Corporate Rebranding

Essential guide for corporate rebranding

Co-operative Pharmacy rebrand as Well

Some things are essential for corporate rebranding, and Havas PR has experienced many rebranding campaigns, including universities, banks, retailers and more.

Havas PR Manchester was, for example,  recently appointed by The Co-operative Pharmacy, the third largest pharmacy business in the UK, with 780 branches nationwide.  The Co-operative’s pharmacy business was acquired in July last year by Bestway Group, the UK’s second largest independent wholesaler, for £620 million.

Havas is responsible for the public relations programme to support the roll out of the new brand, Well, across the UK, running both the National and Regional Press Offices.

So, we know what makes a good example of  corporate rebranding campaign. Here are some of our top tips:

Be integrated

The biggest mistake brands make when rebranding is that they will redesign their brand image but give no thought to communications and messaging until it is too late. By briefing relevant agencies at the same time, you get the benefit of this experience working together, and ensure you don’t create something that clashes with your reputation.

Tell a story

Rebranding should be a story: who you were, who you are going to be, why the change benefits your audiences. Nothing should cloud this narrative, if it does, it’s time to head back to the drawing board.

A picture tells a thousand words

Do not assume your new logo is all things to all men. Check with your PR advisers that the image doesn’t contain anything offensive, or that you might have missed an opportunity for some publicity. One of the most famous Havas campaigns was slimming down the Little Chef logo – PR can come from design, as pictures are so powerful.

Don’t be over-briefed

Spokespeople should be able to tell the rebrand story but also think on their feet and always put the audience first. Ensure your spokesperson is able to adapt to the question, or you avoid looking like a stuck robot.

Internal PR is just as important

Never, ever, brief the media before your internal audience. And never do it solely over an email or memo, show your internal audience why your corporate rebranding is important for them. Explain the process for media too, or you risk off the record opinions that can sink your story.

Finally, be authentic

If you are rebranding following a takeover, don’t pretend it is for any other reason. If you make the wrong decision, be like Everton Football Club who were big enough to put their hands up and admit their mistake. An audience will forgive an honest mistake, they will give change a chance, but they will not forgive a lack of authenticity – and that is why your messaging is so important.


To talk to Havas about your own corporate rebranding please contact us on 0161 236 2277.