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"Rebrand vs "Redesign"


Ferdinand Cesarano

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[Note: The first comment in this thread was originally not a thread starter, but was a response to the first post in this thread, in which @csura999 asked:
 

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Which teams, when they unveiled their re-brand, made this board go crazy?

 

Off the top of my head--the NFL Nike re-brand, Marlins, Clippers, and Browns made this board go pretty crazy.

 

All the posts having to do with the side discussion on semantics were moved from that thread to this thread.]

 

 

I know that this is futile; but I'll go for it anyway.

None of those are rebrands.  A rebrand is a change of name, a change of the brand, such as when the New Orleans Hornets rebranded as the New Orleans Pelicans, when the Kansas City Wizards rebranded as Sporting Kansas City, when the Tampa Bay Devil Rays rebranded as the Tampa Bay Rays, etc.

 

By contrast, when the LA Clippers changed their uniforms, they didn't rebrand as anything; the brand stayed the same -- it stayed "LA Clippers".

 

So, it would seem that the actual question is about which change of uniforms and logos made this community react most.

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http://whatis.techtarget.com/definition/rebranding

"Rebranding is the creation of a new look and feel for an established product or company. The usual goal of rebranding is to influence a customer's perception about a product or service or the company overall by revitalizing the brand and making it seem more modern and relevant to the customer's needs."

 

If you change the logos and/or colors it's considered a re-branding. That said, the Clippers, Buccaneers and Browns would have gotten a lot of attention. 

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10 minutes ago, Ferdinand Cesarano said:

I know that this is futile; but I'll go for it anyway.

None of those are rebrands.  A rebrand is a change of name, a change of the brand, such as when the New Orleans Hornets rebranded as the New Orleans Pelicans, when the Kansas City Wizards rebranded as Sporting Kansas City, when the Tampa Bay Devil Rays rebranded as the Tampa Bay Rays, etc.

 

By contrast, when the LA Clippers changed their uniforms, they didn't rebrand as anything; the brand stayed the same -- it stayed "LA Clippers".

 

So, it would seem that the actual question is about which change of uniforms and logos made this community react most.

 

Then the Marlins definitely qualifies as a rebrand, as they went from "Florida" to "Miami."

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1 hour ago, Ferdinand Cesarano said:

I know that this is futile; but I'll go for it anyway.

None of those are rebrands.  A rebrand is a change of name, a change of the brand, such as when the New Orleans Hornets rebranded as the New Orleans Pelicans, when the Kansas City Wizards rebranded as Sporting Kansas City, when the Tampa Bay Devil Rays rebranded as the Tampa Bay Rays, etc.

 

By contrast, when the LA Clippers changed their uniforms, they didn't rebrand as anything; the brand stayed the same -- it stayed "LA Clippers".

 

So, it would seem that the actual question is about which change of uniforms and logos made this community react most.

 

And, under those guidelines, the Los Angeles Clippers did rebrand to LA Clippers.

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Oh also can I just say that the idea of rebranding being only applicable in cases where the name has changed is ridiculous and arbitrary? Jersey redesign - sure, not rebranding. Changing logos and jerseys and all of your design top to bottom? That's definitely rebranding.

 

Pepsi rebranded in 2008, just because they didn't change their name to battery milk doesn't change that. It's weird to see someone just state a random arbitrary opinion as though it's fact.

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12 minutes ago, Point1 said:

Oh also can I just say that the idea of rebranding being only applicable in cases where the name has changed is ridiculous and arbitrary? Jersey redesign - sure, not rebranding. Changing logos and jerseys and all of your design top to bottom? That's definitely rebranding.

 

Pepsi rebranded in 2008, just because they didn't change their name to battery milk doesn't change that. It's weird to see someone just state a random arbitrary opinion as though it's fact.

I agree. 

 

A complete logo overhaul with new uniforms is rebranding even if the name stays the same. The Sabres move from blue and yellow to black and red and then back again were all rebrandings, but the name stayed the same throughout. 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Point1 said:

Oh also can I just say that the idea of rebranding being only applicable in cases where the name has changed is ridiculous and arbitrary? Jersey redesign - sure, not rebranding. Changing logos and jerseys and all of your design top to bottom? That's definitely rebranding.

 

Pepsi rebranded in 2008, just because they didn't change their name to battery milk doesn't change that. It's weird to see someone just state a random arbitrary opinion as though it's fact.

 

It stayed "Pepsi".  It's the same brand.

