Repositioning in Marketing Explained with Examples

Repositioning in marketing is about altering how people see a brand to connect better with customers. It’s key for adapting to new market trends, attracting new customers, or showing off a brand’s new direction. Changes may include the brand’s image, marketing tactics, or even product offerings.

Taco Bell, for example, went from being seen as inexpensive Mexican fast food to a cool lifestyle brand. This change helped them reach more people. Gucci updated its look to be more modern and progressive, which many people praised. Starbucks focused on the quality of their coffee to boost their image during the tough economic times of the Great Recession.

Old Spice changed its branding to appeal to a younger crowd with humor and a masculine vibe. Veolia Environmental Services took a stand on being socially responsible in managing waste. Spotify, originally known for free music, became known as a creator of content and a trendsetter. These are all great examples of how repositioning can open up new opportunities for brands.

Key Takeaways:

  • Repositioning in marketing means changing how a brand is seen to better attract its target audience.
  • Success stories of rebranding include Taco Bell, Gucci, Starbucks, Old Spice, Veolia Environmental Services, and Spotify.
  • Strategies for repositioning can involve tweaking brand identity, marketing efforts, and product lines.
  • Reasons for repositioning include reacting to market changes, aiming for a new audience, or showcasing a new brand direction.
  • For rebranding success, it’s important to analyze competitors, understand consumer behavior, and have a clear strategy.

Understanding Brand Repositioning vs. Rebranding

Brand repositioning and rebranding are two different strategies in marketing. They both aim to refresh a brand but do it differently. Knowing how they differ is key for businesses wanting to update their brand and market stance.

Brand repositioning tweaks a brand’s image, feel, or main message while keeping its identity. The goal is to match the brand better with current customer wants. This means refining what the brand stands for and who it targets, connecting more with people.

Rebranding, however, changes many parts of a brand’s identity. This includes the brand name, look, what it offers, and sometimes, even the entire business model. It’s done when a brand needs a fresh start, wants to stand out, or has to redefine itself in a new market.

While both tactics aim for growth and success, brand repositioning sharpens a brand’s stance, message, and offerings. It wants to be more relevant to customers. Rebranding transforms the brand entirely, which is a bigger and more comprehensive step.

Brand Identity and Value Proposition

Brand identity plays a big role in both brand repositioning and rebranding. It’s made up of what a brand represents, its values, personality, and looks. When repositioning, this identity is tweaked to better appeal to its audience and fit the new brand direction.

The value proposition is also crucial in both strategies. It’s the unique benefit a brand offers its customers. In repositioning, this is adjusted to better meet customer needs and stand out from rivals. In rebranding, this might change more dramatically, showing a whole new brand promise and market position.

Successful Examples of Brand Repositioning

Brand repositioning can completely change how people see a brand. Let’s look at some famous cases of successful brand repositioning:

Taco Bell

Taco Bell transformed its image with the “Live Mas!” slogan, aiming for a fun dining experience. They also launched Taco Bell “Cantina” venues. These offer a fancier setting and more menu choices.


Gucci reinvented itself by using modern marketing and fresh designs. It introduced a new logo and promoted values like openness and gender fluidity.


Starbucks improved its image during tough times by focusing on high-quality coffee. This move reminded people why they loved Starbucks.

Old Spice

Old Spice changed from an old-school brand to one with a bold and funny image. The “Man Your Man Can Smell Like” ad appealed to young consumers and gave Old Spice a new life.

Veolia Environmental Services

Veolia became known as an eco-friendly waste management company. They used marketing that showed their dedication to being green, attracting eco-conscious customers.


Spotify expanded from a free-music service to include original content. By becoming content creators, Spotify reached more people and became a top music platform.

These stories highlight how changing a brand’s direction can lead to success. By adjusting their messages, market position, and product options, these companies made strong connections with their audiences. They thrived by evolving with the market.

