Social media forces change in rebranding strategies


Rebranding in the digital era

We live in impatient times. Digital content can spread like wildfire within minutes and then disappear just as quickly. That acceleration of speed has had ripple effects on every aspect of marketing, including the company rebrand.

In the past, planning a rebrand might have been a six-month long process, but marketers no longer have that luxury. Phil Battat, partner of Brand Zoo, says his agency has developed a 60-day strategy that relies on impactful storytelling and a multi-disciplinary approach for success. Among its clients are Atlantis, Cowboy Barbeque, NEXTracker, Nexient and Solaria.

We sat down with Battat, who has more than 20 years of agency and marketing experience, to talk about Brand Zoo’s process.

What’s causing the need for companies who are rebranding to move faster?
Business is moving at a faster pace and more competitive than ever. As a result, when it comes to branding, executive teams need to reformulate business and marketing strategies and execute quickly.

How do you manage to do a rebrand that traditionally took six months in just two? What makes your process more efficient?
When companies just don’t have a lot of time and resources, we use a rapid deployment model based on executive interviews (and sometimes customers and outside analysts) to quickly generate insights and brand concepts that guide messaging and design. We bring senior people, lean process and a focus on results. Our clients see the work in weekly increments, which leads to better collaboration, focus and execution. We also parallel path design and messaging while simultaneously starting execution of marketing elements including websites, ads, environments and more. We also deploy collaborative technology for online meetings and file sharing along with easy to use and implement digital platforms.

How do social media and other emerging channels factor into today’s rebranding?
Since companies cannot rigidly control their brands like they could in the past, our narrative and design work helps to define the voice, messaging and visual expression for social media and emerging channels.

What are some lessons learned from the successful rebrands you have done?
The best rebrands are ones where the CEO and executive teams engage in the development of the brand idea and the brand expression. Great brands are about focus, and it takes commitment across the organization to deliver on bold brand promises.

Tell us about one of the rebrands: How did you assess and approach the client’s needs, determine how to proceed and implement the rebrand? What made it a success?
Our work with NEXTracker is a good example. The company was a challenger brand against larger and more established competitors selling solar tracking equipment to conservative utility customers. Our work helped NEXTracker to define and communicate a bigger vision around “Building the power plants of the future.” The rebrand helped communicate the company mission, momentum, and proven performance as well as helped them accelerate business performance. Within a few months of the rebranding, Flextronics acquired NEXTracker and will maintain the NEXTracker brand as one of the core brands in their portfolio.

Phil Battat is a partner at Brand Zoo, a branding and design agency focused on smart ideas, design and results.

About Author

Ambreen Ali

Ambreen Ali edits SmartBrief newsletters on interactive advertising, social business, mobile marketing and other topics. Before joining SmartBrief, she worked as a reporter covering technology policy and lobbying for CQ Roll Call. She holds a master's degree in new media journalism from Northwestern's Medill School and has also worked for Bloomberg and AFP, while based in New Delhi. Her work has appeared in numerous publications including Washington Post's Express, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, and

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