What businesses can learn from a failed rebrand.

A Rebrand Won’t Fix a Broken Business

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No doubt, in the last 24 hours, you would've seen the announcement from Facebook that they have rebranded their company to Meta. In the unveiling, CEO Mark Zuckerberg described the transformation as a way for them to encapsulate all they do and aim to do in the future - the Metaverse.

However, the world has not responded to the change as positive as I'm sure many at Meta had hoped. Rather than focussing on the rebrand itself, their new design, name or any other fluff, many are instead concentrating on their most recent (and historical) controversies.

While I won't detail the issues Facebook/Meta has been experiencing, Google is a fantastic resource if you have the time. I think it's important to reflect on why their tactic is so flawed and why it could be setting a terrible standard for other businesses.

Facebook is HUGE, but imagine scaling down the situation to a local business in your town if they were getting complaint after complaint and refusing to reflect on their processes and culture. What if they got a brand-spanking-new logo and accompanying signage? Would you still want to engage with that business? Probably not, right?

"you can't polish a turd, but you can roll it in glitter."

Before we even start a rebrand with clients, we insist on uncovering the history of their business. What is working, what isn't working, and why? Without this knowledge and awareness, we can only add glitter. 

It may just be my opinion, but I think we can learn from this failed rebrand and relaunch. Ask yourself why you want to begin a rebrand and if it's for the right reasons. If your work is of a high standard and customers are happy, but your brand no longer reflects the quality of work you're producing, it may be time to look at a refresh or update. 

The issue of a rebrand comes when you are trying to deceive your audience. Jumping up and down and telling (potential) customers to look past any business failings and just focussing on how pretty the business now looks has no longevity. Without having that solid foundation of business culture and values, cracks are inevitably going to show.

Facebook has done precisely this and, in turn, created a rift between themselves and their users that will be hard to climb out of. For a long time, Facebook's inner workings were hidden, and we, the people, mainly were okay with that, receiving a service that we liked and didn't ask much more than that. But in our current '(mis)information age', opaque business operations are no longer possible, with consumers wanting to know what the mission, values and culture a business carries and aims for.  

These factors build the foundation of your brand that your pretty logo sits on top of, precariously balanced. If the business is not running ethically, with solid internal processes, motivated by strong values, and delivered by happy employees to happy customers, you've failed before you've even started - no matter how much glitter you sprinkle.

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