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Rationale: An exploration into rebranding and how this relates to and aids my project with Atlas Wellness Centre. My Final Major Project is based around rebranding an already existing company, the Atlas Wellness Centre. The project involves investigating the corporate identity of the company, and the necessary outlets for marketing their business in order to come up with a more successful brand. The company wants to redesign their logo, the signage of their building (to fit in with the interior of their structure) and create a brand new website business incorporating the ideas behind Atlas Wellness Centre and taking them to a wider commercial audience; these approaches are being taken to ensure greater company recognition. In this rationale I will firstly discuss what a brand is, then what rebranding a company entails, and how important the branding of a company is in today始s commercial world. I will look at some successful case studies and then follow these with examples of companies that have made rebranding mistakes. In today始s society strong and memorable identities are crucial. Many companies, whether major corporations or smaller businesses will need to rebrand at some point to keep up to date with the ongoing market.


following research will aid my knowledge of how to create something for Atlas Wellness Centre that follows the basics of successful rebranding whilst also something that is unique.

The word 驶brand始 can often be misunderstood. In regard to companies the word can be thought to mean their logo, stationery or even just their colour scheme; this can be a wide misconception a lot of the time. The brand is meant to encompass everything to do with the said company.

It can include everything from the logo, the company name, the

website, customer perception, and even the tone/voice of the company. When it comes to rebranding, a company must take all of this into consideration to create a successful rebrand.

Pat Matson Knapp quotes Kris Larsen, managing director of Interbrand, as

Rebecca Perkin Year 3 BA HONs Illustration 0710224 Rationale for Final Major Project 2010!


saying that a successful and “strong brand should do four things: it should be relevant to customers; it should be credible... it should differentiate itself from the competition; and it should have the ability to stretch as the market stretches.” (2004, p. 7) Another way in which a company can make a brand successful is by forging an ʻemotional bondʼ with their demographic. Branding embodies much more than a simple logo.

Rebranding is a term which is used widely in society for trying to improve the business of companies.

Rebranding a company could entail redesigning the name, the logo, the

building itself, and even their website. However rebranding has almost become something of a trend in recent times due to the internet and website branding as well as constant changes in society.

This means that companies often rebrand several times.


companies in the 21st Century have found it necessary to update their company to keep it relevant not only to consumers but also the ever-changing marketplace. Rebranding a company needs to be handled in the right manner so that the company doesnʼt alienate old or existing customers and also attracts new business; this being the main objective of rebranding.

Many companies have been successful in rebranding their businesses. Through exploring the successfully rebranded companies I will aim to identify why they have been successful and strive to use these methods in my own project. On the other hand I will also look at the mistakes companies can make and look to avoid the same mistakes when working on rebranding Atlas Wellness Centre.

My first case study will focus on the company Muzak, the ʻelevator musicʼ audio agency. The company was established in the 1920s by General George Squier, who discovered that background music soothed his employees and increased their productivity. By the Rebecca Perkin Year 3 BA HONs Illustration 0710224 Rationale for Final Major Project 2010!


late 1990s ʻMuzakʼ had become readily outdated and their image was starting to be seen as old fashioned whilst not truly promoting what they were all about.

They needed to

rebrand and create a more up-to-date image.

I found that this company relates to my project because they managed to successfully rebrand partly by redesigning their logo through an approach that Knapp stated emphasized “the creativity, and the emotional power of music.” (2004, p. 62) Knapp also quotes the vice president of marketing, Kenny Kahn, as saying that the company were said to previously be represented “in terms of its scientific and physiological impacts” (2004, p. 62) which limited their demographic and did not have an impact in the modern day. branding.

Muzak was successful in the way it used its new emotional approach to

The Muzak website says it uses emotion as “our driver. It is the force that

connects people and places. The intangible that creates experiences that builds brands.” (2006) This is something which is needed in relation to Atlas Wellness Centre in terms of its attempt at rebranding. Atlas Wellness Centre are a company which have a scientific element in regard to their line of work but they are also about a natural, healthy living lifestyle and so this needs to be portrayed on a more emotional basis to connect with the public. I will use this idea of an emotional connection rather than simply scientific to create my project logo.

By creating a more emotional link with their clients, through

something like their logo, I think Atlas Wellness Centre will be able to obtain, and more importantly retain good client relations for ongoing business.

