Reasons to rebrand - The Suppertime to Foodora story

At a rudimentary level, rebranding is changing the look and feel of an established product or business.

It should never be entered into lightly; It can be extremely costly; and can cause confusion with customers and other stakeholders.

But, there are times when it can be a necessary step for a business’s growth. It can be a visible signpost to signal to the market and customers that a business’s products, services or experience has changed.

Some of the more prominent rebrands of recent times include Uber, Telstra, Airbnb, and Rebel Sport.

But, one of the most fascinating Australian examples was Suppertime’s rebrand to Foodora.

 

A couple of years ago, you may have noticed in the blink of an eye food delivery bike riders changing from the Suppertime red to the Foodora hot pink? It was swift, quick, and was a huge logistical operation for everything to happen literally overnight.

The rebrand was orchestrated by Foodora’s CMO, Charlotte Rijkenberg, and one of our top experts.

We chatted to Charlotte about why Suppertime rebranded, and what a business should consider before changing it’s whole identity.

Suppertime had been operating in Sydney for 10 years and Melbourne for 6 months, before it was acquired by Foodora. Why was Suppertime rebranded to Foodora?

Becoming part of the Foodora family meant a lot of great improvements: an improved app and a better customer experience, to name a few. It made sense to make all these changes to the customer experience under the Foodora name and brand and become part of the Foodora family as it is operating in Europe and Canada.

I definitely took it on as a challenge to smoothly transition to the new brand, internally and externally. And now, we can say it has been a successful transition and we were able to significantly grow our company and customer base.

Rebranding can be a very costly exercise and can be confusing to the market. Why should a business undertake a rebrand?

Rebranding is definitely not something to take lightly and there are some great examples of companies who have struggled with the transition.

First of all I think there are two types of rebranding: a full rebrand, including a new name, look and other improvements to the brand, and brand updates, where a brand keeps it’s name, but updates the look & feel of the identity, sometimes alongside product and experience improvements as well.

Reasons to go for a full rebrand, could be an acquisition of another company, a merger, or a complete new brand DNA, because a company is taking a different business direction.

Reasons to update your brand and do a rebrand, without a name change, can be many. For example you can rebrand and simply modernise a logo (which in a lot of cases can be done very subtly).

However even such a thing as “modernising” your logo, shouldn’t be taken lightly, for example GAP made a huge (and famous) mistake a couple of years back to “update/modernise” their logo, not taking into consideration that their very loyal customers had a extremely strong connection with the old logo and that their logo had become an icon – within a week they changed back to their old logo, due to the enormous customer backlash.

Sometimes (for example in UBER’s case), their brand identity was simply too limiting for their growing and expanding business. With their new business features they needed flexibility in their identity to show this expansion and diversity, their DNA is still the same, but they expanded their brand identity.

What should a business consider before deciding to change their name, logo or identity?

First of all establish the brand awareness of your company (which is the most expensive part in your marketing budget to regain if you are changing the brand’s name).

Secondly, actually TALK and LISTEN to your customers to find out how important the brand name/logo/identity is for them. For me the previous example of GAP showed a major gap (sorry for the pun) between the marketing department’s desire for a rebrand and their lack of knowledge of the iconic status it had gained with their customers.

GAP might have done some customer research, but I don’t think they actually talked and listened to their customers thoroughly, before they made the decision to change the logo.

And finally, I think it is also very important that a rebrand makes sense for the whole company and all its departments. A rebrand can be a scary change for employees, but it can also be an exciting change that gives them a new sense of confidence and excitement, which will help the company grow.

And if you make sure the rebrand makes sense to the customers as well, a rebrand can be done very smoothly, without much noise, as people will quickly be familiar with the change.

If you can truly make it better and improve your business, rebranding can be a very positive undertaking.

How do you avoid confusion with your customers and other stakeholders?

A successful rebrand is based on skilful communication! It needs to be clearly communicated with your team, stakeholders and most importantly your customers.

Answer the ‘why’, the ‘how’ and make the reasoning and benefits of the rebrand very clear to everyone involved. Think like your audience and consider how they would experience the transition, so you can address their concerns in your communication to them.

And besides communication, involvement is also key within your company. Making sure it becomes a team effort with all departments involved, instead of just a Marketing-effort, will really help with a smooth transition.

Suppertime was literally rebranded over night. Should all businesses rebrand overnight, or is it ok to do it gradually over a longer period of time?

As long as you plan the rebrand properly and the rebrand makes sense – I think you can easily rebrand overnight. But in some cases a gradual transition might be required, to get internal stakeholders and customers used to the changes the brand is planning. In the end, it will really depend on your company and its position and role in the market.

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