Understanding Rebranding and Remarking of Companies and People
Most folks understand the concept of branding or marketing a business or person and the idea that there a businesses who provide marketing services for this purpose. Yet, when discussing rebranding or remarketing, the topic leaves a questionable look on most faces. Let’s explain a bit more on the subject to try and develop a better understanding of the concept.
There are many reasons for rebranding or “remarketing” a company’s brand or a person’s name. Some of those reasons are the simplest of the kind in that the firm is either changing directions in a product line or focus. Other reasons can be more complicated in that a company may be trying to change its image. Changing an image or the public perception of a person also applies to an individual’s attempt at rebranding.
The problem with remarketing a brand or image is that it can be in many cases a long and drawn out process with no actual guarantee of success. Here are some examples of that outcome.
Think of any company and an old slogan. One that comes to mind is Wendy’s Where’s the Beef campaign. (Those who weren’t around in the 80’s may not remember that one. For those that do, play along with me.) Here is a video clip of it.
The premise of that video was to show the audience and potential customers how large the beef patty on their hamburger is as compared to their competitors. It also clearly demonstrates the unique square shape of their patty when of course all of their competitors’ burger patties are round.
The Where’s the Beef campaign was very successful for Wendy’s and was a slogan that became very popular among that generation. It began to not only apply to the comparison of hamburger joints around the country but also was the catchphrase of the age when things were subpar to expectations. That phrase covered all ranges of topics from politics to relationships and more.
Now think about this. For those who are familiar with this campaign and phrase, if Wendy tried to change its primary product from a square hamburger to chicken strips, what do you suppose consumers would think about them?
Could they get the “Where’s the Beef” concept out of their mind? What they ever be able to see Wendy’s as the home of the square chicken strips rather than the square beef hamburger?
This certainly wouldn’t happen without an enormous effort both in time and advertising being put into rebranding and new marketing of Wendy’s new concept. Of course, there would also be a significant cost associated with that effort as well. Even with all that effort geared toward this new idea, there is no guarantee that Wendy’s will ever be remembered for anything more than their original idea of a large square patty on a hamburger bun.
Does that make sense?
Now, let’s apply the remarketing or rebranding concept to a person and their image. While there are many cases to choose from just like business examples, let’s discuss Michael Vick, the former Eagles quarterback, and his image problem because of dog fighting.
Michael Vick was coming into his own and emerging as an up and coming star as the quarterback of the Philidelphia Eagles. At some point, it was discovered that he ran a dog fighting ring and had several dogs of his own that he used for that purpose. Information about this activity showed extremely inhume treatment of these animals Here is a story about the event.
Dog fighting is illegal in this country, and eventually, he was found guilty of the activity and sent to jail. Vick served his time and was eager to get back to the profession that he loved. However, there was now a stigma attached to his name.
There are a large number of dog lovers in this country. They despised what Michael did and would likely never forget the way he abused those animals. They wouldn’t support any football team who would want to sign him to a contract.
Vick attempted to rebrand and remarket himself by first apologizing for the incident. It is unknown how many people changed their opinion of him after the apology was made. Some likely questioned the sincerity of the apology knowing what his end goal was, which was to get back into football.
After the apology, Vick gave a large sum of money to an animal charity organization. This was broadcast in the news to make the public aware of this action. The effort was another attempt at rebranding him as an animal lover rather than the animal abuser. Again, the success of that endeavor is unknown.
Vick was never able to regain that level of achievement once held years ago as the starting quarterback for Philly. If you ask people about his legacy and what he would be known for in their minds, it wouldn’t be surprising if it was for the fact that he ran a dog fighting ring rather than his skills on the football field.
Now, with this information, think of some companies and their slogans with which that you are familiar. Think also of some individuals who you know personally or even famous folks you’ve heard of who have done some things that don’t look good for their image. Will you ever forget what those things are? Would rebranding help them? What kind of remarketing effort would it take for you to forget or at least not associate that action with that person every time you see them or hear their name?
Experts who specialize in remarketing a name or business are available for this purpose. It’s important to remember though, that the process is not quick, easy, or managed without significant costs involved. Nor should one expect guarantees about the process or even assume that the effort will be successful.