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Rebranding: a BrandVue perspective

Shaun Austin Head of Media 8 July 2022

We’ve used BrandVue, our daily brand tracking tool, to analyse the impact of changing branding and the potential knock-on effect it can have on a brand’s top line perception measures.

For some brands who made notable changes to their branding, we have seen significant drops in Brand Awareness, impacting the brand’s performance throughout the brand funnel.

Brands need to weigh up the trade-off between a rebrand achieving a ‘fresher’ image and the potential negative impact on top funnel KPIs.

One brand we analysed changed every aspect of its branding back in June 2020, including the brand name, colour scheme, layout, font, and motif, as well as introducing a new visual system for merchandise and packaging.

These extensive changes caused a monumental -25% fall in Brand Awareness. Despite the brand making a slow recovery over time, awareness is yet to recover to levels seen before the rebrand. A rebrand as drastic as this can potentially have a dramatic and lasting impact on top-funnel metrics.

However, looking deeper into purchase behaviour, we can see that the brand maintained its L3M penetration to levels seen prior to the rebrand. This suggests the aim of the rebrand was to focus in on the ‘engaged aware’ audience, cutting adrift those with little/no knowledge beyond a recognition of the brand’s old logo.

The overall result was an increase in associations with being friendly, family based and affordable – showing that focusing in on this engaged aware audience can help to improve image associations for the brand.

Conversely, brands that change a limited number of key brand assets during a rebrand can mitigate the effects on brand metrics. For instance, a well-known brand in the fast-food sector changed the layout of its logo in December 2020 but maintained all other aspects of its identity and as a result, the brand’s Awareness levels were not impacted.

A partial rebrand like this ensures that some of the visual identity and distinctive assets of the brand is maintained, helping to retain brand recognition and Awareness. However, although a partial rebrand might maintain top-funnel metrics, it runs the risk of being seen as ‘too safe’ and failing to make the impact that was originally desired.

Ultimately, there is risk involved in any rebrand, but this can be carefully calculated. Brands need to weigh up the trade-off between a rebrand achieving a ‘fresher’ image and the potential negative impact on top funnel KPIs. The more changes to a brand’s visual identity, the more likely top-funnel metrics like Awareness be impacted.

To mitigate this risk, the extent of proposed changes to branding should be carefully assessed. Keep important, distinctive assets of your brand identity such as the brand name, motif and colour scheme and aim to strike a careful balance when addressing other assets.

Rebranding can be a risk for any brand, if the result is negative the response should be strategic. Savanta’s BrandVue acts as an invaluable tool during a rebrand, allowing brands to track changes in KPI metrics such as brand awareness and image associations, and react in real time to develop strategic responses to mitigate any negative impacts on the brand.

BrandVue not only offers a targeted solution to alleviate any negative impacts, but also allows brands to measure the success of the rebrand.

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