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Rebranding: How CPG Companies Package New Identities

Rebranding is a risky gambit, but a successful rebrand can pay off big. The best rebrand strategies grab attention, media coverage, and even new customers that are drawn to a fresh style.

We went through our own rebrand recently, which we found exciting, stressful, and transformative.

We’re taking a look at recent CPG rebrands, when it’s time to rebrand, and how the most successful companies have navigated these tricky waters.

The CPG Rebrands Doing it Right

Jell-O recently rebranded its packaging for the first time in 10 years, switching to a retro style with solid colors and bold lettering. They wanted to move toward a more elemental style to emphasize how Jell-O is and always has been one of America’s classic and favorite snacks.

The colors are bolder, the font is beefier but with an old-fashioned blockiness, and the whole design is flatter and almost cartoonish. It works so well because Jell-O is itself simple, solid, and fundamental.

Who hasn’t had Jell-O? It’s a staple of cafeterias, picnics, and birthday parties, it’s like a core memory snack. And their simple rebrand emphasizes Jell-O’s strength as a pillar of American snacking.

Of course, not every rebrand is just a change in packaging. 

When Kraft Heinz rebranded many of its condiments recently, it did so by changing the products at the most basic level, revamping its product recipes with more natural ingredients. Hellmann’s Mayonnaise used a similar strategy, switching artificial ingredients for simple alternatives to match a health-conscious trend toward fewer chemicals and preservatives.

Be it through a fresh coat of paint or altering the product to follow mainstream trends, rebranding injects new life into your product.

Step-by-Step: How to Rebrand Your CPG

We’re excited about new CPG rebrands, we think it’s time to jump in, but how do we start the process? We’ve assembled a quick list to check your strategy against, to make sure your rebrand goes smoothly.

Research your consumers and your market. Understanding what consumers want from your product and how they feel about your current branding is the first step, alongside a comprehensive understanding of your market. This involves surveys, studies, test groups, and a lot of reading.

Where can your brand’s packing, product, or messaging resonate better with your target audience?

Examine your brand position. How is your product different from your competitors? How is it not? Where could you stand alone in the market? Identify your unique style, and if you don’t have one, start thinking of how to create one.

Sometimes, the best reason for a rebrand is to counterprogram against your competitors. If they’re Art Deco, go Mod. If they’re serious, be funny. If they’re Barbie, go Oppenheimer.

Rethink your visual identity. The font, packaging, colors, and logo all come together to create your brand’s visual identity. Are they cohesive? Your rebrand should be. Your new visual identity must be of a theme, creating the same feeling and presenting the same message across all graphical elements.

Think color palettes, typography, even the kind of images you use in your marketing materials. If you need people, are they photos or cartoons? Every visual component should weave together into a matching tapestry.

How can your product be innovated? Like Heinz and Hellmann’s, sometimes we have to reconsider our product from the ground up. Other times, we need to launch new products and product lines to keep up with consumer needs and wants.

Look at your products honestly, and use your market and consumer research to decide if they need an update to match current trends.

Align your team to the new message. Whether your rebrand is visual, product-centered, or messaging-focused, your team needs to be educated. They have to understand the rebrand better than anyone to help it stay consistent across all channels, and they can’t fall back on old resources.

Provide them with comprehensive training and easy access to the rebrand materials and messaging they need.

Then make a plan for ensuring that ALL content, products, or messaging is in line with the rebrand. This can be a daunting task the larger your company and the more channels you have.

Work with influencers and steer the conversation on social media. Social media is where culture forms, and rebranders need to have a hand on the wheel. Use your platforms to spread the word about your rebranding, using videos, photos, hashtags, and whatever content tracks best on your platform. Use surveys to track feedback, too, and run polls to get the temperature of your audience about the changes.

Getting influencers in on the ground floor of your rebranding is a must. The earlier the better. They’ll help you spread the word and even excite new consumers with your rebrand.

This social media communication creates a conversation with your audience, a back-and-forth interaction that makes your metamorphosis real.

Never stop tracking your rebrand. Set your key performance indicators (KPIs) before the rebrand and measure your success in reaching those KPIs at regular intervals during and after the rebrand.

Analyze every stream of data you’re getting, including sales, customer perception, brand awareness, and of course market share as you go to discover if your rebrand is working (and where it needs tweaking).

Roll Out Your CPG Rebrand Strategically

Rebrands can be rolled out all at once or over time. The fast rebrand has more “wow” factor, and a brand changing overnight adds to the excitement (especially if you’ve built up the change over social media and other marketing channels). A gradual rebrand is safer, it’s easier to coordinate, and it allows for more A/B testing and alteration before the rebrand is complete.

However you plan on rebranding, it won’t be easy, but it can be powerfully rewarding. We wish you the best of luck!

And if you’re less interested in luck, reach out to Inspira Marketing today to work with our experts in branding, marketing, and social media to help roll out your rebranding strategy.

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