T.S Elliot in the wasteland proudly emphasised that April is the cruelest month, but not for marketers, since april there has been rebranding efforts taken by marketers, a close look at the rebranding issues that have come up have been enormous, first we had the likes of UTI-Axis, A new face of Canara bank, Hutch becoming Vodafone, till recently the new look of Godrej, the new face of Ceat and the new positioning done by shoppers stop and Arvind mills with its new logo. All these suggest many factors, one being that the companies are looking beyond the traditional image and having a new look, another reason is that of projecting the company as the new company with fun and excitement, breaking the clutter and saving the considation are the most obvious reasons, is the new look justified….Let us take a moment to understand what works, why it works and why the mind of the customer is becoming difficult to change. One obvious reason that have been the cause is that the industry is getting diversified and there has to be a clear cut brand proposition for it to stay healthy in the market place, of course the 6 crore that godrej paid Interbrand for the rebranding efforts is just a small percentage of its volumes. People have not realised much change, for a change to happen there should be an overall change for the whole companies point of view, let me put my two cents in this, the first is that even though Vodafone is the new avatar, people still associate it with hutch, for example on my Nokia phone the name is still hutch and not vodafone and they have not changed it, with the rebranding there has not been much change in the connectivity and it took the ad guys to get the dog back to show that we care, and by the way i perfectly think that the dog overshadowed the brand name ”winks winks” too much for advertising these days. Take canara bank, i have asked some customers, their reply, the logo is changed and they have incorporated new colours, but the service is the same and they have not been any new services to prove the change, Shoppers stop have been a wonderful campaign, i personally loved the work of contract for its ads, the advertising is beautifully done, but will the campaign show that shoppers stop have really changed, the change should be a 360 degree branding, first make all the systems, staff and the strategy in place and then go for a rebranding efforts, i am not really sure in the case of ceat but on a personal note i loved the born tough and the Rhino as a logo, made perfect sense for a tyre brand, it is upto brand managers to understand why rebranding needs to be done, my three cents on this, first is that there is a better offering and the company is going for rebranding, second is that they have entered a different segment, for example soaps and glycering during the world war II, third is that there is a confusion in the original branding efforts, much also needs to understand that a new beauty parloured look would not matter if the consumer does not feel the difference, the same service existed in the Deccan to Simplifly deccan, there has even not much people who were aware that a rebranding effort has been taken place, when companies spend money and time, when the rebranding efforts is not aware by the customers, i sign off saying the rebranding is not about a new look, a new colour, a new symbol or a new logo…it is much beyond the these, it is about justifying that the new look suits the image of the company, rebranding without systems, staff and strategy in place is like changing you style but the same of you remains……
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