Whether in business or music, re-branding is always a risky endeavor.
A true re-brand means taking an already established entity and giving it an overhaul. There’s a chance the new version may be better than the original, but it’s also possible you’ll alienate and drive away the very consumers who made you successful in the first place.
Just also companies make the bold, and sometimes foolish, decision to re-brand, many artists over the years have decided to revamp, with various levels of success.
Jefferson Airplane has famously been through two different re-brands since becoming a successful act in the ‘60s, with changes in music style accompanying their new names.
John Mellencamp may be known to the world by his birth name now, but it took a long time for him to reach that point. Several releases under the names Johnny Cougar and John Cougar Mellencamp show that even a legendary artist can be swayed by the heavy-handed suggestions of marketing advisors.
In the case of Joy Division, re-branding also served as a rebirth. After the death of singer Ian Curtis, the group knew it would have to evolve if it was going to move forward. Hit songs and decades of success later, New Order‘s decision has proven wise.
We highlighted 10 Classic Acts Who Re-Branded below. Note: We’ve defined a re-brand as an artist who already had success before deciding to change. So you won’t find classic pre-fame name changes like Mammoth to Van Halen or Mookie Blaylock to Pearl Jam.
10 Classic Acts Who Re-Branded
A rose by any other name …