It turns out that the Bible can teach us a lot about rebranding. In the Book of Genesis — a real soap-opera filled with heroes and villains — Jacob steals the birthright from his older brother Esau, flees and then returns nearly 20 years later to beg his brother’s forgiveness.
But listen to how Jacob’s story, his brand, changes. He begins as a bit of a villain, stealing a blessing meant for his brother from his elderly, dying father. He then spends almost two decades working for his father-in-law in order to marry his youngest daughter Rachel. Jacob becomes a success, measured in cattle and servants.
And then he changes.
He realizes that he must return to confront and beg forgiveness for his earlier actions. It is at this pivotal point that the Bible says Jacob, whose name is said to mean “one who follows” then meets and wrestles with the Angel of the Lord. The Angel renames Jacob and says he will now be known as Israel, meaning “one who rules.” And that is the start of another epic story.
So, you may be wondering, what is my point?
My point is that Jacob has been rebranded! He is no longer a thief and a swindler, but a repentant man who shows courage and leadership. His brand story has changed and so has his brand name.
Think about what this means in our marketing world. How many times have we seen the same brand story take on a new company name with little thought of any actual change? A new logo with little change except the colors and identity?
Probably too many times.
But this Bible story highlights a number of things, one of which is this: if you are going to truly rebrand yourself, you had better do a lot of soul searching and make sure your brand story reflects the changes appropriately.
And it doesn’t hurt to have some sort of brand angel help you out.