Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Reinventing Your Business

Rebranding has become a strong global technique to retain consumer confidence especially when business has gone sour or competition threatens to narrow profit margins.
Some companies also rebrand when they expand their business, if the old brand does not fit well with the new model, or where modern trends demand that the company discard obsolete aspects of their brand.
Experts say branding is about perception — it defines a business or product from the competition.  The ultimate purpose of any re-brand is strengthening connections with its customers.
A good example is Chartis Insurance Company Ltd who rebranded immediately after their parent company AIG was hit hard in the financial crisis.  The regional branches of AIG in Kenya and Uganda also quickly rebranded fearing the shadow of the financial crisis would cause customers to flee to other companies. AIG maintained that its brand, associated image and public perception were important factors for its business and tried to discourage the rebranding.  Chartis survived because they managed to convince their customers that there was a distinction between it and the old company.
Another example of successful rebranding is India’s Bharti Airtel who dropped Bharti from their name retaining only “airtel” with all letters in lower caps in its India market.  This mobile telephone company later rolled out its new brand across its global footprint in Asia and Africa The new identity gave them the opportunity to present a single, powerful and unified face to customers, stakeholders and partners around the world.
Successful rebranding requires the company to inform the public why it is making the change and how the new company will look.  Keeping the public informed of their actions helped to make the change more acceptable. 

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