Rebranding for a Better Future

October 23 2017

Recently, Hong Kong Observatory announced a move with World Meteorological Organization (WMO) to rename four typhoons that caused human casualties and economic loss in Hong Kong and other South China Sea regions. The renaming of these typhoons was an act of rebranding, designed to raise more public awareness about the cause of the disasters, and to avoid confusion when referencing future typhoons, while still preserving and respecting the memory of the previous disasters.  Likewise, when you rebrand your business, your goal should be to revive the brand, breathe new life into the business and retarget the right market segment, while preserving the established value and market position embedded within the brand.

We believe a successful rebranding process is underpinned by a deep reinvention of the inner core of the brand, constituted by customer service goals or market goals, customer communications, trust and credibility, service standards and team culture. A refreshed brand appearance should be built on, and continue to reflect, the inner strengths of a brand. Not just a rebranding for the sake of rebranding.

Should You Rebrand Your Business?

Here we suggest five signs that your business may be in need of rebranding. If you identify with at least one of these signs, and are seeking new growth opportunities, it may be time to rebrand your business.

  1. Is your key market segment receding at the expense of your secondary market?

For example, Dunkin Donuts is planning a name change to Dunkin in order to distance the brand from the shrinking donut market, which is largely due to the heightened awareness of healthy eating habits and the growing coffee market.

  1. Are the demographics of your target customers changing?

After 30 years, Metlife is no longer affiliating the brand with the iconic Snoopy Peanuts® character, and is planning to roll out a series of rebranding activities in Hong Kong. With the new brand image, the insurance leader is actively targeting the rapidly aging population in Hong Kong, and the rising demand for life insurance and retirement products.

  1. Are you deciding to expand into a new geographic area?

When we expanded into the China market with a key focus on raising Chinese investors’ awareness on Hong Kong listed companies, we rebranded our Chinese name into “Bo Caijin” (博财经). We also launched our social media brand “投关友聚” in Wechat and Weibo, to share the latest investment stories from both our clients and other listed companies in the most attractive industry sectors.

  1. Are you restructuring your business?

Whether you’re planning a business integration or a business spin-off, rebranding is necessary to communicate your new identity and business outlook to the public.

For instance, when China’s largest independent private large-scale ground-mounted solar power service provider rebranded itself from a solar silicon wafer and solar cell manufacturer to a fully integrated photovoltaic service provider, we advised them on a rebranding strategy. The comprehensive rebranding campaign included redeveloping the mission statement and core corporate value, website re-development, new logo design and registration, and office signage and stationary design adaptation.

  1. Are you trying to attract new investor and market talents?

Ambitious investors and market talents are attracted to businesses that reflect great growth potential, as they are looking for opportunities with exponential return. A successful rebranding process could reflect the innovation and transformation capabilities of a business.

Recently, the Hong Kong department store, Yue Hwa, which sells traditional Chinese products, rebranded itself as an incubator for small and medium-sized enterprises/brands to start their creative retail business.

Long established UK-Canadian corporate law firm, Gowling WLG received a high degree of market recognition by the industry after rebranding its Digital Information and Legal Systematics team. The Financial Times even declared that they could reasonably claim they are a digital law firm.

For more information on rebranding your business, please contact a PR professional with experience in your industry and local market.


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