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Evaluate the re-branding of Xerox

Re-branding is the process of refreshing brand value of an outdated brand in partial re-branding or the replacement of brand value to express a new message or image to consumers in total re-branding. Partial re-branding applies in situations when a brand has a stable brand value but developments in the market have made the brand obsolete. Total re-branding works in situations involving the tainting of a brand’s value with negative public perception or for other reasons that rendered the brand useless.

(Williams) The move of Xerox to change its logo using a more trendy or digital FS Albert font in lower case together with a sphere logo wrapped around by an X is partial re-branding because the company refreshed the brand by retaining the word mark but using a different font, changing to a lower case, and adding a spherical symbol. (Bulik; Kiley) The word mark Xerox remained to ensure and continue brand recognition but at the same time refreshed to communicate the new digital products of the company.

The move of Xerox cannot be a total re-branding because the company already has an established brand. It is just that the public perception of the brand has strong ties to the firm’s

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image as a copier company but not so strongly connection with the new digital and innovative products of the company. (Herzlich) The Xerox brand remains functional but change was necessary to update consumers of its new technological products and services. There are various reasons for re-branding. First is to refresh or revitalize brand perception.

The problem experienced by established brands is familiarity of consumers to the point that the brand no longer receives that much attention or does not evoke cognitive thinking over the brand. Customers need to think about the brand for this to influence purchasing decisions. Second is to re-establish connections with consumers. Long existing brands may have a customer base but the relationship with customers could have weakened over the years. This weakness could become an area of vulnerability relative to competitors.

Third is the incorporation of significant changes in the firm’s products or service not communicated by the brand message. Fourth is to boost sales. The rate of increase in sales could have diminished or evened out resulting to the need to manipulate brand value to catalyze change. Fifth is in response to the better image of competitors that could influence customer shifts. Sixth is to apply a forward or future oriented thinking by refreshing or re-building brand value now. (Bulik; Kiley; Herzlich; Paul; Williams) Xerox justified its re-branding using three reasons.

One is its development of new products and services for the digital age but the uptake of customers of these new products is unexpectedly so despite its established brand. Another is the apparent weakening of its relationship with its customers because of the slow uptake of customers over its new products and services relative to the performance of similar products of its competitors. Last is the better performance of competitor brands for its new products and services, with Hewlett-Packard gaining 40 percent of the market when compared to the 10 percent of Xerox.

(Bulik; Kiley) These reasons resulted from an intensive market research. A few years ago, the company already implemented other options to boost sales of its new products and services but the impact was nil. (Paul) There evolved recognition of re-branding as a more radical and intensive move necessary to improve the competitive situation of Xerox. However, it cannot implement total re-branding because this would mean loss of its established brand value entailing greater risks. Re-branding as a solution is a challenge.

There are two issues for consideration by managers. One consideration is the cost relative to the expected outcomes (Herzlich). Re-branding is similar to branding as areas for investment. This means that expenditures should lead to significant returns on investment to justify the costs. The other consideration is the impact on consumers, which could be acceptance, non-recognition or confusion (Williams). This means the need to align the re-branding message and image as solutions to problems in brand recognition. Xerox has just unraveled its new brand logo.

However, the re-branding process would run for two years to include re-training for its personnel and to condition the market towards the new logo and refreshed brand value. (Kiley) The company has already spent a sizable amount by working with an advertising and research companies in the past years. Results in the next years would justify its re-branding decision. On the upside, its re-branding has support from market research (Kiley). On the downside, the extent of impact on the market, especially whether Xerox would be able to improve its competitiveness, still has a certain degree of uncertainty.

A cause of uncertainty would be the developments and responses from its competitors. Another cause of uncertainty is the timeliness of re-branding as a solution. Conclusion Xerox needed to implement re-branding because its established and traditional brand value was unable to communicate its new image as a technology and service firm to its customers. This means that while the company has developed a good reputation with the market, its brand value was unable to communicate and represent the developments introduced by the company. This has affected its competitiveness.

Re-branding is a way for Xerox to address this problem. Informed decision-making and strategies support success. Works Cited Bulik, Beth Snyder. “Xerox Overhauls Brand Image. ” 14 January 2008. B to B. Chicago. 26 March 2009 <http://www. btobonline. com/apps/pbcs. dll/article? AID=/20080114/FREE/879790483/1150/ISSUENEWS#seenit> Herzlich, Jamie. “Rebranding Can Refresh Tired Corporate Image. ” 17 March 2008. Chicago Tribune. 26 March 2009 <http://archives. chicagotribune. com/2008/mar/17/business/chi-mon-smallbiz-rebrandmar17> Kiley, David. “Xerox Gets a Brand Makeover.

” 7 January 2008. Businessweek. com. 26 March 2009 <http://www. businessweek. com/innovate/content/jan2008/id2008014_152649. htm> Paul, Frankilin. “Xerox Softens Image in Brand Overhaul. ” 18 August 2008. Reuters. 26 March 2009 <http://www. reuters. com/article/businessNews/idUSN0644943720080107> Williams, John. “The Art of Rebranding: Update a Tired Brand or Create an Entirely New Identity with a Smart Rebranding Strategy. ” Entrepreneur 3 July 2006. 26 March 2009 <http://www. entrepreneur. com/marketing/branding/imageandbrandingcolumnistjohnwilliams/article159470. html>

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