Rebranding – mantra
For many years, branding agencies have positioned themselves in the media with their own PR, using the word/notion of “rebranding” in press releases, in case of studies and in project descriptions. They would even declare themselves specialized in “rebranding”. From my experience, I can say that clients are indeed looking for this; that is why the concept of “rebranding” became a true mantra for some of these agencies. The result was a plethora of projects entitled “rebranding” of products/services/companies that actually needed either branding in order to become brands (this would take some time of course), or a restyling or modernization of their visual identity. Therefore, I witnessed a lot of projects that, actually, only involved the redesigning of the packaging or of the visual identity.
The hunger for “rebranding” customers is very interesting. Let’s analyze what rebranding actually means. Rebranding means modifying/changing the essence of the brand and consequently the values and attributes that give substance to it and which explains it. The very word rebranding says almost everything: re – meaning remaking and branding which involves the process of creating a brand. Therefore rebranding means recreating an existing brand on new, completely changed bases, with essentially renewed values and attributes.
If we follow the exposed logic and we only analyze the Romanian market of “rebranding” projects, we can easily see that the vast majority of them are actually branding projects of companies/products/services which existed on the market for several years – with some visibility and some sort of popularity among the public. However, a brand means more than that, it means that the KRRR we have already talked about (Knowledge, Reputation, Reputation and Recognition) without which a product/service cannot be called a brand. It is known that one of the golden rules of branding is that they are built over time. We cannot talk about “rebranding” a product/service that has only existed for 5-10 years (which is on average how old a brand is when different actions are required). We can only talk about products/services that are somewhat known by and bought by the general public. These are products/services that have acted randomly on the market trying in order to find the right place. Moreover, large companies in Romania still do not really own brands. The reality is that apart from a few products that have survived after the communist period ended, or which had a “pre-communist” lifespan, the products and services on the market are still struggling to reach brand status. In the services field, the situation is even worse.
Branzas is a company dedicated to consulting and strategy, design and brand implementation. Our positioning is firm and it has not been changed in the last 17 years of activity because the business environment in Romania, the products and services on the market, in their vast majority, need branding. We find ourselves in a young market economy, with young companies, products and services, which are still relatively shaky on the market – following, in fact, the market’s pattern which is still unsettled and immature. Therefore, our way of thinking and acting is oriented towards the growth of these companies/products/services until they are able to acquire brand status.
If I or my colleagues were members of the boards of directors of large Romanian companies, the first item on the agenda would be the development of the product or service until it could reach brand status. This status gives your business security if the rest of the business levers are properly managed.