*Disclaimer* I do not work for Freedom Mobile, and they are not my service provider.
Now that we got that out of the way, let me paint the picture – you’re in grade school coming back from summer break. New clothes, new shoes, and a new attitude. You heard that people previously thought you had B.O, well now you found a cologne that works for you. Now this, this is the perfect rebrand. This may be a more juvenile example but at its core it holds its own in comparison to some of the world’s biggest brands.
A rebrand is creating a new look and feel for an existing product or organization. Why do they exist? For the same reason that we all come back to school looking fresh and brand new after the summer break. It’s an opportunity to reposition a brand, start over in some cases, or reach a new audience. Now let’s back up to why this article is being written. In a conversation with a friend last weekend, they had mentioned they were switching phone plans to Freedom Mobile (formerly known as Wind Mobile). All of the previous backlash they’ve gotten regarding lack of phone service outside of large cities came to mind and I immediately made fun of him.
Through him explaining the changes they made and actually speaking to a representative, the rebrand began to make sense. What I originally thought was a brand rebranding for the sake of a rebrand was now quite impressive. What was the negative feedback? Wind Mobile doesn’t allow consumers the freedom to be all over Ontario without inferior service. The solution? Fixing this issue and using the consumer problem as an asset in rebranding as Freedom Wireless. Job well done. Sometimes the best way to manage the conversation is to start over. Sure, Wind Mobile could improve their service under the same name and design system, but it just works that much better when everything else is new and more improved. There will always be the people that can never look past Wind Mobile, but I’m willing to bet the majority of us would now judge them as Freedom Mobile.
Rebrands are tough to put it simply. As always in the social media era there’s always the fear of consumer backlash like GAP back in 2010. The brand randomly unveiled a new logo after 20 years and the public was not having at. Essentially due to the consumer response, the brand switched their logo back in under a week
This is a clear example of “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it”. I mean just think of how much money the brand paid a design agency to come up with the new concept, just to have it shoved back in their face by their own customers and analyzed by marketers for years as a classic example of a poor rebrand.
Rebrands are all around us. From Instagram changing their logo to Uber rebranding their services and app last year. When there’s an opportunity to shake things up, it should be taken. With that being said, there should be an objective to the rebrand. Wind Mobile wanted to change consumer perceptions. The question is, do you think they’ve succeeded?
Dakarai is an ambitious professional with a passion for advertising and marketing, and is currently employed in account services for an ad agency in Toronto. When he’s not at the office, he’s most likely trying out a new restaurant, browsing AdWeek, or binge watching something on Netflix. Dakarai, but you can call him Dak. Follow him on Twitter, Instagram, and connect with him on LinkedIn.