I need to create a more modern, sophisticated and approachable logo which can be easily translated to various medias, such as a website, promotional products like stationery and brochures. The new avenue will need to be something which appeals to a wide range of consumers to attract as much attention towards the company as possible and not just Rebecca Perkin Year 3 BA HONs Illustration 0710224 Rationale for Final Major Project 2010!


appeal to those with either a scientific or a healthy mindset. This brand needs to promote health to all rather than just appeal to those who are already healthy.

As a second case study, Coca-Cola offers the idea of simplicity as being successful in their redesign.

Coca-Cola is “recognized as the worldʼs most valuable brand.”



rebranding its products in 2007 using the San Francisco design company Turner Duckworth, the Coca-Cola Company re-established their brand by “focusing on cleaningup the huge global brandʼs image and celebrating its core branding.” (Coxon, 2008) The simplistic approach taken achieves a retro yet contemporary design. The “less is more” method is something which I think needs to be addressed when focusing on my own redesigning of Atlas Wellness Centreʻ s company, especially their logo.

The design company Turner Duckworth redesigned the Coca-Cola brand in such a simple way that it was perhaps seen to be too obvious and therefore overlooked in previous rebrands. The design Coca-Cola had before the rebrand was very much a 90s looking aesthetic.

They kept incorporating lots of elements into the visual aspect of the brand

such as the classic ribbon, water droplets, splashes and drop shadows. The ʻless is moreʼ approach is thought to have been a ʻconfident designʼ that entailed very limited use of their previous elements:#


Theyʼve essentially done absolutely nothing. All the extra bits and doodads and


extraneous graphics are gone. Classic coke imagery: the red, the ribbon, and the


coke script. “Classic” is even in a simple lower case sans serif. This is a confident


design. Coca-Cola is acknowledging that we all know the product, so just drink it.


Theyʼve given similar treatment to the majority of the Coke line, including Diet and


Zero. Simple, back to basics, pure equity.

(Selikoff, 2007)

Rebecca Perkin Year 3 BA HONs Illustration 0710224 Rationale for Final Major Project 2010!


The simplistic strategy that Turner Duckworth used for Coca-Cola will transfer well in relation to Atlas Wellness Centre. The current brand is confusing as it does not seem to portray what the company is about. The logo does not really fit with the energetic and healthy elements that the company want to portray. I think that the current logo, with its hands (see appendix image 1), seem like it is associated with a charity. The window front also seems equally confusing. There appears no professional element in regard to the scientific or health aspect of the company.

The completely grey windows do not draw

attention to the centre, but rather blend the company in with the surrounding environment. As such, the rebranding to the window front as well as the logo should not only make it stand out but also be simplistic in its design and easily identifiable.

Being such a widely recognised brand it is hard to see how Coca-Cola could redesign without excluding some of their consumers. The company needed to convince people that even though there is a new design the product had not changed. This, I think, is one of the main obstacles that needs to be properly addressed when rebranding any company, whether it be a corporate company or a small business. I will need to keep this in mind when working on the rebranding of Atlas Wellness Centre.

Rebrand is “the first, and only expert-led, global resource focused on brand transformations” (2010) and because of this they have the knowledge of what makes a good rebrand, but maybe more importantly, the mistakes that can be made. I have taken a look at their top 20 mistakes that can be made when rebranding, and how to avoid them. In regards to Atlas Wellness Centre the mistakes that I think are most relevant are ʻBelieving rebranding costs too muchʼ, ʻStrategy by committeeʼ, ʻRebranding without researchʼ and ʻBelieving youʼre too small to rebrandʼ. Rebecca Perkin Year 3 BA HONs Illustration 0710224 Rationale for Final Major Project 2010!


The ʻBelieving rebranding costs too muchʼ mistake that Rebrand have in their top 20 states that people are mistaken with thinking that good ideas, and creative rebranding has to cost a lot of money. They state “You can get good thinking and solid strategy from small and talented branding agencies, consultants and in house talent. Consider university students or small firms for cost-effective results.” (2007) With regards to Atlas Wellness Centre, the company is quite a small business. They have ʻemployedʼ me as part of the creative team alongside a local graphic design company, Urban Graphics, to create their logo and window front designs.

I am then solely going to be creating their commercial website.

This means that for them they have cut down on costs, but not quality and it is a great experience for myself, not only to work on a project like this but also to work with a graphic design company.

