- May 13, 2022
Can companies reposition themselves by changing their image?
Photo of three bottles of Stolichnaya vodka on a shelf in Kiev, Ukraine, on September 26, 2018. (Getty Images/SOPA Images/LightRocket/Igor Golovniov)
Recent events have thrown into sharp relief the role that a brand can play, both in protecting a company's reputation and having an impact on social and political issues. Those events include Russia's invasion of Ukraine and the hundreds of major brands that curtailed operations in Russia following the invasion, as well as Disney's collision with Florida politicians over a law restricting classroom instruction on sexual orientation. In some cases, companies rebrand to try to shed their past or attract a wider base of customers.

Why do some companies go through a rebranding process? What do they typically hope to achieve?

What are some of the potential pitfalls of rebranding? What are some examples of rebranding that went awry?

1700s–1920sAdvertising business and trademark laws are developed.
1930s–1960sConsumerism and product branding grow, and television becomes popular.
1970s–1990sThe internet age emerges.
2000s–PresentThe internet takes off, social media influencers develop and brand activism increases.

Can rebranding improve a company's reputation?


Jim Heininger
Principal, Rebranding Experts.


Laurel Sutton
Co-founder, Catchword.


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