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Saturday, November 9, 2013

The most adventurous brand reinventions of 2013

Companies reinvent their brands to boost marketing potential
Corporate rebranding helps businesses build customer lifetime value
By Tina Getz

Rebranding is an extremely difficult task for any company to take on. However, it is a necessary step to take since markets tend to change over time. 

New demographics tend to surface every year; and to ensure their company stays relevant, brand managers need to consider ways to reach out to new consumers. Follow along and find out about two of the most interesting rebrands of 2013.

7-Eleven: Store rebrand

When you think of 7-Eleven, there are probably a number of images that come to mind: greasy hot dogs rolling round and round behind a fogged sneeze guard, gigantic big gulp cups, and a dead-eyed worker behind the counter. It's not uncommon for the consumer to think of 7-Eleven as an unhealthy grease trap, but that may soon be a thought of the past.

With a new logo leading the charge, 7-Eleven has made the effort to change its overall look and feel. Healthy is the goal, and successful integration does not seem too far away. Store interiors have been redone in refreshing green, and new stainless steel appliances will litter the walkways. New packaging for 7-Eleven branded products will also line the shelves, playing strongly into the new healthy makeover.

Did it work?

Though 7-Eleven's current demographic may be displeased with the new look, millennials and females will, hopefully, come flocking to the new stores. To ensure that this new strategy works, though, 7-Eleven will probably want to up their customer service as well. Also, they may want to educate their franchisees on how to avoid bad publicity. As of now, however, the rebrand's effects have yet to be seen.

RIM: Blackberry rebrand

RI who? For those of you who don't know, or don't remember, RIM is the Canadian company behind the former mobile champion Blackberry. More than 44.5 percent of the market knew about Blackberry in 2008, but by 2012, Blackberry’s dominance fell to 8.4 percent market share. In 2013 the decision was made to completely rebrand RIM/Blackberry in an attempt to regain control of the smartphone market.

Starting off by wiping the slate clean, RIM decided to rebrand itself with a new name, new look, and new software. The company’s overall issues were in brand recognition, since no one knew what RIM was. So the company decided to put everything under the wing of Blackberry, an easily recognizable title. After that, it tried to re-educate its current customer base while nipping at Android and Apple's market share using the newly produced BB10 and Z10, its versions of the smartphone.

Did it work?

Though RIM addressed all the pertinent issues it was facing this year, poor timing and high costs caught up with the company. Even with exceptional sales, Fairfax Holdings bought out Blackberry in September of 2013. Not all rebrands are success stories, and this was definitely a good example of that.

Whether it's to capture a new demographic, or to revive a dying brand, rebrands are a necessary part of any company's life. While the impacts of 2013's most major brand reinventions are only just beginning to be understood, it's clear that many more companies will be considering a major brand overhaul in 2014. 

About the author: Guest writer Tina Getz writes about media platforms and different marketing strategies. She recently consulted with BQR Advertising, a B2B advertising agency to learn more about new PR methods in her native Houston, Texas.

Image: Author owned and licensed