TOUS: Rebranding or Suicide
What reasons does a brand have for undergoing a rebranding? The case of Tous establishes similarities and differences with both successful and unsuccessful brands.
The rebranding of a brand is not done overnight. After all, what is rebranding? Rebranding is a transformation that arises from a desire to change something or perhaps everything.
This feeling of change originates at the core of the brand, in its essence. A desire to evolve that grows over time, gaining internal ground until it reaches a point of no return. At that moment, the realization that “something must be done” is verbalized, indicating there is no turning back.
Degrees of evolution: Partial or Total
The degree of evolution/renovation is another story. It will be partial or total depending on how much of the past one wants to retain. In other words, we speak of partial rebranding when strategic changes are made to the brand and total rebranding when it is a new beginning from scratch.
In the case of Tous, the transformation it is undergoing is partial, as its iconic bear has disappeared from its logo, but not from the product itself.
The Case of Tous
Although the rebranding of this jewelry brand is partial, we could almost say it is total, as few companies have managed to turn one of their products into the flagship and visual identity of the brand, gaining worldwide fame. It is more common for the icon and the product to be different.
In the case of Tous, where a teddy bear has been reproduced as jewelry in a thousand and one versions, to what extent does it become tiresome?
This is the risk a brand faces when its expansion relies on spreading its brand icon through its product.
For almost 40 years, the bear has acted as a magnet for a certain type of woman, to the point where it is integrated into their own identity. The image of Tous, the Tous bear, is part of their own image.
But it is also true that it has as many fans as detractors. And worse, it has indifferent individuals, which are increasing with each new generation.
What has motivated Tous to undergo rebranding?
Certainly, it may be happening because the three reasons justifying this decision converge:
The emergence of competition that causes a loss of market share.
Decline in brand reputation and image.
Loss of engagement with its audience.
In any case, a total rebranding is risky. Very risky.
Tous: Rebranding or Suicide?
Major brands like McDonald’s, Apple, Google, Adidas, Instagram, etc., have undergone one or more rebrandings throughout their history and are still standing. It seems that each change has worked well for them.
The difference between these brands and our world-famous jewelry brand is that their products are not icons of their brands, while the Tous bear is.
Apple’s computers don’t look like apples. McDonald’s hamburgers are round, nothing like the M in the logo. Adidas sneakers are shaped like feet, not three stripes, etc.
Using the product as a means of expansion ensures rapid growth and reach but carries the risk of wearing out, as has happened to Tous.
However, removing the icon from the logo and having the product cease to be the focal point, is it the most suitable way to strengthen the brand and achieve the new goals that have been set? The answer to this question will be revealed over time.
The Case of Coke
In 1985, after investing $4 million in market studies and conducting 20,000 blind tastings, Coca-Cola launched Coke. Three months later, it had to backtrack and withdraw it from the market.
Why did they withdraw it if users preferred the new formula?
Because they did not consider the feelings of their fans, and when these felt their Lovemark was threatened, they revolted.
Let’s hope that Tous’s rebranding has not affected its fans.
What do you think about the new direction Tous is taking? Do you think their rebranding is on the right track, or do you believe it’s the chronicle of an announced death? Share your thoughts in the comments.