Successful Rebranding Examples – 6 of the best recent rebrands and what makes them work. Are you thinking about rebranding your business, but unsure where to start well in this video, I gave us some great examples of rebrands and why they worked. I breakdown 6 rebrands from recent times that were highly successful in achieving what they set out to do.
These questions are the ones we use at Elements Brand Management when someone comes to us for a rebrand. If you need help with a rebranding project you can schedule a call here – https://www.elementsbrandmanagement.co.uk/schedule-a-call
Now, rebranding, isn’t something you should rush into, you should look into and think about if it’s right for your business and if you need any help with working out, if it’s the right time to rebrand, we actually have a video on this that you can see here.
A lot of businesses, rebrand without understanding what they want to achieve, why they’re rebranding in the first place and how they want to be perceived by their audience.
They just go through the motions in this video, I’ll give you some examples of brands that have rebranded effectively and why these rebrands work?
Number one on the US open. So this was done back in 2018. By Chermayeff & Geismar & Haviv and it took the existing idea of the flaming tennis ball and it modernized and simplified it and made it more iconic.
They surveyed the audience to see if the flaming tennis ball itself was actually something that was memorable. And Iconic enough already. So they took a lot of different brands and they just, they took out the names and just kept the icon and they surveyed their audience. And I think it was only about 20%. actually recognized the flaming tennis ball as being tied to the U S open. And what this told them was that that particular icon, that particular identity was up for change so they could change it. They could, tweak it, they could adjust it, they could even remove it and put something else in.
They didn’t ultimately do that. What they did was they just took the, the idea of the flaming tennis ball and they evolved it. And the reason for doing this was because the other sort of main events in tennis so if you take, Wimbledon Wimbledon has the tennis rackets. If you look at, the French open has the famous clay court Roland Garros, and that is kind of in their logo.
It has that in their logo. So the court, so you’ve got, Wimbledon’s got the rackets, the French open’s got the court. So the ball was up for sort of use with regards to the, the visual identity to separate it from the other main tennis events. The rebrand is a great example of elevating the brand to match the actual brand experience.
Or in this case, the event, the U S open is one of the biggest tennis events in the world and the previous visual identity just wasn’t. Up there with not only its competitors or not competitors, but the other events in a particular circuit, but just the actual, the grandiose scale of that particular event, the new identity and a new visual identity is modern.
It’s fresh, it’s impactful. The colors really pop at you and it gives this vibrant energy, which is what you expect from the U S open. You know, one of the best tennis tournament’s in the world.
Number two. Instagram. So back in 2016, which was four years after Facebook’s acquisition of Instagram, they decided to make a change of identity and they rebranded the rebrand was initially met with skepticism.
And it was because at the time most app icons were skeumorphic in design. So they looked like they were tactile, tangible and real. So they had a 3d effects than they had gradients. They were meant to look like, the thing that they were trying to represent. So Instagram was a camera and it was meant to look like a camera.
And a lot of people were skeptical about the redesign. But Facebook had waited four years to do this. It hadn’t jumped straight into do that. And the reason they wanted to rebrand and redesign the visual identity was because they had a vision and a plan and a sort of a mission for Instagram and how it was going to grow and where it was going to head to.
And they needed that icon to be a lot more dynamic. And also the suite of icons, things like layout and boomerang that came along with Instagram, the other apps that attached to it. They had this plan, this roadmap and what they would see sort of in front of them, that icon and that visual identity was holding them back.
So they wanted to Mark a change. They wanted to set something down that was going to evolve. They wanted something that could evolve with time because a lot of those app icons back in the day, because of the skeumorphic design, it was trend-based. So it was, it was a short period of time where those trends were really sort of taking off.
And if you look at them now that it really dated. And that’s because it was, it was a flash in the pan moment. Whereas the Instagram logo and identity of today, even though it uses gradients and vibrant colors, that can be extended a lot easier and it can be sort of manipulated over time and changed and evolved as they need to with changing maybe trends or technology, or even in a, sort of a new product roadmap, how they move forward.
So, this is an interesting example because the previous example of the U S open was almost the brand was elevating the visual identity to match where the current brand experience was. Now, the Instagram rebrand is slightly different because what it was doing was it was taking where the existing identity was.
And it was elevating it way ahead of where they were thinking in order to project into the future. So it was almost like rather than a catching up of the brand, as in the U S open, it was projecting into the future of what it’s going to be. So it was an interesting way to rebrand, but I think looking back on it now, and if you look at the visual identity now it’s very fresh.
Still, it still works. It’s simple, it’s iconic. And it’s just a very good example of doing something for the brand. That makes sense, as opposed to. Maybe sticking with consensus. Sometimes
Number three, MasterCard. This rebrand was done by the agency Pentagram back in 2016. And it’s the first rebrand that MasterCard had done for two decades.
And this rebrand shows exactly how you can strip away all the elements that are unnecessary to a particular design. Just leaving the things that make it iconic. So in this case, the two circles, the red and yellow circle and what they’ve done is they’ve simplified and they’ve modernized this particular. Identity in a way that makes it. Sort of even more iconic than what it already was. And recently mastercard has gone and actually removed their name from their visual identity. So the majority of the time when you see it now, it’s just the two circles, which is similar to the idea of Nike with the tick. And you can only really do this. A lot of brands try and do this with mixed results and they try and do it early on. So try and have an icon they can use early on. And sometimes it’s perfect. Sometimes it works and you can build up that recognition and that impact and the iconic nature of a brand through just an icon alone or a particular symbol that you’re using.
