Rebranding is having a moment. 

For some brands, it’s been a matter of surviving the turbulent business climate. And for others, it’s been a response to the fluid social environment. No matter what the motivation, though, a rethinking of the brand is on the radar for many businesses right now.

That’s why it seems an appropriate time to look back on the top rebranding trends for 2020 for inspiration and guidance on moving forward.

Here are some of the main gear shifts we’ve witnessed this year.

Meeting Customers Where They Are Now

We know the customer experience has already been a top priority for brands — or it should have been — but with all that’s happened this year, some have stepped up in amazing ways. For example, retailers and restaurants began offering curbside pickup or home delivery, personal shopping, and video appointments. They rebranded with an eye toward exceptional customer service that would get (or keep) their products and services in the lives of customers no matter what. 

A favorite example of this is a local boutique we ordered from at the beginning of the pandemic. While we couldn’t shop in the store at the time, the owner personally delivered the item to our home. They could have shipped it, but instead they went out of their way to make sure we received what we needed. Now, just eight months later, they are opening their second location — at a time when many small businesses are closing their doors. 

Meeting the new and unprecedented needs of customers in a crisis is a top rebranding trend for 2020.

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Rethinking Social and Racial Stereotypes 

This has been a tumultuous year, especially in the way of social justice and racial equality. For some brands, this resulted in a complete rethinking of their brand — even ones that have been around for decades.

In the early part of the year, Land O’ Lakes removed the native woman from their packaging. She had been a part of the brand image for almost a century. The brand didn’t directly cite racial or social reasons for the rebrand, but that’s how the public saw it anyway. 


Other brands, such as Aunt Jemima, took the same path in removing the face of its brand. Trader Joe’s considered a similar move, but later reversed the decision to revamp its branding on products some thought to reinforce stereotypes. 

Achieving Sustainability

In an effort to attract younger consumers with an eco-first mindset, brands have been building sustainability into their products, services, and processes (remember, branding is more than just a logo). Sustainability is one of the top rebranding trends for 2020, with big names like Clorox and Pottery Barn focusing on environmental initiatives this year.


Restoring Trust and Reputation

Due to rampant misinformation this year, brands are faced with picking up the pieces of damaged reputations — and some are actually doing something about it. Social media networks like Facebook and Twitter have faced loads of scrutiny and backlash but have implemented features like labeling to indicate when information is misleading or inaccurate. They have taken action when dangerous groups have formed on the platforms in an attempt to restore users’ trust in the social communities.

Of course, rebranding with new procedures and processes doesn’t necessarily equal immediate relief. It may take brands several months or years to recuperate this scale of loss, yet it’s necessary if businesses want to survive.

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Learn More About Rebranding 

Are you curious if new branding is a smart move for your business? Read this guide to rebranding, or take a look at the top rebrands of 2019 to see how things have changed. 

If you are ready to learn even more and earn your certification, check out our Post Graduate Program in Digital Marketing, in partnership with Purdue University. This comprehensive program will provide you with the latest and greatest concepts, skills, and knowledge of the tools every successful digital marketing professional needs to know today.

About the Author

Rob SandersRob Sanders

Rob Sanders is a digital marketing veteran with over 20 years of experience. During that time, Rob has helped a wide range of companies utilize new and emerging technologies to increase sales and profitability. As founder of RSO Consulting, Rob helps clients maximize their digital marketing efforts via SEO, SEM, SMO, and Web Analytics. He is responsible for many facets of the web analytics value chain, from identifying business goals and objectives to developing strategies and translating those into Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). Rob also teaches digital marketing and analytics classes throughout the U.S. and abroad. As a contributor for Simplilearn, Rob creates expert thought leadership content on a variety of digital marketing and analytics topics.

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