Legacy Brands Rebrand Themselves

Change is inevitable. From clothing to cars, to gadgets, every brand one day faces the big question, “Are we still relevant?”. Even the legacy brands rebrand during times of market evolution and evaluation.

Having the ability to call yourself a legacy brand highlights your successes over decades of business. But as Bob Dylan sings The Times They Are a-Changin’, he’s speaking the truth. Many factors can cause legacy brands to reevaluate their positioning in the marketplace and consider rebranding. A rise in competitive threats, a shift in your once nailed-down target audience, a change in company leadership, or global expansion can lead to a brand repositioning effort.


The biggest challenge with brand repositioning is maintaining your core fans by and also expanding to reach new fans. But where do brands begin this process? It requires a sound strategy with clear goals. Mid-size companies often seek a “new look,” a “new website,” an updated logo. That’s the cart before the horse. Discover the main challenge facing your business today and reposition yourselves to tackle that challenge.

Yes, repositioning can be expensive and often takes time to be accepted by the market, but when done well, the payback can be significant.

Old Spice Turns New

For example, Old Spice, a leader in men’s hygiene, was not always a top-of-mind choice for consumers. In 2008, the company’s “Glacial Falls” scent was performing horribly and was at risk of becoming discontinued. Axe had entered the hygiene market during this period and began stealing shares. To retain their shelf space and keep up with what consumers related to, they began a rebranding initiative.

Retaining the “Glacial Falls” scent, Old Spice renamed the product and repositioned it. Old Spice “Swagger” was born and with its cultural currency and attitude. This repositioning of the brand and “Swagger” exuded confidence, and the target audience reacted by quadrupling sales. Old Spice invested in new print ads, television spots, viral YouTube content, and online campaigns to support their effort. Since “Swagger,” Old Spice has continued to lead in the areas of digital and social campaigning, proving yes, the benefits of repositioning pays for itself in the long run.



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