Principles of Corporate Rebranding

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The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available at Principles of corporate rebranding Principles of corporate rebranding

Bill Merrilees and Dale Miller
Department of Marketing, Griffith University, Gold Coast, Australia
Purpose – The paper aims to highlight the importance of corporate rebranding in branding practice, which is neglected in theoretical treatment, so an extended theory is to be developed.
Design/methodology/approach – From the literature, the existing state of the theory of corporate rebranding is articulated. That theory is extended by the development of six principles and by case research. The principles are illustrated in the case of a
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With corporate branding, organisational issues may well involve some changes, but the emphasis is on getting all units to adhere consistently to policy and procedure specifications (such as common letterheads or business cards, or the use of colours). However, with corporate rebranding, all units need to be moved from one mindset/culture to another. Although there are some common issues, the virtues of a corporate rebranding framework include: . explicit focus on how and to what extent the corporate brand should be changed;
emphasis on justifying the brand revision – both benefits and costs;
greater sensitivity to potential internal resistance to the brand change and thus a need for a well-structured change management program to get brand buy-in; and
highlighting the need to alert all stakeholders to the new brand.
Shifting focus from corporate branding to corporate rebranding, we find less research or consensus. An early academic paper on rebranding was Berry’s (1988) summary of

Ogilvy and Mather’s brand revitalisation program. A common trigger for revitalising brands is under-performance (Kapferer, 1997). Using renaming, a narrow approach to rebranding, both Muzellec et al. (2003) and Muzellec and Lambkin (2006) found that structural factors such as mergers and acquisitions were the main drivers of rebranding, with brand image improvement ranked lower. Before focusing on
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