Cheers to rebrand

Last week I was invited by my friend and communications and marketing manager at Vinventions, in Spain. The format was a discussion on Instagram live, and the subject rebranding in the world of wine (I mean wine and branding, doesn’t sound like heaven?). The conversation was great, and the questions that came out afterwards brought us a lot to think about and debate.

The chat started with the question:

Is now the moment to rebrand my wine brand?

I can’t answer with a simple yes or a no. Of course, that was what we wanted to discuss. I always start saying that branding represents everything in your business, and you have to keep it alive and relevant to the times. The market is continually changing, and the pandemic speeded up those changes.

A rebrand is a great exercise to help your brand, but it also comes with a cost. You can lose your brand equity (your symbols, client loyalty, and the heritage built through the years).

So when is it a good time for a rebranding? – Ester asked. 

I’m going to give you six moments to consider a rebrand; however, you might consider two or more instances before doing a complete rebranding. 

1 Changes in brand strategy. 

When a business has a new CEO or director, usually that comes with structural changes and those changes could be the business vision or purpose.

For example, brands becoming sustainable* and want to add that as a priority in their DNA is an excellent moment to rethink the whole strategy. 

*I here I made emphasis that this might sound like a nice to have, but in the next few years will be a must-have, not only because policies are changing, but the consumer will demand it.

2 Change of positioning.

As I said, the market changes all the time, which means that you might get a new competitor or that your customer needs and values and needs have changed. This situation is currently a big issue to look at as if you were targeting young people. You will have to see how millennials and Generation Z are shaping the marketplace. They want instant, digital and sustainable. 

In the world of wine, we were talking about how we could become attractive to young people. That is making sure that your drink format is not only an excellent product but has to be instagramable and engaging visually.

3 Expansion or internationalisation.

Your brand decides to go to a new country. You will have to look at naming and how it visually fits with the culture of that country. Naming could be unpronounceable, registered or have the wrong meaning in a new country. For example, Mitsubishi Pajero had to be rebranded in Spain as Pajero means wanker in Spanish. 

4 The brand looks tired.

In the world of wine, you can solve this with a refresh instead of a complete rebranding because you likely want to keep the heritage feel. But some brands might need a complete rebrand if the trend has passed its best.

5 Damaged reputation.

The most famous example of this case is when McDonals introduced green colours to their brand to appear healthier. I wonder if that is where the noun Greenwash comes from. 🤔

6 Fusion

A rebrand often happens when two businesses fusion and one brand might swallow the other, or they might become a whole new brand. 

Thoughts and things we said during the debate

Cans and boxes will give a cheaper feel to your product. Now, if you don’t do a complete rebranding, the minimum I would recommend is to make sure you differentiate them, somehow—kind of what Waitrose does with their Essentials.

Ester insisted on how online sales will change the experience of buying wine when now it’s all tangible. Soon we’ll have to rethink in digital terms. We talked about animated labels for e-commerce and the importance of showing the product differently instead of a photo of a small bottle. 

Another exciting moment was when Ester told us that 95% of the buying decision comes from the design. When you are competing for attention on a shelf, the label plays an important part.

I will end this article as we finished it when Ester said: Marketing is what gets you a date, and branding is what gets you a wedding.