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What is Debranding and Why Your Company May Need it?

The decision of a business for debranding can present a dilemma for senior executives and marketing professionals. You must have come across examples of brands that have removed their name from the logo or created a flat design. As of now, the future of branding aims at encouraging a movement for debranding.

Many companies are ready to experiment with debranding, thereby increasing interest in its importance. The term ‘debranding’ has been associated with different meanings, according to multiple perspectives of experts, thereby creating confusion about debranding. Let us learn more about the significance of debranding for modern businesses in the following post.

Definition of Debranding

Debranding is one of the notable trends in the domain of marketing right now. The term basically refers to the act of trimming down your brand identity to create simpler logos and brand personalities. Debranding is a relevant option for many brands which want to find new avenues for adapting to the changing market environments. It involves simplification of the design of a brand’s logo or removal of words and complete modification of business name and logo.

What could be the possible cause behind debranding? Most of the debranding initiatives focus on creating a customer-centric brand and user experience. Why would you go through the trouble of changing your brand logo or the organization name?

One of the most prominent responses would point to the growth in the influence of mobile devices. More than half of the internet traffic comes from mobile devices, and the demographics of the target audience of brands are evolving. Therefore, customer-centric debranding has emerged as a necessity for catering to minimalist preferences.

Why Does an Organization Choose Debranding?

The next important highlight in an introduction to debranding would focus on the reasons for which organizations would choose it. You would come across three distinct variants of debranding based on the objectives of the company. The goals of an organization behind debranding can include references to the transition of companies to a modern identity.

Some companies also choose to debrand as a method for becoming consumer-centric alongside losing edginess. Here are some of the most important variants of debranding which validate the objectives behind streamlining brand identity.

  • Removing the Corporate Element

Debranding is a reliable option for removing the tag of ‘corporate’ on a brand and making it appear closer to people. The marketing campaigns of certain companies can use the debranding makeover as a tool for describing transformation to a consumer-friendly brand.

  • Transforming to a Generic Brand

The term ‘generic’ might seem like a bad choice for brands that are new in the market. However, brands have the required motivation to transition to a generic identity in the modern market environments. Generic logos with more emphasis on brand personality can help in ensuring compliance with modern principles for logo design.

Examples and Underlying Rationale of Debranding

The types of debranding initiatives and the unique objectives show distinct options for cutting out certain elements from the brand identity. The primary objectives of debranding focus on making the brand appear less corporate and more generic. How do brands achieve debranding? Let us find out the answers in the following examples.

How Does Debranding Make a Brand More Personal?

Brands can choose the objective of removing their corporate element for debranding when they feel that the new identity would appeal better to their target audience. Nike is one of the most popular examples of brands that succeeded in overcoming geographical barriers with debranding. The evolution of the Nike logo from a wordmark to the iconic swoosh has shown how debranding can lead to a stronger brand association with customers.

Some of the other examples which show that debranding makes brands more personal refer to Starbucks and Apple. The half-eaten apple is everywhere on Apple products, storefronts, and office spaces. It does not have to write Apple specifically for customers to recognize that they are using an Apple product or visiting an Apple Store. Debranding Starbucks is also another example to show how brands can be more personal by removing their name from coffee cups. However, Starbucks still has to write their names on their storefronts.

How Can Debranding Help Brands Look More Generic?

The decision of companies to shift to a generic identity might come as a part of cost optimization strategies. In such cases, brands would look for lesser ad spend while increasing profits. However, it is important to understand that every brand does not want to run multiple advertisements for sales. On the contrary, the company would focus on pricing and volume and achieve higher profits with lower prices.

Generic brands have emerged as powerful competitors to private brands, particularly in the case of supermarkets. For example, generic brands are perceived as more valuable for price-conscious customers. Supermarkets have filled up their shelves with generic brands alongside exclusive reputed brands, with some stores offering their own generic brands.

Is Debranding the Same as Rebranding?

You must also have some doubts about the similarities between debranding and rebranding. Some people also use these two terms interchangeably. On the contrary, rebranding is completely different from debranding. Rebranding refers to the process of changing the corporate image of an organization. Debranding involves the removal of brand elements to focus on the customer. Rebranding is more oriented towards standing out from the competition in the concerned industry.


The final impression regarding debranding suggests the ways in which it helps brands rethink their business identity. First of all, debranding focuses on establishing a stronger connection between the customer and the brand. On the other hand, debranding is also useful for brands that are willing to reduce expenses on advertising. Debranding is an exclusive tool for businesses that are willing to take the risk of adopting a transformed identity. Learn more about debranding and how you can apply new principles of logo design to your brand identity.


IEMLabs is an ISO 27001:2013 and ISO 9001:2015 certified company, we are also a proud member of EC Council, NASSCOM, Data Security Council of India (DSCI), Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC), U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). The company was established in 2016 with a vision in mind to provide Cyber Security to the digital world and make them Hack Proof. The question is why are we suddenly talking about Cyber Security and all this stuff? With the development of technology, more and more companies are shifting their business to Digital World which is resulting in the increase in Cyber Crimes.


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