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Learn From the Greats: Successful Rebrands Throughout History

successful rebrands throughout history

Many companies have tried, not as many have been successful, but successful rebranding is possible A successful rebranding campaign requires vision that inspires growth, change, and connection. Here are some examples of great companies that transformed their brand, reputation, and skyrocketed to leaders in the business world. These successful rebrands throughout history took the risk and came out stronger than ever.

From nearly bankrupt to dominating the industry:

Harley-Davidson: As it is now considered the most reliable motorcycle brand on the market, it’s hard to believe there was a time when Harley-Davidson almost went bankrupt in 1985. They risked almost disappearing from highways for good after being $90 million dollars in debt, t. However, they decided to rebrand by improving the quality of the product they were selling to loyal customers. Now, quality is a characteristic consistently associated with the Harley-Davidson name.

Apple: Although Apple has established itself as a  dominator in the tech-industry, it was once nearly bankrupt in 1997. The difference 20 years later is Apple’s evolution of products that are elegant, stylish, and reliable. Apple’s rebrand utilized what the team does best: creativity and innovation driven by purpose.

The names before they were great:

  • Computing Tabulating Recording Company to IBM, 1924
  • American Messenger Company to UPS, 1937
  • Brad’s Drink to Pepsi, 1961
  • Peter’s Super Submarines to Subway,1968
  • Blue Ribbon Sports to Nike, 1971
  • BackRub to Google, 1998
  • Opal Fruits to Starburst, 1998
  • Firebird to Firefox, 2004

High-profile and happening now.

McDonald’s: A notable rebrand currently going on, McDonald’s is working on a campaign to change their image from cheap and unhealthy to providing healthier options. This rebrand was inspired but scrutiny from the public about the quality of the food and atmosphere in the restaurant chains. Instead of letting the declining public opinion drag them down, the McDonald’s team listened and evolved. So far, the rebrand is going successfully, and we’re looking forward to seeing how the rest of the rebrand campaign develops.

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