What’s in a Name? Transitioning from Rebel Sport to Rebel

by admin on November 7, 2013


Changing image is one thing, but a rebrand that changes your name is quite another. Rebel Sport, now simply Rebel, used that massive change to reassert its role in its customer’s minds and diversify its place in the market.

What we are called defines us. And though no person chooses his or her name, the role it plays in our lives is undeniable. Therefore, when a major national brand decides to recast itself under a different name, we cannot help but notice.

Over the past few months, Australia’s largest sporting goods retailer, Rebel Sport, has been systematically rebranding itself as Rebel. Calling this change a ‘brand revitalisation’, or what we would call a brand refresh, managing director Erica Berchtold explains that the aim of the new Rebel is to grow the company and attract new demographics such as active sporting enthusiasts and women.

Beginning in its Brookvale, NSW store, the Rebel visual rebranding will encompass each step of the sales process beginning with in-store signage and following through to the uniforms worn by employees and the bags used to pack merchandise. Eventually, the new brand image will be implemented company-wide, including online and at all 130 Rebel stores nationwide.

There is much more to the Rebel rebrand than a simple name change, however. Remember, brand strategy is about more than your name. Reviewing the new images produced by the company, it’s easy to see the fundamental shift in culture this rebranding will create. Flipping the second ‘e’ in its name around to face the first, Rebel’s new visual brand commands attention and exudes the importance of the competition, both outside and within, which is synonymous with sport.

Its ads have also captured the word within the word Rebel: ‘be’. Using a contrasting colour scheme of yellow and white, the ‘be’ campaign also taps into the unique nature of sport, athletes, and the active lifestyle that the brand promotes. This identity of the athlete as an individual trying to ‘be’ his or her best captures the essence of a ‘rebel’ and the new identity of the company by the same name perfectly, and shows how that name really does make a difference.

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