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Principles of corporate rebranding

Bill Merrilees (Department of Marketing, Griffith University, Gold Coast, Australia)
Dale Miller (Department of Marketing, Griffith University, Gold Coast, Australia)

European Journal of Marketing

ISSN: 0309-0566

Article publication date: 30 May 2008




The paper aims to highlight the importance of corporate rebranding in branding practice, which is neglected in theoretical treatment, so an extended theory is to be developed.


From the literature, the existing state of the theory of corporate rebranding is articulated. That theory is extended by the development of six principles and by case research. The principles are illustrated in the case of a Canadian leather goods retailer which has implemented a major corporate rebranding strategy. The paper demonstrates the value of organisational single case studies as a precursor to further research.


The single case enables a more in‐depth analysis of how branding principles were applied to corporate rebranding. All six principles were supported, indicating the need for maintaining core values and cultivating the brand, linking the existing brand with the revised brand, targeting new segments, getting stakeholder “buy‐in”, achieving alignment of brand elements and the importance of promotion in awareness building.


Although corporate rebranding is often used narrowly in practice as renaming, this paper redresses the limited attempts to build theory in this area of marketing. It attempts to build a more sophisticated and substantial theory of corporate rebranding.



Merrilees, B. and Miller, D. (2008), "Principles of corporate rebranding", European Journal of Marketing, Vol. 42 No. 5/6, pp. 537-552.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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