Today, brands need to look more actively and purposefully at the culture buzzing around them—in entertainment, in fashion, in the news, on social media—and use that awareness to inform how they should best position and integrate themselves into the world.
Peter Grossman, an entrepreneur and former advertising executive stated, ‘Your brand must be part of the culture, because consumers are part of that culture.’ Consumers trust brands now to act almost as cultural barometers. And they will leave brands behind if they do not feel like they can trust them to represent and stand for their values. This is a more powerful form of branding because, by engaging with culture more directly, brands in effect can become a part of that culture, thereby deepening their relevance and connection with customers. Here are some examples of rebranding done right because these brands not only adapted to the culture but became part of it.
City branding or place branding plays a massive role in creating popular destinations around the world. Creating a single brand for a city can help communicate their offerings and interactions for both the tourist and their residents. A city’s brand is the same as a company’s brand. It is a promise of value. It is how it wants to present itself to the world. In 2004, Amsterdam was on the receiving end of a rebrand. This idea of rebranding was to show people that Amsterdam is not just a city that revolves around sex, drugs, and canals, but that it is a great place to live and work. The city’s previous slogans, ‘Amsterdam Has It’ and ‘Small City, Big Business’, were all a bit too vague and not too creative. The ‘I amsterdam’ concept and identity completely refocused the city’s branding pushing it to a new modern direction.
‘Tourism numbers are up, business is good, and Amsterdam has once again cemented its position in the top five European cities based on brand strength and cultural “assets”’. Amsterdam’s brand is actually better than their assets predicted. To those who visit the city, the letters make an indelible impression and nearly every single one of them has a photo with the city’s red and white logo. ‘I amsterdam’ has become not only a part of the cultural identity, but a landmark.
When it comes to rebrand it doesn’t necessarily mean giving the logo a makeover, but changing people’s impressions of your brand. Old spice was positioned as the deodorant for grandparents and this is a big no-no for brands since it gives you the perception of being old-fashion, traditional, and boring.
Old Spice teamed up with NFL Player Isaiah Mustafa on a commercial campaign aimed at women that portrayed Old Spice as something seductive and extremely irresistible. By using someone young, fun and attractive in a creative, sexy and yet in a humorous way, turned Old Spice into a completely new and attractive brand. In the end, Old Spice is just a deodorant but thanks to this rebranding campaign it turned into something so much bigger than that.
Champion has completely changed its positioning by being the ‘off the shelf’ cheap clothing brand you get in Walmart to being worn from high-end celebrities. Just how did they manage this rebrand? Collaborations.
Sportswear and streetwear has been growing in popularity in the past few years giving Champion a great advantage but how did it manage to have new brand recognitions from being cheap and low quality to what it is now. They took the streetwear trend and collaborated with popular fashion/streetwear brands such as Off-White x Champion collection in 2017. This collection sold out almost instantly which turned heads to other big brands such as Supreme, Urban Outfitters, Todd Synder, amongst others. It has been one of the biggest throwback clothing brands since this ‘90’s retro aesthetic’ is getting pretty hot right now. See you at Walmart.