Skip to main content

To brand or to rebrand: Investigating the effects of rebranding on brand equity and consumer attitudes

Abstract

In the present study, we intend to contribute to the rebranding literature by investigating: (a) the relative change in customer based brand equity (CBBE) of a brand before and post an evolutionary rebranding announcement; (b) the relative change in CBBE with respect to the market position of the brand (leader/follower) in case of evolutionary rebranding; and (c) the relative effect of a specific type of change in brand element (logo and/or slogan) on the consumer attitudes and CBBE. We use cue utilization theory and information integration theory along with rebranding literature to establish our hypotheses. We test our hypotheses using a 2 × 2 (with repeat measures) and a 2 × 3 full factorial design in succession. We find the CBBE of an established brand to diminish following rebranding news while that of a less-established brand to be enhanced. We also find a differential effect of the rebranding types on the consumer attitudes and CBBE that is subject to the relative brand position in the market. The academic implications of the study lie in the exploration of the effects of rebranding on consumers. The practitioner implications include suggestions for the effective use of rebranding as a strategy.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Figure 1

Notes

  1. 1.

    For copyright issues we could not include the same in the article. The details are available from the authors on request.

References

  1. Aaker, D.A. and Shansby, J.G. (1982) Positioning your product. Business Horizons 25 (3): 56–62.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Aaker, D.A. and Joachimsthaler, E. (2000) Brand Leadership. New York: The Free Press.

    Google Scholar 

  3. Anderson, N.H. (1981) Foundations of Information Integration Theory. New York: Academic Press.

    Google Scholar 

  4. Anderson, J., Fincham, J. and Douglass, S. (1999) Practice and retention: A unifying analysis. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition 25 (5): 1120–1136.

    Google Scholar 

  5. Bagozzi, R.P. and Yi, Y. (1989) On the use of structural equation models in experimental designs. Journal of Marketing Research 26 (3): 271–274.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Bloemer, J., De Ruyter, K. and Wetzels, M. (1999) Linking perceived service quality and service loyalty: A multi-dimensional perspective. European Journal of Marketing 33 (11/12): 1082–1106.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Branca, A.S. and Borges, M.R. (2011) The impact of corporate rebranding on the firm’s market value. International Journal of Latest Trends in Finance and Economic Sciences 1 (4): 175–182.

    Google Scholar 

  8. Census of India (2011) http://censusindia.gov.in/, accessed 5 January 2014.

  9. Chaudhuri, A. and Holbrook, M.B. (2001) The chain of effects from brand trust and brand affect to brand performance: The role of brand loyalty. Journal of Marketing 65 (2): 81–93.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Chu, K., Lee, D.H., Yeu, M. and Park, S. (2014) How much change is optimal when a brand is newly rebranded? Asia Marketing Journal 15 (4): 161–186.

    Google Scholar 

  11. Cobb-Walgren, C.J., Ruble, C.A. and Donthu, N. (1995) Brand equity, brand preference, and purchase intent. Journal of advertising 24 (3): 25–40.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. Collange, V. (2015) Consumer reaction to service rebranding. Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services 22: 178–186.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  13. Cyber Media Research India (2014) Monthly mobile handsets market review: 1Q 2014, 13 May, http://cmrindia.com/58-9-million-mobile-handsets-shipped-in-india-during-1q-cy-2014-a-y-o-y-growth-of-8-9-but-a-q-o-q-seasonal-decline-of-16-4/, accessed 25 May 2014.

  14. Dahlén, M. and Rosengren, S. (2005) Brands affect slogans affect brands? Competitive interference, brand equity and the brand-slogan link. Journal of Brand Management 12 (3): 151–164.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  15. Daly, A. and Moloney, D. (2004) Managing corporate rebranding. Irish Marketing Review 17 (1/2): 30–36.

    Google Scholar 

  16. Delaney, P.F., Reder, L.M., Staszewski, J.J. and Ritter, F.E. (1998) The strategy specific nature of improvement: The power law applies by strategy within task. Psychological Science 9 (1): 1–8.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  17. Douglas, S.P. and Nijssen, E.J. (2003) On the use of ‘borrowed’ scales in cross‐national research: A cautionary note. International Marketing Review 20 (6): 621–642.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  18. Downs, P.E. and Haynes, J.B. (1984) Examining retail image before and after a repositioning strategy. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science 12 (4): 1–24.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  19. Fazio, R.H. (1986) How do attitudes guide behavior? In: R.M. Sorrentino and E.T. Higgins (eds.) Handbook of Motivation and Cognition: Foundations of Social Behavior. New York: Guilford Press, pp. 204–243.

    Google Scholar 

  20. Fazio, R.H. (1989) On the power and functionality of attitudes: The role of attitude accessibility. In: A.R. Pratkanis, S.J. Breckler and A.G. Greenwald (eds.) Attitude Structure and Function. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum, pp. 153–179.

