Evolving Brands To Reclaim Relevance

Restaurant Rebranding

Evolving and rebranding existing restaurant brands through profound positioning strategies and creative excellence.

One thing is inevitable: In time things get old. Marketing messages become less effective, and brand experiences become stagnant. When this happens, restaurant brands need to reassess their market, their position in it, and how they’re communicating that story. Rebranding the restaurant is necessary to invigorate an audience’s interest while reestablishing its position in the market. Our process and methodology helps unify outdated and ineffective brands with a stronger strategy primed for success.

Changing consumer perceptions and preconceived understandings of your brand demands an objective approach to repositioning. At Vigor, we rely on a tried- and- true process that helps us maintain the things people love while rebuilding the things people have either forgotten or dislike about your brand. The new life garnered from this process directly fuels design communications from redesigned brand identities and packaging through interiors, internal communications and more.


QSR Restaurant Rebranding
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Great Bagel & Bakery

Fast Casual restaurant rebranding
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Fast Casual Restaurant Rebranding
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Why rebrand a restaurant, hotel, or beverage?

There are multiple reasons for rebranding your restaurant, beverage, or hotel brand. No matter which one of the below drivers serves as the reason for the rebranding, approaching it from a strategic foundation is critical to guiding how it manifests visually, aurally, and experientially. A sound strategy sets a path forward for all facets of the organization from operations through marketing. Here are a few of the main reasons that spark rebranding and respositioning efforts for restaurants.

Position for Growth
in New Markets

Whether launching into franchising or entering new territory, properly positioning the restaurant is essential to a successful rebrand.

Decline in marketshare
and/or relevance

Reinvigorating tired or stagnant brands by reassessing the market and strategically repositioning themselves within it.

Result of a merger,
acquisition, or litigation

Maintaining the things people love about your brand, eliminating what is ineffective, and paving the way for new opportunities.

Identity & Experience Redesign

Bringing the rebrand strategy to visual life

Humans are a visual species. That is why the visual identity and interior experience of an evolved brand is so crucial to effective communications.

For existing brands, equity in the visual language has been built and that equity is valuable. Along with positive equity, negative or useless aspects have also accumulated. They either detract from the power of the brand’s message and purpose, or clutter it. Once a sound rebranding strategy has been crafted and solidified, we use it as a lens to evaluate the current state brand elements (e.g. identity systems, interior design, etc) identifying the good, the bad, and the ugly. This sets a path forward for reaching the brand’s desired state and a smart evolution of its visual identity system.

From the core brand logo and color palette through typography, imagery, and various other components critical to visual communication, we design and evolve identities driven by sound strategy. From that basis we help craft new prototypical interior design experiences that immerse patrons in the new look and refined design and story.

Internal Communications

Cheering "yeah!" Not just nodding yes.

Too often rebranding initiatives are built and launched without effectively onboarding the organization. Teams from top to bottom experience the new look the same way patrons outside the organization do. It’s a surprise and, more importantly, a critical misstep. Rebranding is a top-down initiative that requires adoption across all disciplines and roles within the organization. That means from the person who cleans the hoods to the person who leads the charge.

At Vigor, we collaborate with our clients to communicate to internal teams before, during and after a rebranding initiative has been conducted. We get buy-in along the way so every Patron inside the organization understands why it’s being endeavored, and why it should matter to them. This increases the chances of adoption and belief in the end result which directly positively affects the strength and believeability of the evolved position, personality, presentation and purpose of the brand.

Brand Launch Marketing

Getting them to fall in love

With an adjusted strategy, visual identity, and internal buy-in the evolved brand is ready for primetime. But, as with everything, simply lobbing it out there is the worst idea.

Introductions to a new brand should be varying degrees of personal and explanatory. For loyal patrons, brands must be highly engaged and personal, explaining the details in depth. For those on the fringe, marketing tactics that pump up the newness fit the bill.

At Vigor, we help our clients’ teams develop and activate brand launch strategies and the creative needed to communicate the evolution successfully. 

Restaurant reBranding Process

How we help restaurant brands evolve

The process of rebranding a restaurant starts prior to our restaurant branding workflow. Discovery time is allotted to add in proper assessment of historic data and information. Through this extended discovery process, we’re able to effectively identify areas of strengths and weaknesses in the brand to set up a successful rebranding.

reBranding Strategy

  • Market Research
  • Category Insight
  • Trend Mapping
  • Consumer/Guest Profiling
  • Positioning
  • Naming & Brand Architecture
  • Perception Mapping
  • Concept Development
  • Culinary/Beverage Program
  • Consulting

Brand Identity reDesign

  • Logo Suite Design
  • Brand Identity Development
  • Menu Systems Design
  • Collateral Design
  • Uniforming & Merchandising
  • Packaging Suite Design
  • Food & Beverage Packaging
  • Brand Guidelines & Standards

Prototype Design

  • Customer Journey Mapping
  • Concept Design
  • Schematic Design
  • Design Development
  • Space Planning
  • FF&E
  • Wayfinding & Signage
  • Environmental Graphics

Frequently Asked questions

Common questions about restaurant rebranding

Through the multiple restaurant rebranding efforts that we’ve led, common questions arise. We’ve taken the liberty of answering them here to help you get a feel for what it’s like to work with Vigor.

In short: no. Although there are parallels between a branding and rebranding effort, they are not the same. Rebranding involves a deep dive into the current state of the restaurant brand. This includes surveying the history, geography, operations, and leadership of your business. Before any design work is started, a full mapwork of the restaurant brand’s current state, desired state, and the gap between the two is conducted. From there, the strategy for ushering the brand forward starts to come together collaboratively affecting every facet of the brand. Only then can any design work begin. As a result, rebranding is a much more involved process than a standard branding endeavor.

Not necessarily. What actually changes in a rebranding effort is highly dependent on the current state of your company, the desired state you hope to achieve, and the gap that separates the two. With those aspects successfully identified and set, an approach to visual communications can begin. In the most drastic of situations, a fully redesigned look would emerge. For instance, if something negative and detrimental was forever associated with the brand, a complete redesign would be necessary.

In most cases, a brand evolution is what is most responsible and effective. Evolving a brand is a delicate task that involves deep consideration for aspects where brand equity has been built. Ensuring that the evolved look leverages the strengths of the brand, while shedding the weaknesses, and creating better communications surrounding the desired state is the core of a successful restaurant rebranding effort.

The first step is defining how you envision success. Is it a changing of sentiment for the brand in your suite of stakeholder groups? Maybe it’s a more effective communication of your personality and/or offerings. Defining key performance indicators for success is critical to measurement. With success clearly defined, one can set up measurement mechanisms to ensure that the effort is effectively measured. 

Digging deeper, success can be ensured by following a methodological process that’s formulaic enough to guide the team, but fluid enough to allow for the nuances of the restaurant brand to be considered. A proven rebranding process will ensure that the right components of the brand are established and a path forward is clear.