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Six Reasons to Rebrand and What it Might Cost You

September 5, 2012

Toronto, September 5th, 2012 - Have you ever wondered why companies choose to rebrand? What is the defining moment that tipped the scales? A notable, and recent, rebranding was Microsoft. After more than a decade, it has changed its logo to one that evokes the new 'Metro' look-and-feel of its latest Windows operating system.

The question to ask is - why bother? "There are several reasons an organization should consider rebranding" says Randall Craig, Web and Online Strategist, and president of 108 ideaspace inc.

Randall Craig offers several reasons to rebrand:

1) There is a growing difference between what your organization represents, and the visual representation of it. Rebranding forces the organization to re-evaluate each product, service, marketing initiative, collateral, advertisement, and whitepaper in a completely new light. It may be a herculean effort, but one that brings even stronger congruency. This re-evaluation is an even more important benefit of rebranding.

2) Your organization is looking to make a break from the past, and the 'old' brand looks - old.

3) If there have been problems, a rebrand signals that the problems have been solved, and it is a 'new' day. Of course, rebranding without fixing the problems can make things far worse.

4) You are looking for a reason to reach out to your markets - rebranding gives you something to say.

5) When a groundbreaking, bet-the-company product is being launched, rebranding the company can amplify the impact of the launch.

6) A new brand is an internal signal to staff that the organization is maturing. It can also be a strong motivator.

The rationales behind Microsoft's rebranding are likely a bit of each, although 2, 3, and 5 probably are the underlying reasons for this investment.

There can also be a cost to rebranding:

1) An extraordinary amount of time and expense in evaluating, changing, and updating the logo and visual identity. This usually means significant market research with existing and prospective customers, to better understand how they see the organization.

2) When it comes to people, branding equals corporate culture. If the new brand is more aspirational than actual, then the change management required to shift a culture can be huge.

3) The communications planning and execution to each stakeholder group effort.

4) Some customers, and other stakeholders, may no longer identify with the new brand, costing the organization hard-won loyalty - and dollars.

Strategically, Microsoft made the right decision to rebrand. They need to establish themselves in mobile and in the tablet space, and their new operating system claims to do so. However, what about financially? It has a large enough cash hoard that it can do just about whatever it wants; most other organizations may need to do the financial calculus themselves.

Since 1994, Randall Craig has been advising on web and social media strategy. He is the author of six books including the Online PR and Social Media series. For more information about Randall Craig visit


For more information contact:

Randall Craig
416.256.7773 x101 /

Carolyn Bergshoeff
416.256.7773 x 103 /

For more information contact:
Randall Craig
108 ideaspace inc.
Phone: 416-256-7773 x101

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Randall Craig, Social Media and Networking Expert


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