Rebranding has become essential in this competitive world. Companies are rejuvenating, repositioning, and revitalizing their brands for competitive advantages. The changes are other times aimed at building brand equity and customer loyalty. However, rebranding is not always the answer since most brands already have certain positions in the customer’s mind, hence rebranding may cause a disruption in the perceived brand equity or even negatively impact customer’s judgment. Therefore, this study digs deeper into the issue of rebranding to establish the barriers of a successful rebranding outcome to avoid such detrimental shortcomings. The study adopted a qualitative research design to collect data. Lack of customer involvement was among the principal causes of unsuccessful rebranding outcomes. Instances where customers are not involved in the changes they do not respond well to changes. Therefore, before embarking on any form of rebranding, it is good to consider customers or else the whole operation may turn to waste.

Keywords: rebranding, brand equity, customer’s attitudes, customer loyalty


Chapter 5 presents a discussion of the finding on the previous chapter in light of theories presented in the previous sections. The structure of the discussion is based on the investigative questions posed in chapter one.


As seen in the hypothesis, rebranding, brand loyalty and customers’ attitudes are interrelated. Depending on the interaction of this three aspects the rebranding process may either be a success or a failure. The interaction between the three is what forms the basis of barriers and enablers of a successful rebranding outcome. The process of rebranding is also influences the outcome of the rebranding. As seen in Chapter four when the customers were asked if they were aware of Radisson Group Hotel rebranding, 60% of them argued to have been left out during the name change. The 40% who knew of the change had not been informed by the hotel management either but had learned of it through rumors in the blogs. This situation influenced their attitudes and their brand loyalty towards the hotel. In this case it is evident that failure to involve the stakeholders is one of the major barriers in the rebranding process. This notion is in support of Kimberley’s argument that the consumer’s mind is typically influenced by different messages surrounding a brand and therefore it is the duty of an organization to try and impact the mind with positive messages to build consumer loyalty (Kimberly, 2012). In respect to Kimberly’s argument it is evident that during the rebranding process a firm ought to involve its customers and explain the reason for the change to ensure that the mind of the customer remains positive towards the brand even after the change. In every rebranding process, perspective and external influences are a necessary condition. Many times organization leave rebranding to marketers who are already busy enough and only concentrate on internal factors leaving the external factors out. Rebranding must not be relegated to only the domain of the internal department only external motives (consumers) ought also to be considered.

In another question the customers were asked if they had found any differences with Radisson’s services after rebranding. As seen earlier most of the customers argued that they had not seen any difference with the hotel’s services even after the name change. According to Asker’s model this form of rebranding is known as rebranding without reconstructing. Too often when organizations are creating a brand identity they focus on attributes such brand position and leave out other aspects such as the brand’s products (Aaker, 2009). Through the model Aaker outlines a road map for a successful rebranding outcome. For instance, organizations ought to focus on aspects such as brand in the sense of product, person, symbol, and organization. No matter how much the brand image needs fixing, ignoring other aspects of rebranding causes obstacles that may bring the whole operation down. Instances where organization change the brands name without actually changing the processes through which the brand is promise is delivered they risk losing loyal customers. True branding occurs when there are combined activities of the entire company from customer services to operations and sales and marketing. Incorporating all aspects of the Aaker models is the only solution to a successful rebranding outcome. The aspects shape how the consumers feel about a brand and where they rank it among its peers. Radisson may have outlined its five-year strategy plan but failed to come up with something short term to support the name change.

In an attempt to establish customer’s attitudes towards Radisson’s rebranding, customers were asked where they stood with the new brand. 60% of the consumers gave a negative feedback to the question and indication that the new brand was not well received. This negative backlash is an indication the hotel did not observe the elements of the rebranding process. According to the framework of the rebranding process there are four steps that ought to be considered; analyzing, planning, implementation, and evaluation. The planning stage is very crucial if an organization wants its customers to continue being loyal to the new brand. This phase outlines that customers are valuable when coming up with a new name, symbol or even the logo. Radisson ought to have avoided this negative feedback by making using of customer’s views. The company could have also rectified this negative feedback through evaluation. The evaluation stage is whereby the organization measures the failures and success of the rebranding process. This helps to gauge the customer’s perception of the new product.

