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Rebranding: Embrace The Change
By: Kevin Weaver
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If you follow sports news, then you have probably heard about the Washington Redskins' possible move back to Washington D.C. If you don't follow sports news, don't worry, I'll bring you up to speed. Since 1997, the team has played at FedEx Field in Landover, MD, and although their lease with the stadium runs through 2026, there have been rumblings of a return to the District of Columbia. A return "home" can only be possible under one condition — a name change. The Mayor of D.C., Vincent Gray, says that the team needs to "do the right thing" in regards to their controversial nickname if a move is going to be made. 

It's not uncommon for sports teams to pick up and move cities, but most of the time their name stays intact. Rebranding for sports franchises and businesses can be very costly and can have negative effects on the brand if not done correctly. A lot can go wrong. For a sports franchise, there is a considerably high cost associated with rebranding. Everything displaying an old logo becomes obsolete; helmets, jerseys, hats, shirts, pants, blankets, license plates, and Snuggies (yeah, Snuggies). But too many companies go through the rebranding process for the wrong reasons — not that I think the Redskins would be doing so, but knowing when change is needed can be difficult and the worst thing you can do is to make a change without a purpose.

For most brands, the writing is on the wall when it comes time to rethink their overall strategy and image. A decline in sales, negative feedback from customers, and low customer retention are all tell-tale signs that change is needed. Changing your logo, revamping your website, or rethinking your goals as a company can go a long way toward showing your customers that you are committed to growth. Harley Davidson and Target, two very successful brands today, were once considered obsolete in their respective markets. On the brink of folding, both brands set themselves apart from the competition with efficient management and by providing higher quality products. Today, Target is the second largest discount retailer in the U.S. and Harley Davidson is, well, Harley Davidson.

Rebranding offers brands the opportunity to reestablish themselves and start over. All brands are different, but they all go through the same struggles. Whether it's a retailer rethinking their core product line or a sports team choosing to ditch a controversial nickname, change will always be the answer.

   

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About the Author
Kevin Weaver is a marketing professional in Wichita, KS with two years of experience. Past and present work includes email marketing compaigns, client e-store development, social media, and destination marketing.
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