Reasons for Brand Repositioning

Brands might consider repositioning for several reasons. Markets change constantly, affecting customer needs and market conditions. To stay ahead and meet new demands, brands might reposition themselves.

Changes in target audience also prompt repositioning. As demographics shift and new market segments appear, brands adjust their messaging. This helps them connect with new audiences and explore new market chances.

Moreover, when brands add to their product line, repositioning becomes necessary. This realigns their overall strategy to highlight the value of new products.

Repositioning can signal a new era for brands. It shows their commitment to innovation. Heritage brands find this especially useful to stay relevant to modern consumers.

At its core, repositioning aims at brand growth. It is a response to market evolution, new audiences, product expansions, and a wish for modernity. Brands reposition to grow and increase their market share.

With the right strategy and execution, repositioning leads to success. It’s key in the dynamic world of business today.

Advantages of Brand Repositioning

Brand repositioning can greatly help a company’s marketing strategy and market positioning. By focusing on a specific target audience, brands can better meet the needs and desires of customers. This leads to more customer appeal and loyalty. Brands can tailor their products and messaging for their ideal customers. By solving the unique problems and meeting the aspirations of these customers, brands can offer a more customized experience. This makes customers more satisfied.

Brand repositioning gives a big boost in competitive advantage. By examining the market and competitors, brands can find ways to stand out. They can spot gaps in the market and offer something unique. With smart repositioning, brands make their own space in the market. This gives them an advantage over competitors and draws in more of the target audience.

Repositioning helps brands create a new image in the market. By updating their brand image and message, brands can attract new customers. This new image helps brands stand out and excites consumers. It’s a chance for brands to update their image and become more relevant and appealing.

Moreover, repositioning can grow a brand’s market share by appealing to more customers. By targeting a wider or different audience, brands can enter new market segments. This helps the brand grow and strengthens its market position.

Repositioning also significantly boosts the customer experience. By realigning what they offer with what customers need, brands can give more value. By fixing pain points, improving products, and refining the customer journey, brands make things smoother and more enjoyable for customers. This not only keeps customers loyal but also brings in new ones through good reviews and recommendations.

To sum up, brand repositioning’s benefits include focusing on the right audience, competitive advantage, a new market image, more market share, and a better customer experience. By adjusting their position, message, and offerings, brands can stay ahead, attract new customers, and adapt to market changes.

Disadvantages of Brand Repositioning

Brand repositioning has its upsides, but it’s vital for brands to weigh the cons too. Before starting a repositioning journey, here are some drawbacks to consider:


Repositioning can get pricey. Brands might have to pour money into deep research, development, and ad campaigns to get it right.


Getting to really know your audience and crafting a repositioning plan needs time. Brands have to dig into research, track market trends, and plot their repositioning carefully.

Alienating Existing Customers

Repositioning could push away loyal customers. If changes seem sudden or don’t meet their expectations, customers might feel lost or disconnected. This could hurt brand loyalty.

Potential Brand Confusion

Repositioning risks causing confusion. Unclear communication or a repositioning that doesn’t fit the brand’s true self could perplex customers. This may affect how they see and trust the brand.

Disadvantages of Brand Repositioning
Alienating Existing Customers
Potential Brand Confusion

Steps to Successful Brand Repositioning

To reposition your brand successfully, you need a systematic plan. By following key steps, brands can navigate the process well and get positive results.

1. Understanding the Business Model

Start by fully understanding your business model. This includes your value proposition, unique selling points, and core strengths. This knowledge is the basis of your brand repositioning strategy.

2. Defining the Product or Service

Make sure to clearly define your brand’s product or service. Identify its features, benefits, and value to your audience. Knowing the product’s unique strengths is key to repositioning.

3. Identifying the Target Market

Do market research to know your target market well. Look at demographic data, consumer behavior, and market trends. This will help you understand their needs and shape your strategy.

4. Developing a Clear Message

With a good grasp of your business, product, and target market, create a clear, strong message. Show what unique value your brand offers. Make sure this message gets through in your efforts.

