In the final instalment of this series we are going to focus on changes which could be putting pressure on businesses either external through poor public perception or internally through messy or inconsistent guidelines and practices. We are going to look at how rebranding a company can achieve better outcomes in the face of these challenges.
Escaping a Negative Image
The old adage of their being no such thing as bad publicity is unfortunately not necessarily true and a strong, easily identifiable brand can become a burden when memorable for all the wrong reasons. When bad publicity and notoriety begin to affect a company or organisation's ability to make a profit or operate effectively, it may be time they consider a rebrand. This can help to dilute the negative associations or dispel bad feeling
The most successful changes in these cases go way beyond the exterior visual images but also go to show change in the organisation. It gives the message that real change has been made and old practices have been rectified. This is the only way that a rebrand project can remove any negative associations with the brand and therefore be successful as anything less can feel tokenism or disingenuous.
An ongoing example where this can be seen is Mcdonalds.
Whilst the golden arches of the fast food chain have not changed in any significant way they have had to combat the negative brand image cultivated throughout the1990s and early 2000s. Previously marketed as a reliable, friendly fast food provider for families it began to be seen as a source of cheap, nasty food. Documentaries like Supersize me and press around the poor quality ingredients painted Mcdonalds as the implementers of the obesity crisis hitting the western world and dug into their profit margins.
Mcdonalds has since fought back with a more nuanced fresh brand image. Whilst the logo remains the same physical restaurants have been overhauled to modernise them and create a more clean, upmarket feel when compared to similar fast food franchises. They have also introduced healthier food options whilst emphasising the origins of its ingredients in marketing materials. The brand is shown to be recovering well, with minimal changes to its overarching logo and basic visual identity.