By contrast, Sierra Mist rebranded to Mist Twist.  It became a new brand.   Likewise, Nestle Quik rebranded to Nesquik.

In order to determine whether it's a rebrand, ask yourself: "What did it rebrand to?"  If there's no answer to that, if the name of the brand stayed the same, then it's not a rebrand.

 

 

 

1 hour ago, McCarthy said:

A complete logo overhaul with new uniforms is rebranding even if the name stays the same. The Sabres move from blue and yellow to black and red and then back again were all rebrandings, but the name stayed the same throughout. 

 

The brand is the name, not the look.  Kraft sells Philadelphia brand Cream Cheese.  If they change the package from grey to red, it will still be Philadelphia brand Cream Cheese; the brand will not have changed.  But if they were to change the name from Philadelphia to Keystone, then that would constitute a rebrand.

So, if you mean "change of uniform", then say "change of uniform", not "rebrand".

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10 minutes ago, Ferdinand Cesarano said:


In order to determine whether it's a rebrand, ask yourself: "What did it rebrand to?"  If there's no answer to that, if the name of the brand stayed the same, then it's not a rebrand.

 

The brand is the name, not the look.  Kraft sells Philadelphia brand Cream Cheese.  If they change the package from grey to red, it will still be Philadelphia brand Cream Cheese; the brand will not have changed.  But if they were to change the name from Philadelphia to Keystone, then that would constitute a rebrand.

So, if you mean "change of uniform", then say "change of uniform", not "rebrand".

 "Rebranding is a marketing strategy in which a new name, term, symbol, design, or combination thereof is created for an established brand with the intention of developing a new, differentiated identity in the minds of consumers, investors, competitors, and other stakeholders."

 

Like it's fine if you have a personal concept of what true rebranding is but why are you acting like it's the authoritative one. Name changing is only part of what can be considered rebranding. You are literally the only person I've ever seen use such a strict literal definition of the term. 

 

This is clearly a rebrand using a new logo and design to develop a new identity.

 

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At best you're being pedantic about the term, but I think you're just mistaken.

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Just now, Ferdinand Cesarano said:

 

It stayed "Pepsi".  It's the same brand.

By contrast, Sierra Mist rebranded to Mist Twist.

In order to determine whether it's a rebrand, ask yourself: "What did it rebrand to?"  If there's no answer to that, if the name of the brand stayed the same, then it's not a rebrand. 

 

The brand is the name, not the look.  Kraft sells Philadelphia brand Cream Cheese.  If they change the package from grey to red, it will still be Philadelphia brand Cream Cheese; the brand will not have changed.  But if they were to change the name from Philadelphia to Keystone, then that would constitute a rebrand.

So, if you mean "change of uniform", then say "change of uniform", not "rebrand".


1. "rebrand" is faster and people get the intent. 2. The literal dictionary definition of "rebranding" disagrees with yours. You're confusing "brand" with the name of the product. They're not the same thing. The brand is everything you'd want a person to associate with your product and if you change something that influences a perception change then you've REBRANDED.

 

Also helps if you think about the word "brand". It comes from branding livestock. A farmer doesn't have to change his name to change his brand. 

 

I've worked on a few "rebrands" and none of them involved changing the name of the company. They called it a rebrand, we called it a rebrand. The logo, colors, everything changed except the name, but the brand was changed. 

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25 minutes ago, Point1 said:

Name changing is only part of what can be considered rebranding. You are literally the only person I've ever seen use such a strict literal definition of the term. 


Paul Lukas wrote a column on the misuse of "rebrand" to mean "redesign".  He mentioned that the uniform changes of the Browns and the Dolphins are not rebrands, but redesigns.

He took a less strong position than I do on the Diamondbacks' change of uniform.  He said he'd call it a redesign, but wouldn't argue too hard with someone who called it a rebrand.  (Though it should be noted that this particular stance is inconsistent with the overall thrust of the column.)

He then cites the Tampa Bay Devil Rays' change to Tampa Bay Rays as an actual rebrand.

The column makes the following extremely cogent point:  

 

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The increasing use of "rebranding" helps to legitimize the spread of corporate-speak in a world that’s already awash in way too much corporate verbiage ... (the notion of having a "personal brand" is now taken seriously, or even as a given, by a distressing number of people), all of which contributes to the idea that the entire world can be viewed and assessed through the lens of market forces and business practices. That idea is not only patently false, it’s also bad for our culture as a whole.

