5 Branding and Rebranding Case Studies

In this rebrand compilation, we review some of the most iconic and impressive rebrands in recent history, including the 2003 LEGO rebrand and the Old Spice rebrand, and how these strategies brought these organizations back into the mainstream market.

Blog Post

10 minute read

Mar 28, 2024

Take a second and think about how many different makeup and cosmetic brands that you know by name. Even if you’re a cosmetic enthusiast and named five to ten brands, there’s a good chance you didn’t come close to naming all 4,305 cosmetic and beauty product manufacturers in the United States. The volume of competition that modern organizations face makes branding all that more important.

In today’s hyper-competitive marketplace, organizations must understand the value of brand reputation and how a strong brand translates to more conversions, higher customer engagement, a larger market share, and an improved bottom line.  

By building a unique and engaging brand, the strength of your ideas will stand on their own as they won’t be lost in the crowd.  

The top of the year is always a good time to revisit and assess your current branding for strengths and weaknesses. If you’re gearing up for a rebrand and you want to be confident in your strategy, consider getting started with Impact.  


LEGO is one of the most iconic toy brands in the world, and they have been since 1932. However, in the 1990s and early 2000s, the fun and lovable brand we all know and love was in serious hot water. Nearly $800 million in debt, it seemed like the LEGO brand ship was finally sinking. That was until CEO Jørgen Vig Knudstorp came on board and put his turnaround plan in motion.

The massive debt was a product of overproduction, the dawn of the technological era, and ambitious overexpansion into theme parks. With new-aged toys coming to market, executives at LEGO felt pressured to start weaving more technology into their LEGO sets to compete with products like the N64, despite this being off-brand for them.  

When Knudstorp took over at CEO, however, he immediately implemented a rebranding strategy to address audience engagement, overproduction, and budget mismanagement. 

The plan started drastically, as Knudstorp initially cut over 1,000 jobs, sold off Legoland parks, and reduced global production by 50%. To strengthen their budget even further, he then went through company expenditures line by line to align design and manufacturing costs.  

“He [Knudstorp] also analysed every single expenditure and aligned design to manufacturing cost, having discovered to his horror that some sets were being sold at a loss.”

Lastly, and maybe most importantly, the LEGO rebrand focused on bringing the company back to its core operations to best serve its audience. This meant creating new and engaging product lines and partnerships that appealed to the two main audience profiles that engage with LEGO: a new generation of kids and adult fans of LEGO (AFOLs).

Dialing in on their audience preferences and intentionally developing products and partnerships that would resonate and engage their audience led LEGO to iconic collaborations like their first LEGO Star Wars sets that were released in succession with the original trilogy.  

Now, the 2003 LEGO rebrand is known as one of the most successful rebrands in corporate history as they’re the biggest toy brand in the world with a market share of over 7.6% after growing in 2023.  

 Old Spice

Old Spice underwent a remarkable rebranding in the 2010s, transitioning from its traditional, older demographic-focused image to a modern, dynamic, and humorous identity. The rebranding was highly successful, characterized by creative marketing campaigns that captured consumer attention and reshaped the perception.

The brand's evolution began with a shift away from its classic image towards appealing to a younger audience. This involved bold marketing strategies, exemplified by the viral "The Man Your Man Could Smell Like" campaign featuring Isaiah Mustafa.  

These humorous and quick-paced commercials redefined Old Spice's image and engaged consumers effectively.

 Old Spice also embraced social media, interacting with consumers in real-time through personalized videos, showcasing its humor, and increasing visibility even further. Simultaneously, the brand introduced new product lines and scents, modernizing its offerings and broadening its consumer base.

The outcome was a significant increase in market share, particularly among younger demographics. The "Old Spice Guy" commercials became cultural phenomena, garnering millions of views online and setting new standards for interactive marketing.  

Overall, the rebranding successfully shifted consumer perception, transforming Old Spice into an innovative, humorous, and culturally relevant brand.

Schuetz Insurance

Schuetz Insurance began as a family-owned agency that specialized in construction. However, there was never a formalized marketing plan, and being established in the 1940s, their website was also fairly outdated.  

Between the disparate marketing efforts between various agents and employees, and a website that wasn’t generating traffic, let alone conversions, Schuetz Insurance needed to make some major changes that would bring them into the modern market.  