5. Implementing Strategic Changes

Make strategic updates to your brand’s position, message, and maybe even your product. This could mean changing your marketing, look, ways of communicating, and how customers experience your brand. These changes should stick to your strategy and clearly deliver your brand’s message.

Following these steps will help brands reposition successfully. It will make them stand out to their target market, highlight their value, and grow in the market.

Successful Repositioning Examples in the Market

In today’s ever-changing business world, many brands have evolved to keep up with new trends and grow remarkably. They saw the need for change. They grabbed market chances to stay relevant and attract new customers. Let’s look at some successful examples of this:

1. Apple

Apple moved from a niche computer company to a global tech leader. It added the iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch to its products. This helped Apple reach more people and become a top innovator.

2. Nike

Nike broadened its range to include lifestyle and athleisure items. It took advantage of the athleisure trend. This strategy helped Nike reach more customers with different tastes.

3. Coca-Cola

Coca-Cola, a classic brand, has updated its image over time. It has stayed fresh and appealing through new marketing and brand refreshes. Coca-Cola has kept its classic appeal while attracting modern consumers.

4. McDonald’s

McDonald’s changed its menu for healthier eating habits. It added salads, fruit, and other healthy foods. This change helped McDonald’s grow its customer base with the rising demand for healthier options.

These examples show the value of adapting to market changes and being open to transformation. By studying consumer behavior, spotting changes in target audience, growing product lines, and updating their look, these brands have stayed competitive. They have won a big share of the market.


Brand repositioning lets brands change to stay ahead in a changing market. It involves updating how a brand appears, what it says, and what it sells. This helps companies connect better with their customers and stand out from rivals. Brands like Taco Bell, Gucci, and Spotify show how changing strategy can refresh a brand’s look, grow its presence, and make customers see it more positively.

But, changing a brand’s position must be done carefully and with a lot of planning. It’s important to study the market, understand what customers want, and make sure new strategies fit with the brand’s main values. This way, a brand can find new chances for growth, strengthen its position, and boost its marketing efforts.

In summary, repositioning a brand is a strong way to keep it relevant and appealing. By making strategic changes, brands can offer unique value, carve out a special spot in the market, and build lasting success. Brands that use repositioning as a key part of their marketing can stay on top and remain important to their customers.


What is repositioning in marketing?

Repositioning in marketing is changing how people see a brand. It aims to make the brand more appealing to its audience. This might mean adjusting the brand’s image, marketing methods, or product types.

How is brand repositioning different from rebranding?

Brand repositioning tweaks a brand’s image, personality, or main message while keeping its identity. Rebranding is changing the brand’s name, logo, core products, or overall strategy.

What are some successful examples of brand repositioning?

Successful repositioning includes Taco Bell becoming a lifestyle brand and Gucci updating its image. Starbucks focused on high-quality coffee, Old Spice targeted younger consumers. Veolia concentrated on responsible waste management, and Spotify became known for original content and influencing music tastes.

What are the reasons for brand repositioning?

Brands reposition to meet changing market needs, target new or wider audiences, align products with their brand, or start a new brand chapter.

What are the advantages of brand repositioning?

Repositioning helps connect better with the audience, gain a competitive edge, stand out, increase market share, and enhance customer experiences.

What are the disadvantages of brand repositioning?

The downsides include high costs and time requirements. Making big changes might push away current customers and confuse people, risking loyalty.

What steps are involved in successful brand repositioning?

Successful repositioning involves knowing the business, defining the product or service, and identifying the target market. It requires a strong message and strategic changes to positioning, messaging, and product lineup.

Can you provide examples of successful brand repositioning in the market?

Apple moved from computers to a top electronics brand. Nike broadened from sports gear to lifestyle products. Coca-Cola and McDonald’s evolved to remain relevant over time.

What is the importance of brand repositioning in marketing strategy?

Brand repositioning is key for adapting to market shifts, connecting with the target audience, standing out from competitors, and opening new growth opportunities.
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