 

On account of the ugly spread of corporate-speak and the shameful fealty to market ideology, the term "rebrand" is threatening to go from a meaningful term that denotes the change of the brand (the change of the name -- because the brand is the name, as in Philadelphia brand Cream Cheese) to a meaningless buzzword that is applied to every alteration of a brand's look.

 

 

 

Anyway, if I attempt to take the question of this thread at face value, I'd say that, of actual rebrands, the one that caused the most uproar here is when the Charlotte Bobcats rebranded to the Charlotte Hornets.  What caused the outrage was not the look of the new uniforms, but the fact that this rebrand perniciously undermined the objective recounting of history to a greater degree than even the Cleveland Browns did.

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24 minutes ago, Ferdinand Cesarano said:


Paul Lukas wrote a column on the misuse of "rebrand" to mean "redesign".  He mentioned that the uniform changes of the Browns and the Dolphins are not rebrands, but redesigns.

He took a less strong position than I do on the Diamondbacks' change of uniform.  He said he'd call it a redesign, but wouldn't argue too hard with someone who called it a rebrand.  (Though it should be noted that this particular stance is inconsistent with the overall thrust of the column.)
 

I'm 100% on board with opposing corporate jargon and marketizing every little part of a team's identity. But he doesn't say a rebrand requires a name change, he says it requires fundamental alterations to the identity - substantial logo change, colours change, etc. Obviously name is often a big part of that, but it's not essential. I don't think you get what a brand is. It's not just the name.

 

Not to mention just because Paul Lukas has a personal opinion of the definition doesn't mean it's law. He set his own parameters that don't happen to align with the general consensus. Personally I think that changing a logo and jerseys substantially is enough to be considered a rebrand even if the colours and name don't change. You don't see me preaching it as a sacred infallible law.

 

Also replying to a thread that's very clear in what it's talking about to "well actually" and set down an arbitrary and made up "Law of Rebrand" seems like an unnecessary move. 

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1 minute ago, Point1 said:

I'm 100% on board with opposing corporate jargon and marketizing every little part of a team's identity. But he doesn't say a rebrand requires a name change, he says it requires fundamental alterations to the identity - substantial logo change, colours change, etc. Obviously name is often a big part of that, but it's not essential. I don't think you get what a brand is. It's not just the name.

 

So what do make of this example of Philadelphia brand Cream Cheese, which I have cited a fiew times?  (I like this example because it is one where the word "brand" is actually said after the brand name.)  

 

If Kraft changed the product's packaging, even if it changed the product's orientation and tried to turn it into a hip/youth brand, all while keeping the name the same, surely you couldn't justify terming this a rebrand.  We'd literally be continuing to call it "Philadelphia brand", which indicates that it's the same brand, despite it's having been redesigned and repositioned in the market.

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Just now, Ferdinand Cesarano said:

So what do make of this example of Philadelphia brand Cream Cheese, which I have cited a fiew times?  (I like this example because it is one where the word "brand" is actually said after the brand name.)  

 

If Philadelphia fundamentally changed its logo and packaging it would definitely be a rebrand... dude I don't know how many times we have to tell you this but the name and the brand are not the same thing. Your entire argument is based on that demonstrably wrong premise. Just because brand is said after the brand name in this case doesn't change that... Just because Paul Lukas wrote a pedantic blog post that you misinterpreted doesn't change the definition that every single source that actually works in this field uses.

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49 minutes ago, Point1 said:

If Philadelphia fundamentally changed its logo and packaging it would definitely be a rebrand... dude I don't know how many times we have to tell you this but the name and the brand are not the same thing. Your entire argument is based on that demonstrably wrong premise. Just because brand is said after the brand name in this case doesn't change that... Just because Paul Lukas wrote a pedantic blog post that you misinterpreted doesn't change the definition that every single source that actually works in this field uses.

 

I most certainly did not misinterpret the Lukas article.  I characterised it accurately, even the part with which I took a bit of issue.  And I expressed my agreement with its overall point, which is that, absent a name change, calling something a "rebrand" is questionable (Lukas says questionable; I say incorrect).

 

As a lover of language, I understand that language changes; and I also understand that protesting these changes is usually tantamount to spitting in the wind.  (You'll note that I expressed my awareness of the futility in my first comment in this thread.)   Still, this particular change is not yet so fully entrenched that it is inevitable.  The expanded use of "rebranding" from its fundamental meaning of "renaming" out to "changing the brand's look" is very new; ten years ago, few would have used the word like that.  So this is a word in flux; and the language community as a whole has yet to have its say on the matter.