    Google Scholar 

  21. Fornell, C. and Larcker, D.F. (1981) Evaluating structural equation models with unobservable variables and measurement error. Journal of Marketing Research 18 (1): 39–50.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  22. Gambles, B. and Schuster, H. (2003) The changing image of Birmingham libraries: Marketing strategy into action. New Library World 104 (9): 361–371.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  23. Girard, T., Anitsal, M.M. and Anitsal, I. (2013) The role of logos in building brand awareness and performance: Implications for entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurial Executive 18: 7–16.

    Google Scholar 

  24. Goi, C. and Goi, M. (2011) Review on models and reasons of rebranding. In: Proceedings of the International Conference on Social Science and Humanity; 26–28 February, Singapore.

  25. Heathcote, A., Brown, S. and Mewhort, D.J.K. (2000) The power law repealed: The case for an exponential law of practice. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review 7 (2): 185–207.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  26. Holley, J. (2008) Generation Y: Understanding the Trend and Planning for the Impact. In: Proceedings of the 32nd Annual IEEE International Computer Software and Applications Conference; 28 July–1 August, Turku, Finland.

  27. Hox, J.J. (2002) Multilevel Analysis: Techniques and Applications. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.

    Google Scholar 

  28. Huang, R. and Sarigöllü, E. (2012) How brand awareness relates to market outcome, brand equity, and the marketing mix. Journal of Business Research 65 (1): 92–99.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  29. Ing, G.P. (2012) Corporate rebranding and the effects on consumers’ attitude structure. International Journal of Business and Society 13 (3): 255–278.

    Google Scholar 

  30. Jain, V. and Pant, S. (2012) Navigating generation Y for effective mobile marketing in India: A conceptual framework. International Journal of Mobile Marketing 7 (3): 56–65.

    Google Scholar 

  31. Kaikati, J.G. and Kaikati, A.M. (2003) A rose by any other name: Rebranding campaigns that work. Journal of Business Strategy 24 (6): 17–23.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  32. Kashmiri, S. and Mahajan, V. (2015) The name’s the game: Does marketing impact the value of corporate name changes? Journal of Business Research 68 (2): 281–290.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  33. Kapferer, J.-N. (1997) Strategic Brand Management: Creating and Sustaining Brand Equity Long Term. London: Kogan Page.

    Google Scholar 

  34. Keller, K.L. (1993) Conceptualizing, measuring, and managing customer-based brand equity. Journal of Marketing 57 (1): 1–22.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  35. Keller, K.L. (2000) Building and managing corporate brand equity. In: M. Schultz, M.J. Hatch and M.H. Larsen (eds.) The Expressive Organisation: Linking Identity, Reputation and the Corporate Brand. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  36. Keller, K.L. (2003) Brand synthesis: The multidimensionality of brand knowledge. Journal of Consumer Research 29 (4): 595–600.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  37. Keller, K.L. and Lehmann, D.R. (2006) Brands and branding: Research findings and future priorities. Marketing Science 25 (6): 740–759.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  38. Kilic, C. and Dursun, T. (2006) The effect of corporate identity changes on firm value: An empirical investigation. Journal of the American Academy of Business 10 (1): 234–240.

    Google Scholar 

  39. Kotler, P. (1999) Kotler on Marketing: How to Create, Win and Dominate Markets. London: The Free Press.

    Google Scholar 

  40. La Ferle, C. and Choi, S.M. (2005) The importance of perceived endorser credibility in South Korean advertising. Journal of Current Issues & Research in Advertising 27 (2): 67–81.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  41. Labrecque, L.I. and Milne, G.R. (2012) Exciting red and competent blue: The importance of color in marketing. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science 40 (5): 711–727.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  42. Lambkin, M. and Muzellec, L. (2008) Rebranding in the banking industry following mergers and acquisitions. International Journal of Bank Marketing 26 (5): 328–352.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  43. Logan, G. (1992) Shapes of reaction-time distributions and shapes of learning curves: A test of the instance theory of automaticity. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition 18 (5): 883–914.

    Google Scholar 

  44. Lomax, W. and Mador, M. (2006) Corporate re-branding: From normative models to knowledge. Brand Management 14 (1): 82–95.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  45. Lomax, W., Mador, M. and Fitzhenry, A. (2002) Corporate Rebranding: Learning from Experience. Kingston, UK: Kingston Business School.

    Google Scholar 

  46. Luck, K. (2012) The delicate art of rebranding: Retaining equity while creating a fresh face. Journal of Brand Strategy 1 (1): 50–56.

