There are many reasons to undergo a rebrand:
- To stay current
- Stand out from competitors
- Internal growth
- New CEO
- A bad reputation
- Going international
- Changing or expanding markets
Celebrities can teach us a lot about how to execute a rebrand and change public opinion, even when they get it wrong.
James Bond is a hard character to shake. Not stir. And Daniel Craig clearly wanted to break free from the serious stereotype.
In this ad for Belvedere, he’s a dancing, leather-jacket-wearing, sunglasses throwing vision. The man’s got range. The ad itself references Daniel Craig’s new approach to acting with a bloopers reel alongside Taika Waititi (could a Taika Bond film be on the cards? One can hope).
By breaking free of his most well renowned role and showcasing his acting chops, this successful rebrand will help Daniel Craig land roles outside of the serious action genre. Audiences and consumers can finally see him as someone other than Bond.
The child star image is another dangerous box celebrities find themselves in. Miley twerked and tongue wiggled away from Hannah Montanna. This meant receiving a fair bit of backlash from critics who thought she was too overtly sexual, but ultimately it has worked.
A rebrand can be slow or explosive. Miley chose explosive and it has eventually paid off. After dipping into pop music and playing a too-close-to-home character in Black Mirror, she has found reinvigorated success with her roots in rock ‘n’ roll.
Miley has taught us that as long as you can weather the criticism and be authentic, an explosive rebrand will get you a lot of free press and pay off in the long term. It’s one way to remain relevant.
Snoop Dogg is the king of the rename.
He started as Snoop Doggy Dogg, then Tha Doggfather in his early rap days. He then rebranded to Big Snoop Dogg, which represented his transition to being a more mature family man. Next, Snoop Lion represented him as a Rastafarian, back smoking weed after a hiatus. Uncle Snoop symbolised his time mentoring and being a role model for younger artists. And there’s now a doco on Netflix called Snoop Coach that follows Snoop coaching football teams.
Snoop Dogg’s more wholesome rebranding has happened over many years—as has the decriminalisation and legalisation of weed in the US. He has evolved personally and publicly into a wholesome figure. You’ll notice throughout all his names, there is always a recognisable aspect of Snoop Dogg. He demonstrates how to evolve your brand name without losing the essence of who you are.
From reality tv star to a genuine icon. Kimmy K is a master of the rebrand.
Kim Kardashian often does it well, but she is also a cautionary example of when it can go wrong. For example, when she named her shapewear brand the culturally offensive “Kimono”, which she then rebranded as Skims. She has also been accused of Blackfishing—appropriating Black culture and beauty—countless times. Being insensitive to the cultural climate will get you in the public’s bad books. But Kim is the master of distraction and will pivot to another headline-grabbing outfit or boyfriend in no time.
What can we learn? To be culturally sensitive and aware of the current market. If what used to be appropriate in 2005 is now on the nose, it’s time to rebrand. This might look like still using the word “tribe” or a lack of diversity in brand imagery.
A successful rebrand takes planning, insight, authenticity, and communication. It’s more than just a new logo (though that’s important too).
Ready to rebrand? Talk to the experts to get it right. Famously.