 

Also, for anyone who works in corporate branding, it's worth remembering that jargon does not always translate to general usage.  I used to know a guy who worked for a bank; and when this guy talked about baseball players' averages, would use the term "basis points" in a context when a normal human being would have said "points".  As in: "he raised his batting average ten points" or "Brett beat McRae by one point".  To this guy, to say "basis points" instead of "points" was natural; to everyone else it was ridiculous, and I and others often called him out for his inappropriate use of his field's jargon.  The point here is this: it remains to be seen whether this expanded meaning of "rebrand" makes it to the general usage, despite the fact that it has taken hold amongst some professionals.

 

Of course, there is one force driving this particular bit of jargon into general usage.  From the Lukas piece:
 

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"Rebranding" has that jargon-y feel that seduces people into thinking they know more about a given subject -- in this case, marketing -- than they actually do. If someone talks about a team's "new uniform design," he sounds like a geek...; if he talks about the team's "rebrand," he sounds more worldly, more sophisticated. 

 

While not many people go around striving to sound like bankers, lots of people try to ape the lingo of design professionals.  So the expanded use of "rebrand" could indeed eventually make it into the general vernacular.  But those who spend all of their time in the bubble of the design industry would do well to take note of how their usage differs at the moment from standard English.

 

 

10 minutes ago, OnWis97 said:

Can we all accept that the intent of the thread is talk talk about uniform/logo changes that were a big deal around here and not worry about this definition? 

 

We all (me included) have accepted this.

 

Nevertheless, the side discussion about the changing meaning of the term in question is worthwhile, as there is no subject that cannot be enhanced by a parallel discussion on semantics and usage.  Furthermore, from the philsophical standpoint, every discussion topic imaginable is merely a subset of the overarching theme "language".

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What was once a very specific industry term reserved for a specific strategy or process has now effectively lost any specificity it once had to now encompass any sort of cosmetic change made by a commercial entity. Based on my professional experience the general definition of a true rebrand was a comprehensive initiative that consisted of one of two distinct strategies:

  1. Take an existing brand and develop a new strategy to enter a new marketplace or attract a different type of customer/consumer where the current brand identity was not operating successfully or not operating.
  2. Take an existing business and develop an entirely new identity to reintroduce the same product/service to the marketplace.

Both of these factors exhibit a wholesale change to business strategy and positioning in the marketplace. Anything else was considered updating, evolving, aligning, extending, modernizing the brand etc. All of which are regular phases of brand management.

 

I'll stick to my guns with the original meaning, but obviously words evolve over time and the general public and consumer centric/mass media has made the term a hip catch all for anything related to brand marketing communications and design. 

 

Feel free to rebrand this post as you wish.

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I think it's as simple as this.

If you were watching the team one day then say went into a coma for a year then went to watch them and questioned if it's the same team look wise (and name wise) then it's a rebrand.

I think the Buffalo Sabres is a great example of this, if someone was used to their prior blue and yellow uniforms then saw the red and black one's they wouldn't guess its the buffalo sabres.

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On 4/13/2017 at 4:12 PM, Ferdinand Cesarano said:

I know that this is futile; but I'll go for it anyway.

None of those are rebrands.  A rebrand is a change of name, a change of the brand, such as when the New Orleans Hornets rebranded as the New Orleans Pelicans, when the Kansas City Wizards rebranded as Sporting Kansas City, when the Tampa Bay Devil Rays rebranded as the Tampa Bay Rays, etc.

 

By contrast, when the LA Clippers changed their uniforms, they didn't rebrand as anything; the brand stayed the same -- it stayed "LA Clippers".

 

So, it would seem that the actual question is about which change of uniforms and logos made this community react most.

 

I haven't read all of the posts in this thread, so sorry if someone already posted this, but here is Cambridge Dictionary's definition of a rebrand: 

 

"to change the way that an organization, company, or product is seen by the public"

 

That's it.  That's their entire definition.  I figured that as a "lover of language," you'd respect a dictionary definition.

 

There is no mention of a rename being required for something to be considered a rebrand.

 

So no offense and nothing personal, but I'll take an official dictionary's meaning of "rebrand" over what you personally think it is.

 

If a team changes their logo and uniforms but keeps the same name, it's still a rebrand.  Not my opinion, but just a fact going by the dictionary definition of what a rebrand is.

 

The examples you listed are examples of rebrands that happened to include a rename.

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