The second relevant mistake (for my project), ʻStrategy by committeeʼ I feel is something which is very apt; Rebrand says “Too many opinions delay the rebranding process and diffuse the focus needed to achieve ROI. Keep those with critical approval authority to an efficient shortlist, and assemble the smallest, most essential project team possible. Include a mix of levels - not just executive.” (2007) The team we have working on the Atlas Wellness Centre project is a very small team, which consists of Bally (creator of Urban Graphics), James (graphic designer at Urban Graphics), Peter (creator of Atlas Wellness Centre) and myself, ranging from the executive to the novice. This means that input from each level will allow for a vaster scope of thinking and creativity to promote a redesigned brand to the best of its potential.

ʻRebranding without researchʼ is another grave mistake to be made as Rebrand says. To illustrate this, I will use British Airways rebrand in 1997 as a model to show the importance Rebecca Perkin Year 3 BA HONs Illustration 0710224 Rationale for Final Major Project 2010!


of customer recognition and acceptance of brand redefinition. The rebrand in 1997 that British Airways did “abandoned the Union Jack colours on the tail-fin, and replaced them with a series of different images representing a more international identity.” (Haig, 2006) The appendix (image 2) illustrates these changes.

It was created by the international

identity design consultant Newell and Sorrell. They commissioned and collected art from around the world to express the many destinations served by BAʼs fleet. British Airways completely erased their historic identity in one foul swoop by taking away its complete ʻBritishnessʻ; a symbolic representation of the Union Jack that is “universally recognisible, unambiguous, articulate, neat and capable of indefinite development.” (The Independent, 1999) The rebranding mistake here was perhaps the taking away of something which is deemed not just British but something to be proud of. Louise Druce identified that Richard Branson stated a valid point when saying, even people overseas feel that Britain is something to be proud of and flying in such an aircraft makes people feel safe and secure. (Druce, 2010) I believe another of the reasons for the failed rebrand, which influenced world rejection, was the famous image of Margaret Thatcher placing her handkerchief over the newly branded tail-fins on a model of the aircraft. Perhaps what British Airways could have experimented with was different parts of the aircraft design, such as the place above the text on the aircraft carrier itself which can be seen circled in the appendix (image 3). This arguably would have kept the inherent ʻBritishnessʻ but also reflected the international aspect of the company on a visually minor scale.

Such a failure of the rebranding of British Airways tail-fins was due to one major reason, rebranding without research. This is something which Urban Graphics, myself and Atlas Wellness Centre should take on board when redesigning the different aspects of the company.

Extensive research is always needed to figure out if the rebranding will be

accepted, not just by new customers, but importantly, the existing ones. A good example Rebecca Perkin Year 3 BA HONs Illustration 0710224 Rationale for Final Major Project 2010!


which many companies can learn from is the ʻPizza Hutʼ to ʻPasta Hutʼ experiment, who asked their customers which they preferred.

As can be seen from the examples shown, Muzak and Coca-Cola have successfully managed to rebrand their businesses.

I believe that this has been successful mainly

because they managed to hold onto their historical aspects.

Additionally I think that

rebranding is a very positive step to take but if a name change of the business occurs, especially for a major company, this can possibly remove the reasons for why it was successful in the first place. As said by Louise Druce a freelance writer of marketing and PR; # #

“if it ainʼt broke donʼt fix it...On the one hand, big names like Coca-Cola, Heinz, Levi


Strauss and Sears pride themselves on the historic legacy of their name but in


order to appeal to the changing generations, they have also recognised the need to


keep refreshing their look...While this strategy can be just as successful, there are


times...that if consumers just donʼt ʻget itʼ, the embarrassing U-turn can cost them












(Druce, 2010)

A clear example of this can be seen in the changing of the UKʼs Post Office name to Consignia in 2001. For what reason did they change the name? The company wasted an obscene amount of money throughout the time the name change was in place, which only lasted for a 14 month period. The name Consignia was thought to be confusing and many people found it hard to see a link between the name and the company. Even Post Office/ Consignia chief executive John Roberts did not seem to understand the meaning behind the name, stating two different things in two separate interviews; “Consignia evoked the word consign” (meaning to entrust) then later he declared “the name doesnʼt actually mean Rebecca Perkin Year 3 BA HONs Illustration 0710224 Rationale for Final Major Project 2010!


anything.” (Sauer, 2002) If the chief executive cannot relate to the brand name then it doesnʼt leave much hope for anyone else. This is arguably one of the worst rebranding mistakes in history.

Another of Rebrands mistakes as stated in their top 20 is, ʻBelieving you are too small to rebrandʼ. Every brand needs to refresh themselves as the market evolves in order to not only keep their existing customers happy but to appeal to potential customers; this is true in terms of Atlas Wellness Centre. It is currently a small business which is not only looking to attract more customers but also to create an opening that will possibly enable them to expand one day. One aspect which is going to be redesigned is their website which will open them up to a far wider audience than what they currently have.