In partnering with Impact, Schuetz effectively revamped their website to meet modern standards and best practices which resulted in a much higher volume of regular web traffic. On top of that, Impact marketing experts consulted the agency on a long-term marketing strategy that would help unify their messaging across the entire organization.  

To take things a step further, Impact also helped Schuetz Insurance rework their social media strategies to help them connect and engage with a more modern audience.

All-in-all, these efforts led to:  

  • 25% business growth
  • Increased web traffic
  • Increased social media engagement
  • Comprehensive long-term marketing strategy 

Mail Chimp

Mailchimp, established in 2001 with a playful and quirky aesthetic centered around a chimpanzee-themed logo, underwent a significant rebranding in 2018 to reflect its expansion into a comprehensive marketing platform beyond email services.

The rebranding notably introduced a new logo and wordmark, de-emphasizing the chimpanzee in favor of a cleaner, more modern design. The color palette shifted towards bold yellows, whites, and blacks, with updated typography for improved readability and brand consistency.

With Mailchimp broadening its services to include automation, social media management, and CRM, the rebrand aimed to position the company as an all-in-one marketing platform.

The outcomes included a more polished and professional image for Mailchimp, better alignment with its expanded services, and increased recognition as a versatile marketing platform. The simplified design and modern branding aimed to enhance brand communication and accessibility to a diverse user audience.


Airbnb underwent a notable evolution in branding, beginning with its original 2008 logo featuring a blue scripted "A" within a bubble. In 2014, Airbnb launched a significant rebrand, unveiling the "Bélo" logo, symbolizing belonging and community through a combination of a heart, location pin, and the letter "A." 

The rebrand extended to redesigning Airbnb's website and app with a modern, user-friendly interface emphasizing visuals and intuitive navigation. Emphasizing storytelling, Airbnb aimed to both convey and nurture personal connections and belonging by highlighting hosts' and guests' unique experiences.

The Bélo logo became globally recognized, contributing to Airbnb's distinct identity. The redesign and narrative focus provided users with a more engaging experience, fostering emotional connections. Concurrently, Airbnb expanded its offerings beyond accommodations, positioning itself as a global hospitality platform centered on trust and community.

Takeaways From These Rebranding Case Studies

Some of the best lessons come to us from history, and these rebranding case studies are chock-full of truly successful creative problem-solving in the face of real business issues.  

Some of the main takeaways to note from these powerful rebrands include:  

  • Understanding Audience Engagement: Rebranding efforts across LEGO, Old Spice, Mailchimp, and Airbnb highlight the importance of understanding audience preferences and adapting branding strategies to engage effectively with different demographics or audience groups. 
  • Adapting to Market Changes: Companies can adjust their branding strategies to stay relevant in rapidly evolving markets, responding to technological advancements, and changing consumer preferences. 

    Bold Marketing Strategies: Successful rebrands often involve bold and unconventional marketing campaigns, as seen in Old Spice's "The Man Your Man Could Smell Like" campaign, which captured consumer attention and reshaped the overall brand perception. 
  • Streamlining Operations: LEGO's rebranding strategy involved streamlining operations, cutting costs, and refocusing on core products and partnerships to better serve its audience. This included cutting jobs, reducing global production, and aligning design with manufacturing costs. 
  • Expanding Service Offerings: Mailchimp and Airbnb rebranded to reflect their expanded service offerings beyond their original core products. As the brands grew, they needed to be more true to their entire suite of offers. By updating visual identities and repositioning themselves they more easily connected with interested audiences. 
  • Emphasizing Storytelling: Emphasizing storytelling in rebranding efforts aims to nurture personal connections, a sense of belonging, and unique, emotional experience. 
  • Social Media Engagement: Rebrands often involve leveraging social media platforms for increased visibility and engagement, as seen in Old Spice's use of personalized videos and Mailchimp's emphasis on accessibility to a diverse user audience.

By conducting a thorough assessment of the current brand and using those insights to craft a strategic rebranding plan, you can take data-backed, incremental steps to revamping your brand that resonates with your current audience, invites new demographics, and allows you to compete on the strength of your ideas.  

Sometimes you can’t see the whole picture until you take a step back or bring in a second pair of eyes. If you want to work toward a major rebrand, expert opinions can be extremely valuable. Consider getting your big rebrand started with Impact! 




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