Rebranding Across the Nation: A Controversial Conversation
Op-ed by: Mia Rosengard and Andre Kar
What’s Going On?
As a result of the racial tensions being exhibited by communities worldwide, there has been a flood of constant rebranding in different industries, ranging from athletics to politics. For example, the Washington Redskins have caved in to pressure from the public sphere to change their controversial logo that mirrors an offensive Native American stereotype. Similarly, Aunt Jemima is also facing a critical rebranding after the Quaker company criticized their use of an image that embodies a racist stereotype that existed since the days of slavery. The pressure to rebrand more “politically correct” messages and images has even seeped into the political realm, most notably in Mississippi. The state’s governor signed a bill to change its national flag and abandon the Confederate symbol. The prominence of rebranding exemplifies that this nation is pushing for serious change and companies, now more than ever, are protecting themselves from tarnishing their reputation.
What’s the Marketing Effect?
With the rising phenomena of “cancel culture”, consumers are holding companies accountable for their actions. That is, corporations have learned that customers will not do business with ignorant companies. With a desire to stay afloat, companies have to be aware of what their brand represents and how that is interpreted by consumers.