But a lot of times the reason why MasterCard can actually do this and still be as iconic and memorable as they are. Is because they’ve built up decades and decades of sort of equity in the brand, but also that the memorability and the recognition of those two circles, if they didn’t have that, then this rebrand wouldn’t work and it would fall short.
So it’s quite clever in a way that pentagram had done this, because what they’ve done is they understand that the essence of the brand’s visual identity is those two circles. So that’s what they focused on. So this brand evolution just shows how. When you’re designing a visual identity, new brand, how some of those little elements, if you keep them over time and you develop them over time and you don’t stray too far away and you keep that consistency and that visual identity strong, and you build that in initially how those, those little hooks, those little visual hooks can actually be something that down the line is all that represents that brand.
Once you’ve stripped everything else away. So when designing and building a visual identity, think about those little blocks, those little elements that people can visually hook into in order to create that recognition, that memorability that over time becomes so iconic.
Comment below with the best examples of rebranding you’ve seen. And what are some of your favorites.
Four the Premier League. So ahead of the 2016, 17 season the design agency Design Studio took on the task of rebranding, the Premier League. Now this was a league that is watched worldwide and it built up a lot of recognition in its existing visual identity. So the lion with the crown on top standing on the football, and it was something that hadn’t been changed for a very long time.
And they’d only been iterations of that particular theme, that idea of the logo, they hadn’t ventured too far away from it. The reason for the rebrand was to modernize it in order to. Sort of give the brand new life and be able to use it across multiple channels, multiple mediums, whether that’s TV, social media apps, and to give it a bit more flexibility.
Now, the rebrand itself managed to ad vibrancy and sort of color to the new identity, but while still keeping that heritage and that iconic, lion with the crown on top, this was a great rebrand that’s given the premier league sort of the flexibility it needed. To expand into those different platforms.
And it’s added a real level of vibrancy and an identity system that can be used in multiple ways. You know, there’s, there’s patterns involved, different icons, different colors, and it allows that extendability to push the brand into as many different mediums sort of now, but also in the future, as it needs to be put into.
Number five MailChimp. So the rebrand of MailChimp, the reason behind it was it was expanding its sort of feature set and its positioning into a new market and expansion of features and the products it was offering. So it needed a new visual identity to represent this. So MailChimp started off primarily as an email marketing tool that.
As they sort of grew, they wanted to develop an all-in-one marketing platform that could be used by creatives and entrepreneurs to handle everything from email marketing, to campaigns, to landing pages, to Facebook ads, everything can be done from inside the MailChimp suite and the rebrand wanted to get this across and also to sort of single out to the particular target audience they were trying to reach.
Now the current identity at the time was very similar to the Instagram logo. It was very sort of 3d had gradients. It was very off the time. it was hard to extend it and it wasn’t really moving with the times. it was something that was, it was difficult from a visual identity point of view to use in multiple instances or to extend throughout sort of different platforms and different, scenarios.
In 2018, the brand agency Collins managed to rebrand MailChimp using its playful nature and took that and created something that was not any playful, but really professional. And it came across as being creative. It used, new colors, new typography, the classic sort of monkey icon was a redeveloped. And also they put in a sort of a suite of illustrations that they could use, which are really creative and they have a sort of Roald Dahl feel about them.
They’re quite, free. There’s a real creative sort of free thinking, look about them, which really adds to the playfulness of MailChimp. But also to that idea, That they’re trying to target creatives and the rebrands retake and MailChimp for being a sort of player in the email marketing space to now repositioning it as a all in one suite for creatives to handle their marketing.
Number six, MIT media labs, one of my favorite rebrands, and this was done back in 2014 by Pentagram. So another one from Pentagram, and again, this sort of takes the existing logo. Simplifies it. And, but it actually connects it more to what the media lab stands for and really does sort of simplify the logo, but in a way that is more extendable.
So it actually makes it more extendable by simplifying the logo than the previous identity system had. Now, this is a really masterful sort of identity system that is extendable and it allows MIT media labs to grow with it. The whole identity system is built on a square. So the main logo is actually made from this square, but also every single department within MIT media labs has their own individual, logo, which is built inside those squares that actually ties it to the main logo.
So it’s really cleverly done. And they’ve managed to use that in sort of some of the messaging they’ve done when they’ve done things like deploy. and they’ve done different things with the messaging and the visual identity, just using that square. That is so simple, but it actually makes the whole identity system tie together quite unlike anything I’ve ever seen.
These are a few of the best rebrands in the past couple of decades. Some other notable ones to take a look at are Starbucks and Shell, which are kind of brand evolutions, like MasterCard, Dropbox, and another one from Collins design agency Pentagram with their Great Western Railway rebrand, Warner brothers and Dunkin donuts. So go and check those out because there are some more great examples of rebrands that were done really well and were really successful.
So before you actually start your rebrand, you’re going to need to know what your brand is all about. So you need to know who you are, you need to know why you exists. and you needs to know where you’re going. So we actually have a link to a free workbook, which is how to define your brand. And this asks you a couple of questions, which helps you to define your brand a little more clearly. So that decisions like rebranding. Makes sense. And you know, what direction to, to move into, I’ll put a link in the description.
It’s a free download. So just click the link, put your details in, and you can have that and download it and fill it out and define your brand. If you’ve enjoyed this video and you’d like to see more videos come out weekly and they’re designed to help you unlock your brand’s potential. So you can stand out from the competition and create impact.