Marketing and advertising insights for automotive suppliers

What a Waste: When OEM Automotive Supplier Rebranding Flops.

What a Waste: When OEM Automotive Supplier Rebranding Flops.

How to avoid a futile, ineffectual rebranding.

A well-designed rebranding can breathe new life – and new business – into a well-established company.

The opposite is also true.

A poorly executed rebranding can be a complete waste of time, energy and money.

Let’s say you wanted to rebrand. How can success be ensured? Here are potential pitfalls to avoid. 

Don’t repeat yourself.

There’s got to be more to your rebranding than a revised visual identity, beyond just a new logo, colors, type, and photography. Absolutely, positively essential to your rebranding is a new, improved attitude, and fresh, inspired thinking. The heart, soul and brains of your company must grow. This opportunity for growth should never be squandered.

Don’t date yourself.

In logo years, 10 is old. If you’ve got a 10- or even 20-year-old logo, a rebranding provides the opportunity to inject some youthful energy into your mark, the visual cornerstone of your brand. If, however, you don’t capitalize fully on this opportunity and your new logo doesn’t adequately reflect recent graphic design trends, your brand and your company will look out of touch.

The same goes for colors, typefaces and imagery (photography, illustrations, icons, infographics). Tweaking all of the above without a sense of what’s good these days is a big mistake and a waste of resources.   

Automotive is one of the most design-savvy industries on earth. It never stands still. It’s always evolving, constantly changing. Every model year, OEMs are proud to show off new models with new features, and rightfully so. Your brand needs to keep up.

Prove you’ve been listening.

Along with the way your brand looks, a rebranding also enables you to change the way your brand sounds. Refresh your messaging, but be sure to do so in a way that shows you’ve done your homework and taken copious notes whenever your customers have spoken. No doubt, they’ve told you and continue to tell you so much that can impact your product lineup; help refine your mission, vision and values; and lead you toward new overall brand messaging. They may think of you far differently than the way you think of yourselves. You’d certainly be remiss if you don’t factor their thinking into your rebrand. 

So much has changed since your current brand was created. It’s imperative that you show the automotive world you’ve kept up with the times.

But don’t lose your soul.

Change for the better is what rebranding is all about. Change for the sake of change, however, can be more detrimental to a brand than helpful. Notice how automotive brands stand for the same qualities, retain the same essence, for decades. Chevy, for example, was created as and has always been the “sensible, affordable, American” no matter what year it is or what ad campaign they’re running. They never lose their soul. Neither should you.

A successful rebranding should present your company in a fresher, more progressive and more insightful light for all the world – and all your prospective customers – to see.


Ernie Perich

As the owner and creative director of Perich Advertising + Design for more than 30 years, Ernie knows a thing or two about automotive marketing. He combines brand strategy with smart creative to help automotive suppliers strike a nerve. Contact

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