5 Steps to Rebranding Your Company

by Mark Smither
September 4, 2014 • 5 minute read

The decision to rebrand is a hard one to make for most companies. The process is time consuming and extremely expensive, with no guarantee of success. In fact, rebranding often involves a fair degree of risk.

So, why do so many companies put themselves through the pain?

Because sometimes the decision not to rebrand can cost a company significantly more—in lost potential earnings, lost market share and lost opportunities. This is especially true in the ag industry, where we see a lot of mergers and acquisitions, evolving markets and commoditized products.

There are a lot of good reasons to rebrand your business, but if you don’t have a clear understanding of why, then it will be nearly impossible to focus your efforts and apply any form of measurement to your investment.

Good reasons to rebrand include:

  • Responding to changing market conditions and remaining relevant.
  • Differentiating yourself from increased competition.
  • Diversifying with new products or service areas.
  • Creating a new category in the marketplace.
  • Having gone through a recent merger or acquisition.
  • Increasing your company’s value before being acquired.
  • Restructuring, new leadership or other internal changes.
  • Taking advantage of new growth opportunities.
  • Overcoming negative publicity.
  • Adding value to a commodity, such as water, milk, sugar, beef, etc.



Know what makes you different.

The first step to rebranding your business is to understand what makes you you. How is your product or service completely different from your competition? Why do customers buy from you instead of someone else?

In agriculture, there are several “me too” brands trying to differentiate their products from the competition. For example, there are a number of biological products on the market—some have been around for years, while others are just getting started. Essentially, these are microbials and plant extracts used to increase soil health and crop productivity. Without a clear point of differentiation, these products tend to become commoditized and lost in a cloud of confusion—or worse, indifference. If you don’t know what makes your brand different, how do you expect your customers to know?

All agricultural products—even commodities—have the potential to become preferred brands with discernable, marketable differences. When communicated correctly and consistently, these differences add value to the product.

Examples of effectively branded agricultural commodities include:

  • Chiquita bananas
  • Angus beef
  • Wagyu beef
  • Cuties Clementines
  • Dakota Gold DDGs
  • Idaho potatoes
  • Wisconsin cheese
  • Wonderful pistachios
  • Pink Lady apples
  • Organic Certified
  • Fair Trade Certified

Rebranding can also add value to an agricultural commodity with no perceived value.  The “Inglorious Fruits & Vegetables”  campaign developed by French grocery store, Intermarché, made consumers look at irregular produce in a whole new way.

This campaign highlighted the fact that stores routinely discard billions of dollars in perfectly-good produce just because they look less than perfect—almost 300 million tons annually. By offering a 30 percent markdown and supporting the cause with a high-profile public relations effort, the grocery store turned these misshapen fruits and veggies into sought-after items.

Just being different can be a point of difference.

  • By submitting this form, you agree to Paulsen's privacy policy.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.