Organizations that rebrand overwhelmingly experience improved visibility and product differentiation, and 75 percent experience some to moderate improvement in sales, according to the Dixon|James Rebranding Success Survey, which includes input from 32 organizations across all industry sectors that have rebranded over the past two years.

The study finds that aligning internal stakeholders and departments is the biggest challenge to rebranding process success.

“Rebranding—which to some includes brand repositioning, a new graphic identity and even renaming an organization—has become an increasingly common approach to recast relevancy and spur sales as it creates positive news and momentum for an organization,” says Jim Heininger, founder of Dixon|James Communications.

While there are multiple reasons for rebranding, the study found that creating opportunity for growth is most frequently cited as the rationale followed by lost relevancy of the prior brand. Study participants ranked their primary reasons for rebranding as (in order): to create opportunity for growth; the prior brand was no longer relevant; sale of company/new leadership; and competitive pressures.

While some view rebranding as the opportunity to leave negative perceptions in the past, the study found that previous poor performance or a negative reputation were ranked lowest as their reasons for rebranding among survey respondents.

Rebranding efforts can face many obstacles to their success and according to survey respondents the most common are the internal alignment of audiences behind the new brand proposition. The four most common obstacles encountered organizations when rebranding were (in order): engaging the necessary departments internally; creating culture change to fulfill new brand promise; cost; engaging employees behind new brand.

The majority of organizations surveyed found that rebranding delivered significant improvement in visibility, recognition and differentiation and moderate sales impact.  Respondents reported no negative impact on their business.  The outcomes of the rebranding efforts were:

  • 75 percent believe it resulted in some to moderate improved sales, while 13 percent were neutral
  • 75 percent believe it delivered moderate to significant improved visibility and recognition
  • 69 percent believe it delivered moderate to significant improvement in differentiation
  • 63 percent believe it resulted in moderate to significant improved stakeholder and customer engagement.

“Organizations reported that the biggest challenge to rebranding is achieving internal alignment around the new brand platform, which is no surprise when change management and training were not as rigorously embraced as the controllable external marketing tactics like selecting a new name or visual identity,” says Heininger. “We always encourage clients to prioritize change management and internal alignment efforts into their rebranding programs to make the behavioral changes necessary to deliver the new brand promise.”