    Google Scholar 

  47. Maddison, A. (2013) Economic Progress and Policy in Developing Countries. Abingdon, Oxon, UK: Routledge.

    Google Scholar 

  48. Maheswaran, D. and Chaiken, S. (1991) Promoting systematic processing in low-motivation settings: Effect of incongruent information on processing and judgment. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 61 (1): 13–25.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  49. Malhotra, N.K., Ulgado, F.M., Agarwal, J., Shainesh, G. and Wu, L. (2005) Dimensions of service quality in developed and developing economies: Multi-country cross-cultural comparisons. International Marketing Review 22 (3): 256–278.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  50. Miller, D., Merrilees, B. and Yakimova, R. (2013) Corporate rebranding: An integrative review of major enablers and barriers to the rebranding process. International Journal of Management Reviews 16 (3): 265–289.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  51. Merrilees, B. and Miller, D. (2008) Principles of corporate rebranding. European Journal of Marketing 42 (5/6): 537–552.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  52. Miyazaki, A.D., Grewal, D. and Goodstein, R.C. (2005) The effect of multiple extrinsic cues on quality perceptions: A matter of consistency. Journal of Consumer Research 32 (1): 146–153.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  53. Müller, B., Kocher, B. and Crettaz, A. (2013) The effects of visual rejuvenation through brand logos. Journal of Business Research 66 (1): 82–88.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  54. Muzellec, L. and Lambkin, M. (2006) Corporate rebranding: Destroying, transferring or creating brand equity? European Journal of Marketing 40 (7/8): 803–824.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  55. Muzellec, L. and Lambkin, M. (2008) Corporate rebranding and the implications for brand architecture management: The case of Guinness (Diageo) Ireland. Journal of Strategic Marketing 16 (4): 283–299.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  56. Newell, A. and Rosenbloom, P.S. (1981) Mechanisms of skill acquisition and the law of practice. In: J.R. Anderson (ed.) Cognitive Skills and Their Acquisition. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

    Google Scholar 

  57. Oblinger, D. (2003) Boomers gen-xers millennials. EDUCAUSE Review 500 (4): 37–47.

    Google Scholar 

  58. Ohanian, R. (1990) Construction and validation of a scale to measure celebrity endorsers' perceived expertise, trustworthiness, and attractiveness. Journal of Advertising 19 (3): 39–52.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  59. Pappu, R., Quester, P. and Cooksey, R. (2005) Consumer-based brand equity: Improving the empirical evidence. Journal of Product and Brand Management 14 (3): 143–154.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  60. Pecheux, C. and Derbaix, C. (1999) Children and attitude toward the brand: A new measurement scale. Journal of Advertising Research 39 (4): 19–28.

    Google Scholar 

  61. Ries, A. and Trout, J. (1979) Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind. New York: McGraw Hill.

    Google Scholar 

  62. Shek, D.T.L. and Ma, C.M.S. (2010) Dimensionality of the Chinese positive youth development scale: Confirmatory factor analyses. Social Indicators Research 98 (1): 41–59.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  63. Shetty, A.S. (2011) The rush for corporate rebranding in India: Rejuvenation with a rationale or irrational exuberance? The IUP Journal of Business Strategy 8 (3): 53–62.

    Google Scholar 

  64. Singer, J.D. and Willett, J.B. (2003) Applied Longitudinal Data Analysis. New York: Oxford Press.

    Book  Google Scholar 

  65. Stuart, H. and Muzellec, L. (2004) Corporate makeovers: Can a hyena be rebranded? Journal of Brand Management 11 (6): 472–482.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  66. Teichert, T.A. and Schöntag, K. (2010) Exploring consumer knowledge structures using associative network analysis. Psychology & Marketing 27 (4): 369–398.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  67. Tevi, A.C. and Otubanjo, O. (2013) Understanding corporate rebranding: An evolution theory perspective. International Journal of Marketing Studies 5 (3): 87–93.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  68. Villas-Boas, J.M. (2004) Consumer learning, brand loyalty, and competition. Marketing Science 23 (1): 134–145.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  69. Weingarten, R.M. (2009) Four generations, one workplace: A Gen XY staff nurse’s view of team building in the emergency department. Journal of Emergency Nursing 35 (1): 27–30.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  70. Xu, Y. (2007) Impact of store environment on adult generation Y consumers’ impulse buying. Journal of Shopping Center Research 14 (1): 39–56.

    Google Scholar 

  71. Yoo, B. and Donthu, N. (2001) Developing and validating a multidimensional consumer-based brand equity scale. Journal of Business Research 52 (1): 1–14.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  72. Zeithaml, V.A., Berry, L.L. and Parasuraman, A. (1996) The behavioural consequences of service quality. Journal of Marketing 60 (2): 31–46.

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Subhadip Roy.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Roy, S., Sarkar, S. To brand or to rebrand: Investigating the effects of rebranding on brand equity and consumer attitudes. J Brand Manag 22, 340–360 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1057/bm.2015.21

Download citation

Keywords

  • Rebranding
  • brand elements
  • CBBE
  • experimental design
  • evolutionary rebranding
  • India