Rebranding: Companies that Succeeded

By 100m
May 14, 2013
Reading Time: 3 minutes
Filed under Branding, Positioning, Renaming, Writing

There are many things to consider when rebranding companies. A rebrand might simply consist of a new logo, or even just updated colors. Or it could be a new company name and an entire visual makeover. Truly successful rebranding means understanding your company’s situation well enough to judge what level of rebranding is right for your goals. Sometimes, you want an entirely fresh start, but just as often, a successful rebranding will strike a balance between old and new. When exploring which elements of your old corporate image to retain and which to update, it helps to examine the stories of rebranding companies that succeeded.



When it comes to rebranding companies, one of the biggest success stories is Apple. The old brand of Apple Computers, with its rainbow colored logo and old-school personal computer focus, was nearing extinction in the late 1990s after being vastly outpaced by the Windows-driven competition. The company created a sleek new monochrome logo, updated its product offerings, and dropped the “Computers” from its title, reflecting a new emphasis on expanding beyond the traditional computer. At the same time, despite the totality of this rebrand, Apple retained the name and the basic shape of its forbidden fruit-based logo.



It’s important to remember to make sure that your company’s operations reflect the rebranded image you are seeking to promote. Remaining on the subject of apples, let’s look at the rebrand of the “casual” dining chain Applebee’s. It’s one of the largest and most successful dining chains around, but at the time of its rebrand, Applebee’s was suffering from a reputation for bad service. An updated corporate look came with an increased emphasis on service in the dining room that helped improve the restaurant’s reputation. It’s not enough to simply get a sleeker logo or catchier tagline. If you are rebranding because there is some deficiency in your company’s image, you must work to solve that problem as well. Don’t put lipstick on a pig – switch out the pig for a Scandinavian super model.


It’s important that you take stock of where your company is positioned before implementing any rebranding. Companies that are rebranding need an intimate understanding of their heritage, and what aspects of the old image actually do work and are worth honoring. You also need an objective direction that your company is moving towards. Specific awareness of the company’s past and present throughout the rebranding process will help you find the delicate balance between continuing to satisfy the existing loyal customer base while helping new customers to view the company in a different light.


If you’re considering a corporate rebranding, keep in mind that company rebranding projects always benefit from an experienced creative team. A Hundred Monkeys has vast experience in rebranding and company naming. We’ve helped all kinds of clients fine-tune or relaunch their companies with new names, logos and visual identites. Get in touch with us if you’re considering rebranding your company.