Branding refers to encouraging people to favour a particular brand and rebranding is a way of renewing interest in a business that may have lost some of its appeal. Reacting to customer preferences in line with previous successes (or failures) of marketing strategies is a crucial element of successful brand development.
EADS, the maker of super-jumbo and other jet planes is currently rebranding itself as Airbus which is the name of its successful leading product. This is in a response to the increased demand for new fuel-efficient passenger aircrafts that are replacing older fleets.
Rebranding doesn’t have to be limited to one company. It can encompass a whole area such as the proposed relabeling of a part of the centre of London to be rebranded as the North Bank. Here, 280 businesses including The Savoy Hotel, have voted yes to an £8 million renewal plan through Westminster City Council. The North Bank will rival London’s South Bank which now has a positive reputation as a cultural centre with eminent companies such as Rambert choosing this location as their base. It is hoped that investment in North Bank to create new pedestrian areas and improve local underground stations will lead to an increase in footfall for businesses as 45 million potential customers visit the region every year.
In a similar way, the revamping of whole locations as well as individual outlets has been achieved on High Streets across the UK through the efforts of Town Teams and projects such as the Portas Review. The decline of high streets has been discussed extensively in the media and many formerly thriving streets have suffered during the recession. Oxford Street, famous throughout the world for its shops has had to develop a new brand identity with the strapline ‘It all starts here’ in order to increase footfall. The New West End Company (NWEC) has set its sights on making ‘Ox St’ a world-class shopping environment and the new brand will be launched in September during London Fashion Week. The aim is to attract investment from the States and have empty premises all occupied by 2018.
It is well known that closed down retail outlets and shabby shop fronts deter consumers from venturing into high streets, so smartening up shopfronts is a simple and cost effective way of reversing this negative trend. Improving the aesthetics and or rebranding an individual outlet can not only increase turnover for that business it seems to have a positive influence on the surrounding area as various High Street improvement projects have shown. Innovative ways of attracting customers or clients to any business is paramount in a landscape where choice is constantly expanding. Simon Wolfson, the Next Chief executive maintains that consumers are becoming more spontaneous, so attracting them into outlets is harder to accomplish. Consequently, the customer experience should be an important factor to consider when rebranding or developing a brand from scratch.