The debate over whether people can change is an interesting one. I think we absolutely can. In fact, I think we wake up as someone new everyday. I think some experiences change us in ways we could never go back to the person we were before. And I think it is that drive to change and perfect ourselves that keeps us going and motivates us to achieve great things. Philosophy says the main driving forces in man’s life are his desires, especially his desire to be other and to be elsewhere. It is human nature to wish you were someone else and some place else in the future. Given this dynamic, there are two universes we physically and mentally occupy: actuality and potentiality. Potentiality is where all our dreams, hopes and desires lie, and as a result a powerful driving force to change. After all, if you have no desire to change, what are you living for?

If this is the way the human mind works why should brands be any different? After all businesses are products of the work of people, and people change, and as a result the world around us changes and evolves in infinite ways.

The need for change within a company and more specifically the need to rebrand, might arise from an audience that grew uninterested, the tarnishing of your corporate reputation or competitive forces that pressure you to adapt to the new demands of the competition. Rebranding might be the result of a staff renewal, internationalization or an outdated image that cries out for that much needed makeover.

Rebranding might not be an easy process but there are plenty of successful stories that prove its worthwhile potential. For instance, a few decades ago, the luxury high fashion brand Burberry was suffering from a public image associated with gang wear. In 2001, the company hired a new creative director, Christopher Bailey, who renewed the brand’s classic style and introduced new products that had no ties with previous image of the brand. The company’s affiliations with glamorous stars like Emma Watson and Kate Moss also helped, as did a successful digital campaign featuring glamorous models photographed in the English countryside.  

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Who knew the most successful company in the world (Apple of course) was suffering from low sales, low customer interest and a lack of competitive appeal back in the 1990s? Up until Steve Jobs took over in 1997 and revolutionized the brand, Apple was unimpressive and lacked a solid corporate identity. By rebranding to create a company feel of minimalism, sophistication and innovation, plus some very successful advertising campaigns focused on ideas and experiences rather than products, Apple paved its way towards becoming the tech authority and corporate giant it is today.

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When branding isn’t working, it’s best to look at the ideas and images that you wish to be associated with, as well as the dynamic needs of your target audience. Brands, just like people, need to change sometimes. And although the process isn’t much easier than it is for us, when done right, it offers a lot of potential for success.