The issue of rebranding without a meaningful purpose and its contribution to the failure of a rebranding outcome was also seen when analyzing the case studies. As depicted in the case of Gap Inc. rebranding the change was considered as a change for change’s sake. According to Hardy, in 2010 Gap Inc. unveiled their new logo abruptly abandoning their old logo that had served the company for 25 years (Hardy, 2019). Scholars such as Bonigala termed the move as change for change’s sake (Bonigala, 2019). The change did not have any meaningful purpose and it was done without a forethought. The result was a massive backlash from loyal customers who threatened to boycott the company’s products. The company had no option but to resume its original logo to gain back its customer’s loyalty. In this instance it is evident that when organizations rebrand with a meaningful purpose failures are unavoidable. The loss that Gap Inc. made as a result of this hasty move amounted to approximately $100 million.


In this competitive market, marketers have had to come up with strategies of ensuring their products and services rank up. Rebranding has been one of this key strategies. Companies have had to reposition, revitalize, and rejuvenate their brands to gain competitive advantages. However, in the phase of ranking up and overthrowing competitors most of the organization have only focused on one aspect of rebranding; name change at the expense of all other aspects. This oversight has been a key barrier to a successful rebranding outcome. After rebranding because of failure to observe other factors such as rebranding as a product, symbol or organization, companies have made losses instead of the anticipated losses. Rebranding is an expensive operation and precautions ought to be taken to minimize losses and maximize profits. Therefore to overcome the barriers organizations ought to observe the following enablers as discussed in the recommendations.


This section discourses the best course of actions regarding a successful rebranding outcome. The recommendations aim at helping marketers and organizations in general avoid some of the problems that accrue during the rebranding process.

  1. Marketers ought to take into consideration the rebranding process framework before changing any aspect of the brand. The four steps of rebranding; analyzing, planning, implementation, and evaluation helps in having an overview of the whole operation before committing the resources to it. The evaluation step for instance, will give the marketers the opportunity to interact with the customers and ascertain if they are for or against the change. The stage also makes the consumers feel involved, therefore, even if they may react to the brand changes with a clear explanation with time they may accept the changes.
  2. There also ought to be observation of the Aaker model that insists on incorporating all aspects of rebranding rather than concentrate on name change only. Aaker argues that the brand is not only made up of a name but also other aspects such as the symbol, products, and the organizations itself (Aaker, 2009). The four elements that ought to be considered during rebranding according to Aaker’s model include brand in the sense of a product, person, symbol and organization. Instances where firms only concentrate on one aspect of rebranding the process is known as rebranding on the surface. Mostly, the main focus is normally on the name and other visual aspects of the brand such as symbols and trademarks. A rebranding initiative that only focuses on some of the rebranding elements at the expense of other is not a rebranding initiative at all and it is major cause of an unsuccessful rebranding. As much as an organization may not need to incorporate all the four elements, it is crucial that all be considered for a successful rebranding outcome.
  3. Dimensions of brand knowledge are also essential for a successful rebranding outcome. According to Keller, brand awareness and brand knowledge are necessary when creating a new brand image (Keller, 1993). Brand knowledge is the basis of creating brand awareness and a brand image. The image is also as a result of brand identity and awareness and depends on the strength of the brand knowledge. In this respect it is evident that organizations the importance of brand knowledge in creating awareness. Therefore before embarking on any rebranding the firms ought to use the dimensions of brand knowledge to create awareness about the intended changes. This way the customers will already be aware of the intended changes which is crucial for minimizing the backlashes.
  4. Marketer also should always avoid rebranding without a meaningful course. As mentioned earlier change should not be for change’s sake, but rather there ought to be a solid reason behind rebranding. Rebranding initiative ought to have a mission and a vision that are inspirational enough to drive the entire rebranding process. Otherwise companies may end up like Gap Inc. a company that rebranded and reverted back to its original name because of an unplanned hasty move. Rebranding ought not to be an overnight though but it ought to be given a serious consideration so as to come up with the goal of the whole process.
  5. Today, rebranding without differentiation is a common trait among many marketers and this has been deal breaker to most organizations that attempt rebranding. Firms should note that the fundamental principal of all rebranding initiatives is to create a distinctive product to overcome competition challenges. However, any rebranding initiative that fails to observe this objective and Marely replicates what the competitors are doing can be considered as a waste of time, effort, and money. Companies ought to focus on differentiating their products from the competitors and focusing on their customer’s needs for a successful rebranding outcome. Apple followed this direction; instead of focusing on its competitors it concentrated on its customer’s need and today it ranks among the top brands in the world.