When Rebranding is the Wrong Decision

“Just because” is a nice reason for doing something to make another person happy. Like sending a life partner, family member or faraway friend a letter, funny card or flowers. Or doing something thoughtful for another person, maybe surprising them with their favorite dinner, mowing the yard or doing some housework to give them a little extra “me” time. No special occasion. Not a birthday or anniversary. Saying it was “just because” indicates you really had no reason at all. It’s just because you wanted to do it.

“Just because” is definitely not motivation for a rebranding.

When it comes to rebranding, “just because” is the foundation of a very bad decision. Just because my competitors are doing it. Just because we haven’t done it for a while. Just because we have extra money in the budget. Just because someone suggested it. Just because “the boss said so.”

Rebranding is a comprehensive solution to a specific problem. If there is no identifiable problem, rebranding will not solve a thing.

Look at Tropicana as an example. In January of 2009, Tropicana unveiled a drastic redesign of its orange juice container. The company gave no real reason for the change. And it gave its loyal customers no advance warning. One day, there it was. Or, actually, there it wasn’t. The iconic carton was gone from supermarket shelves and no one recognized the new version. Frustrated shoppers voiced their disapproval in checkout lines everywhere – then on social media. Sales of the Tropicana Pure Premium line plummeted 20 percent in less than two months, costing the brand millions. In little more than one month, the company reversed itself and tossed out the new packaging. Millions spent on an abandoned rebrand. Millions in lost revenue. Millions more spent to restore the old brand. Just because it was wrong.

Just because is a good explanation for doing something nice when you really have no reason at all. But when you do something wrong – like a rebranding that is ill-conceived and unnecessary – “just because” isn’t an explanation.

It’s an excuse.


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