Re-branding Without Losing the Audience

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Lokesh Karekar
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Re-branding is a delicate matter, and can easily turn into a calamity if not handled with care and awareness. It can either provide a new form to years of hard work or break it altogether. Here, Lokesh Karekar enunciates the niceties and very essentials of what it takes to provide a brand a renewed form and voice without losing its audience.

The biggest challenge when trying to re-establish a well-known brand is to give it a unique look and fresh feel without losing its essence or core idea. Managing to introduce that newness, which not only sustains but also enhances its foundational qualities without compromising on the brand’s integrity, would prove to be a valuable effort and achievement.

According to me, identifying the exact reason behind re-branding can be the way to not only avoiding hurdles but also solving many problems that may come in the way or hinder the process of re-branding itself. Understanding the aspects such as what the brand previously conveyed, and why it wishes to bring about a change in its representation is essential to understand the roots or base. This can, in turn, provide the designer with the much-needed understanding and insight to guide the designing process and provide shape to the new avatar and its features.

Changing the existing perception which brand has created over a considerable period of time is surely not an easy task. It requires quite a lot of nerve to go out and assert such a move. Having said that, good design has the power to bring about a transformation effectively, so that it may work positively for the brand, and have a healthy and impactful outcome – a variety of brands that have chosen to give themselves a makeover after a long time of having an established identity or personality have been able to successfully execute the tricky task.

This is primarily because they did it with finesse and grace while safeguarding the trust of their audience, even when taking on a new form or face. This is key, as trust is hard to gain and easy to lose. The brand’s credibility is something the design must find a way to showcase, and not sacrifice on it instead.

Another significant aspect while re-branding is to maintain a strong level of consistency in the design language across various print collaterals, environment design or signage system and digital platforms. For example, on many occasions, we find the website of the brand to be looking completely different from the look and feel of the brand.

When such a discrepancy arises in the design communication, there is a huge chance of the audience getting confused, distracted and even disappointed, and it can result in losing interest in the product or services. It is, hence, of prime importance for any brand to be capable of keeping the person involved and engaged, and design can do that only when it is able to draw and hold the viewer or reader’s attention. Without that, it will only be just another brick in the wall.

Published in Issue 34

This is a rebranding special issue focused on finding the answers to some of the basic questions like what is the right time for re-branding? or what all needs changing and how exactly? We interviewed some of the best branding studios like Landor Mumbai, Elephant, VGC, Inchwork, and many more. Also highlighted some of the best recent rebranding projects with understanding the concept behind them.


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