Rebranding and the Tale of Two Monsters
The whole spectrum of rebranding is wider than the Amazon River.
Okay, maybe not. But it can definitely range from simply redesigning a logo to the whole shebang of reworking one's entire brand identity. That's huge!
But why would you go through all that trouble when you have a perfectly established brand? Plenty of reasons.
1. IT'S TIRED. WE'RE TIRED. No offense, but even the most beloved commercial entity can be exhausting when it has completely exhausted its bag of selling points. When you're saying the same thing over and over, your audience will start to tune out. Creative people will deny it, but there is is a limit to your plethora of 'same proposition/unique concept' campaigns.
2. YOUR AUDIENCE HAS CHANGED. Same profile, different behavior. Yep, social media really put a Transfiguration Spell on the public. People are just way too impatient now, and way too jaded. You have to be entertaining to get them to listen to you, factual to get them to listen to you, and behaved so they don't cancel you. Yep, knowing your Brand Image via FGD just got scarier.
3. COMPETITION JUST GOT FIERCER. That, too. You think you got a niche? Just wait until some TikToker steals your shtick AND does better at it than you. With how the playing field has gotten so much bigger, every Tom, Dick and Barbie can topple your empire by a single stream. Your Brand needs to pick it up to stay up.
4. YOU HAVE A BRAND NEW STORY. Whoa, whoa, whoa --you got a new business development? OMG! That's something the world needs to know about in a big way! It doesn't matter if you just added one single skill to your skill set or an extra sprinkle to your ice cream --everyone needs to know that story!
Storytelling is the backbone of a rebrand. Storytelling shapes your new vision , your new message, your new marketing that will get the naturally nosey public right back in your business. If there's one thing that hasn't changed, it's the human ability to be incredibly invested in someone else's story change.
So you won't think I'm just pulling all this out of a party hat, here are two of the most amazing rebranding tales in the music industry to date. I have these filed in a folder labeled 'Drastic and Fantastic'. It's a working label, okay?!
THE CRYBABY REBRAND BY MELANIE MARTINEZ
'Four-eyed, ethereal fairy alien come down to Earth to sing us some bangers' wasn't the kind of concept people thought would come with Melanie's Portals album. But apparently, this fairy alien was that and more. The CryBaby character transformation went from baby girl to an egg to Miss Four Eyes in the course of Melanie's album releases. So you know this lore has been going on from the very start. In fact, the storytelling kept good pacing.
Through lyrics with solid messages and surrealistic music videos, we've seen Melanie with the two-toned hair gain strength and exhibit superpowers suggesting growth and the possibility that she's not entirely human. This was followed by an egg and a promise of a rebirth. And then --BOOM!-- we got the new CryBaby rebrand. People thought Melanie's new fairy alien alter ego was just an album concept. But it transcended beyond that. Melanie has been wearing the alien costume to her stage performances, to her TikToks, and random appearances (sightings, more like it). So this really is her new brand, an identity she's taking all the way to her Portals tour.
Fans are saying this transformation is no surprise since the lore has always hinted that CryBaby can be anything and everything she chooses to be reborn as. Well, that's a good way to sustain a Brand campaign. Now it's anybody's guess if Melanie's fairy alien can rebrand as a pirate chicken monster next --and that's just genius.
THE SCARLET REBRAND BY DOJA CAT
Unlike Melanie, Doja Cat didn't really enter the music industry with a well-planned lore in tow. She was a stereotypical sexy-sweet pop/hip hop princess who made timeless bops that people love to dance to. And then, more hip-hop princesses came. And these girlies didn't just make bangers, their personalities came in as loud and as strong as their twerk energy.
In the middle of this saturated genre, Doja decided to rebrand. But since this rebrand was going to be a sudden shift, there was absolutely no time to create a rebirth story. Good thing there was a lot of time for a demonic possession. Instead of creating an alter ego, Doja went ahead and created inner demons. This came at the heels of her shaving herself bald, badmouthing her past hits, and presumably hating on her fans. This got the bible-toting masses think that she is indeed possessed. And then her Scarlet album dropped. Along with music videos, stage performances, and sculpted cross-city installations featuring naked, uncomfortably moist, blood red, devilish monstrosities called Scarlets.
And that's her Rebrand. If the Scarlets possess her to return to her sexy-sweet hip hop self next comeback, that's perfectly valid. Because that's what demons do --they mess with you. And Doja has been messing people up with her scandalous marketing from here to the Scarlet Tour. Brilliant.
There you have it! Are you ready to rebrand? How monstrous are you willing to go?