Retail Rebranding: Introduction

This is 0 of 10 in a series by Craig Carl, SVP Creative Director, The Integer Group Dallas

Thousands of agencies worldwide specialize in the high-tension, high-stakes business of branding. Expertise is at every corner or website and all of it is offered with absolute authority. Unfortunately, with most of these brand architects, one strategic element is routinely absent: the minefield of rebranding existing stores. The stores are often given a new logo, some concept renderings and a good luck handshake.

There are equal parts excitement and insanity in rebranding an existing store chain. Most established American retailers have built their business and stores over the last 20 to 40 years. The legacy of different store formats, landlord restrictions and logistics are like quicksand; they will suck down budgets and vision, leaving nothing behind.

A CEO that can stare down Wall Street will falter when trying to decide between warm red and cool red. A CMO that thrives on media schedules and broadcast storyboards can implode over the variables on the company price tag system. Reason is replaced with passion and everyone becomes an expert.

Simply put, rebranding a retailer is not for sissies. Future posts from Craig will explore 10 reasons why.

Next Week, Retail Rebranding: Iceberg Ahead