Websites are another aspect of a company that need to be just as much a part of the brand as everything else. They will need refreshing and updating continually to not only fit with the company but also the ongoing changes of the internet.

Every company now

needs an online identity as well. To start with the web was just a way to put the companies business and products online; a straight-forward process to put themselves and their materials out there. In recent years there has been a much greater interest in creative web branders and web designers who know that a lot can be gained by incorporating such companies onto the web using creative tools to the best of their ability. The web initially existed to be known solely as an informational medium. This is still the case but what is mostly on web pages now is content and that is what forms the internet. Andres says that “Whether itʼs straight text, images, or multimedia elements, information is the product and web pages are the package.” (2004, p.144) This means that web designers and brands have to fight harder to get themselves known and separate themselves from millions of other companies online. This is a major challenge and only the best will make it work on Rebecca Perkin Year 3 BA HONs Illustration 0710224 Rationale for Final Major Project 2010!


the internet.

Not only does the designer need to make the ʻpackageʻ of the website

creative and interesting it still needs to be consistent in itʼs product, so whether it is a company that is solely internet based or has a website to broaden their company it needs to stay true to the meaning of what the business and their brand is about.

There is a major problem involved with the web and websites though and that is differentiation. It is hard to create a website which is truly different from others, this can be down to websites feeling that they should be like others which have already succeeded, such as Yahoo and Amazon; the problem with this is there are now lots of ʻmimicʼ sites. Andres argues that the functions used on shopping websites are essentially the same because of the same e-commerce packages being used. (2004, p.150) This means that every website with these packages has exactly the same format of going about buying online. This can be a positive in that there is a standardised layout which means that the users feel comfortable. On the other hand it can also be a negative aspect as it means many sites will look very similar (see appendix images 4 and 5).

The web allows for smaller businesses to create a bigger brand identity that can be recognised on a global scale through one medium alone; Andres says “the web provides an affordable means for smaller, newer brands to present themselves to a very large audience. Or even to present themselves to a small, very specific audience in a very large space. For less than the cost of a single television commercial, the world is yours.” (2004, p.109)

In regards to Atlas Wellness Centreʼs commercial website, one of the major

hurdles is going to be that online health care does not appear to be a massive market in the UK at the moment. Often, the websites for Wellness or spinal care generally appear cheap and unprofessional; this could be down to the fact that many of the websites use packages to create their websites, leading to very similar styles with cluttered adverts on Rebecca Perkin Year 3 BA HONs Illustration 0710224 Rationale for Final Major Project 2010!


every page and an unprofessional aesthetic value (see appendix image 6 and 7). These things can generally deter users away from such websites. I will be designing this website from scratch, without using a standardised package which will hopefully make it a more professional looking website and one which is as unique as possible.

Many things can be said as to what makes a good website and a good brand on a website. A few of these which I will try and incorporate when designing Atlas Wellness Centreʼs commercial website are, a strong navigational system, which fits in with and creates the brand rather than sitting beside it. The other is the use of the company logo on the website; it needs to be tailored so that it is transferable to the internet, as logos themselves will not always look as good or have the same effect when put online. Another aspect which is crucial to the success of any website is the ease with which users can navigate around the website and find what they are looking for in a few simple clicks rather than spend hours trawling through web pages not ever finding quite what they are looking for. If the website has become a part of the companies brand then this makes it more likely for users to want to return to the website. The challenge of finding a balance for a website can be the hardest thing. “Finding a solution that creates a user experience that is both familiar and yet memorably unique in some way is the challenge web site designers and branders face.” (Andres, 2004, p. 150) In this sense I want to create a contemporary, stylish website that does not look like many of the Americanised small practice websites that are currently online. Instead, this website will aim to convey similar content but in a more professional manner. Being Atlas Wellness Centreʼs first commercial website I have scope to experiment and try out a stylish health conscious website.

In conclusion my research has shown that rebranding is not a one time thing.


evolutionary state of the market calls for constant redesign of companies large or small. Rebecca Perkin Year 3 BA HONs Illustration 0710224 Rationale for Final Major Project 2010!


Identity, or what a company is about has to shine through however. For Atlas Wellness Centre I think the most important aspects to focus on are to create an emotional link, something simple yet effective in its design, stylish but not complicated and most importantly give a true representation of what the company is about. The small aspect of the company are I think beneficial to the rebranding.

