What Is Brand Repositioning? (Strategy Processes + Best Examples)

What Is Brand Repositioning? (Strategy Processes + Best Examples)

Brands are built with the purpose of making a business more memorable and appealing to a given audience.

They achieve this by identifying a unique point of difference and communicating that difference through an offer and a message that resonates with that audience.

This is brand positioning 101.

But what if the brand doesn’t achieve it?

What if it doesn’t resonate with the audience?


Or what if changes in market conditions throw up challenges or opportunities?

In this article, you’ll learn what brand repositioning is, why it’s important and how brand strategists and managers can use it to reinvigorate an ineffective brand. 

What Is Repositioning? (A Definition)

Repositioning in marketing is the process a brand goes through to adjust or overhaul its perception in the market to better appeal to its target audience.

There are many reasons a brand’s leadership team may decide on a strategic change (which we’ll dive into a little later), though ultimately the goal is the same…

The purpose of brand repositioning is, quite simply, to reposition the brand in the mind of the audience so they see the brand and its offering as a more viable option.

Or to put it another way, to change how the market perceives the brand.

Why Reposition A Brand?

There are many reasons a brand’s leadership team might decide on a rebrand.

More often than not, rebrands are reactionary and happen as a result of lower than expected results which could mean low brand awareness, low market share, low sales and low revenue.

But rebrands are not always a strategic decision based on poor performance.

Quite often rebrands happen as a result of good performance and subsequent opportunities to grow and expand into bigger markets.

The Mailchimp rebrand is a great example of this (which I’ll touch on a little later).

Let’s take a look at some common reasons for repositioning.

Evolving Markets

Markets aren’t static.

They’re made up of people so by nature, they’re always changing and evolving.

What’s important to consumers today may not be as important tomorrow or may be twice as important.

Whether it’s a change in demand a change in knowledge or a change in society or any other countless ways people change, markets aren’t a place for static entities.

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Change In Target Audience

As businesses grow, so do their capacity to help more of the same people or more people in general.

What works at a brand level in appealing to one specific market segment may not work when appealing to a broader market made up of multiple segments.

Segments are simply groups of people so if a brand’s plan is to expand, they may need to consider their position to have broader appeal across a broader market.

Brands that want to go after a broader or a completely different target audience, may need to consider whether their existing position will cut the mustard.

Change or Growth In Product Portfolio

Positioning happens at both a brand and a product level.

Product positioning happens less frequently than brand positioning because products rarely change and intended purpose for an intended audience.

That said, as new products are introduced and the portfolio of products grows, brand repositioning may be required if the portfolio expands out of alignment with the brand’s original position.

Signal A New Approach & Era

Heritage brands with decades or even centuries of brand equity may need to refresh their position over time to adapt to the changing landscape.

Like a crab shedding it’s skin, some brands will go through a transformation to signal the end of an old era and the beginning of a new one, often with a