Rebranding Is Not Just a Logo Change

I’ve been reading a lot about the new Starbucks logo. We all read about Gap’s “gaffe”. And, let’s not forget Tropicana. Each time I read something, it seems the thing we seem to be critiquing is typically referred to as a rebranding effort, but in fact is just a change in graphics.

A rebranding effort would entail a change in the customer’s mindset. Yes, a rebranding effort is typically accompanied by a change in the logo. And yes, that logo change is typically what we all see as the first physical manifestation. As marketers, we do this because we want some cue that says, “Hey, we’re different from before,” as well as some evidence of the hard work we’ve done.

A logo or graphics package is just part of what happens above the iceberg to quote our The Media & Marketing Group’s creative head Jan Talamo. What happens underneath is the important stuff. I can’t say I know what any of these groups did below their icebergs, and maybe the problem is that they lead with a graphic change rather than making the cultural changes needed to rebrand.

Ideally, you get a feel for WHAT you want to be thought as and then you start to get buy-in and operationalizing the tenets of your brand. Then, when a customer sees the new logo, it all makes perfect sense in their minds. Changing a brand’s logo can be risky and costly. Isn’t only correct to put the right things in place first?

Rebranding Is Not Just a Logo Change

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