgrade to look more current. In either case, a strong strategic approach is recommended to allow your business and brand to evolve to the next level.



Now, let’s explore the difference between Rebranding and Repositioning:


Rebranding means changing the brand’s identity. It typically includes changing (or tweaking) the brand design elements such as the name, logo, colours, fonts and tagline. Rebranding occurs when the current company identity has become outdated, confusing or misleading. Also, sometimes, it’s about brands wanting to shed a negative image or they’re facing increased competitive pressure. For example, Kentucky Fried Chicken rebranded to KFC to simplify their brand image and de-emphasize the “fried” aspects of their foods. They are now able to offer grilled chicken without an apparent contradiction in the name.

Brand repositioning can follow a rebranding strategy.

Repositioning focuses on changing what customers associate with the brand and sometimes the competing brands. This usually involves a change in the brand’s promise, usually in the form of a tagline, and its personality – a refreshed updated look to reinforce the change. However, a brand can be repositioned without changing its identity.

Repositioning a company makes sense when the company brand name is well established but has troubles or concerns with it’s image and reputation. For example, Apple expanded beyond it’s original product line of computers but didn’t change their name. They simply dropped the word “Computers” and shifted the message to “Think Different.” They no longer position their brand as a “computer company” but more as a cool digital lifestyle provider.

In summary, rebranding is an identity change. Repositioning is a change in the brand’s promise or personality. These changes can be performed together or separately.

Whether you’re a large or small business the same principles apply and the need to evolve is essential to extending future success and lifespan of your business.

Take this quiz to see if your business needs to Rebrand or RepositionSave


Jennifer Boyce Richardson

Content Source: Brad VanAuken , Adstract Art , Tungsten
Image Source: Willem van Bergen

Did your company Rebrand or Reposition itself?   What strategies worked well for you?

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