It can only really benefit from a

redesign because if something does not work, it is perhaps easier to overcome because unlike massive companies, they are not in too much of the public eye.

I am most worried about any disagreement between myself and the two other parties. Though a diversity of ideas is always healthy and beneficial to the outcome of any project, my main concern is that from a design perspective certain ideas will not be taken into account. For example, the colour scheme of the window front and the logo is currently being questioned. Whilst I think a more neutral palette is relevant to the identity of the company, in terms of earthy colours to represent the health aspect, the graphic design company and the owner of Atlas Wellness Centre believe that vibrant colours will make the business stand out. Though this is a good theory, I do not want the company to stand out for the wrong reasons. As well as this, the research has illustrated that branding is an encompassing term, showing that it incorporates all that the business has to offer. In this sense, I think that the vibrant colours is possibly the wrong approach. Overall, this project is allowing me to gain an insight into an industry that incorporates both commerce and more importantly my passion of design. Most importantly, one idea that I definitely need to try and follow is that it is “our job, as designers, and ultimately, brand managers, to look ahead and plot a new direction that will take the business to the right destination -- the strategic one (not the “pretty” one that some CEOʼs spouse has envisioned and championed for the brand, with no strategy or thought besides personal likes and dislikes).” (Brigham, 2004) Rebecca Perkin Year 3 BA HONs Illustration 0710224 Rationale for Final Major Project 2010!


Bibliography Websites Rebrand (2004) [accessed 15th March 2010] Rebrand (2004) 8132c23e437cbdad2e5f4206e9f782c8/miscdocs/top_20_rebrand_mistakes.pdf [accessed 15th March 2010] The Coca-Cola Company(2006) Anniversary Of an Icon [press release] http:// Atlanta [accessed 13th March 2010] Coxon, G. (2008) Coca-cola gets a brand re-design - “less is more”. 21 August. http:// [accessed 13th March 2010] Druce, L. (2010) Branding Disasters: The rebranding of British Airways. 22 January. http:// [accessed 8th March 2010] Books Haig, M. (2005) Brand Failures: The Truth About the 100 Biggest Branding Mistakes of All Time. London: Kogan Page Andres, Clay, Catharine M. Fishel, and Pat Matson. Knapp. (2004) Identity Design Sourcebook: Successful IDs Deconstructed and Revealed. Gloucester, Mass.: Rockport, 2004. Print. Blogs Selikoff, J. (2007) The Real Thing. Really. [blog] 28 June. http:// [accessed 8th March 2010] Sauer, A, D. (2002) Consignia [blog] 24 June. features_profile.asp?id=76 [accessed 8th March 2010] Newspaper Articles ʻThe British Flag, not waving but drowning: British Airwaysʼ decision to swap the Union Jack for folk art was innovative, but mistaken. So what makes a brand work?ʼ (1999) The Independent, 8 June Journals Brigham, B, J. (2004) ʻInteriors and Sourcesʼ. Successful Brands Start with Strategy. [online], v. 16 no. 7 (September 2009) p. 40 Rebecca Perkin Year 3 BA HONs Illustration 0710224 Rationale for Final Major Project 2010!


results_single_fulltext.jhtml;hwwilsonid=FSX1JOFHLD3EVQA3DIMSFGGADUNGIIV0 [accessed 12th March 2010] Nieminen, R. Branding by Design [Editorial]. Interiors & Sources (2004) v. 16 no. 7 (September 2009) p. 8 results_single_fulltext.jhtml;hwwilsonid=FSX1JOFHLD3EVQA3DIMSFGGADUNGIIV0 [accessed 13th March 2010]

Appendix Image 1 - Current Atlas Wellness Centre Logo

Image 2 - Rebranded British Airways Tail-fins Source: # # # # # # #

Rebecca Perkin Year 3 BA HONs Illustration 0710224 Rationale for Final Major Project 2010!


Image 3 - Original and current British Airways Tail-fins Source:

Images 4 and 5 - Standardised e-commerce websites Source:

Rebecca Perkin Year 3 BA HONs Illustration 0710224 Rationale for Final Major Project 2010!



Images 6 and 7 - Examples of the average 驶Wellness始 website Source:

Rebecca Perkin Year 3 BA HONs Illustration 0710224 Rationale for Final Major Project 2010!



Rebecca Perkin Year 3 BA HONs Illustration 0710224 Rationale for Final Major Project 2010!



Rationale for third year university project.

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