The frequency with which a company rebrands varies—influenced by industry changes, market conditions, growth, or consumer preferences, among other factors. In fact, the perception of being as “out-of-date” is often listed as one of the top reasons companies pursue rebranding project, usually to update their visual identities or adapt to customer preferences. Yet others maintain their brand identities for decades. A company’s brand heritage and history can be a valuable asset to prevent or drive a rebrand. They help build trust and maintain emotional connections with customers. Heritage encompasses a brand’s longevity, core values, reputation, and iconic symbols. By crafting a story that links a brand’s history with customers’ emotions and aspirations, companies have the unique ability to retain their cherished elements while evolving to meet the needs of today’s consumers.

Preserving Your Company’s Heritage While Rebranding 

Preserving a company’s legacy during a rebrand project requires skillful integration of its historical narrative into its future vision. The key is blending the past and the future, using heritage as a powerful storytelling tool and grounding force. For example, in 2004, LEGO was on the brink of bankruptcy after unsuccessful attempts to diversify into products like clothing and had to rethink its brand strategy. CEO Jørgen Vig Knudstorp publicly acknowledged the crisis and prompted a company rebrand. The company returned to its roots of inspiring and developing the builders of tomorrow with its iconic building sets. It also implemented a new management strategy focused on innovation that introduced franchise-building collections based on popular films and TV shows, ultimately regaining profitability. This effort eventually inspired “The LEGO Movie,” a blockbuster film featuring the company’s bespoke LEGO sets as the stars. This revitalization effort paid off significantly, with LEGO achieving an impressive revenue increase of more than 800% from 2004 to 2017.

Steps to A Successful Rebrand

At the core, rebranding should lie within your company’s history. These initial steps can help uncover timeless traditions and achievements that resonate as your brand evolves. 

  1. Incorporate your company’s established legacy: Evolve, but do not erase. Build upon your established identity rather than discarding it. 
  2. Communicate the change: Transparency is crucial during rebranding. Communicate the reasons behind the rebrand and how it aligns with your heritage and culture.
  3. Engage and listen: Involve your loyal customers and employees in the process. Seek their feedback and insights to ensure the rebranding respects and reflects their attachment to your company’s heritage.
  4. Integrate your company’s heritage: Your organization’s new messaging and visual identity should be incorporated through storytelling in your marketing and branding efforts to provide context for the rebranding efforts and maintain continuity. 

Check out how these companies successfully rebranded.

Verizon’s New Logo Turns it Into Netflix

How S&P Global Used a People-First Mindset to Reprioritize in 2020

BP and Its Evolving Brand Purpose

Arkay: Celebrating a 100-Year Remarkable Legacy


Heritage is a powerful tool for companies pursuing a rebranding project, enabling them to craft a narrative that resonates with new and loyal customers. By leveraging your heritage, you can transform rebranding challenges into opportunities for renewed engagement and growth. Through transparent communication, active engagement with stakeholders, and thoughtful marketing, a heritage-centered rebrand can captivate audiences and solidify your brand’s place in the market for years to come.

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